Delighted to net two leading industry accreditations
Posted on 3rd September 2020 at 15:59
Gaining two ISO certifications underlines our commitment to being the best we can be
Pearson Electrical has successfully gained the much-sought-after ISO9001 quality standard.
Not only that, but we have also transitioned from the OSHAS (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) 18001 health and safety rating, to the newer ISO 45001 standard, demonstrating the highest possible standards in safe working practices.
Both of these new accreditations are set by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and are recognised worldwide, which mean they are great news for the ongoing growth of Pearson Electrical, which includes projects abroad.
To achieve both seals of approval, we had to go through rigorous assessment processes and demonstrate effective systems and processes across our businesses.
About ISO 9001
ISO 9001 centres around a strict quality management system (QMS) that firms must adhere to in order to demonstrate operational excellence, and provide products and services that meet the expectations of their customers and regulators.
In order to achieve the ISO 9001 standard, we had to provide evidence of effective relationship management among all our stakeholders; of being customer-focused and maintaining good levels of satisfaction; of providing adequate instruction and training to our employees; of engaging effectively with members of our team; of implementing and following proper processes and procedures, and of striving to continually improve what we do and how we do it, including ensuring cost-effectiveness. We also had to prove that our businesses have effective leadership.
About ISO 45001
Netting ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety Management certification made this a double whammy.
To achieve this new standard, which replaces our former OSHAS 18001 certification, which was issued by the British Standards Institute, we had to show that we operate an effective occupational health and safety management system to protect our people and customers, and demonstrate overall business excellence and resilience.
Introduced in March 2018 ISO 45001 also required us to demonstrate that we undertake proactive risk prevention and continuous improvement; that we operate responsibly and strictly comply with regulations relating to health and safety, to help prevent employee injuries, ill health or even death. By contrast, OSHAS 18001 set out the minimum requirements for an occupational health and safety program.
To attain ISO 45001, we had to demonstrate that health and safety principles are part of our company ethos and processes at all levels, so that we proactively spot and rule out issues that could result in harm through effective risk assessments and audits. We also had to show that our management team take ownership and ensure health and safety is prioritised within the business, creating a culture where everyone who works here focuses on working safely and protecting their colleagues.
A word from Mark
Our Managing Director, Mark Pearson, said: “Being at the cutting edge of our profession has always been vitally important to us at Pearson Electrical, and obtaining and maintaining the highest possible levels of accreditation is one of the ways in which we do that.
“This is why we set our sights on achieving ISO9001 and ISO 45001. We’re delighted that we’ve done so and committed to retaining them for many years to come.
“This success is as a real credit to all our employees, too, who’ve really got behind what we wanted to achieve and commit to the highest possible quality in everything they do.”
Having these two leading accreditations means that you can have a high degree of confidence in all the work we do, even that involving high-risk environments. If you have a project that requires the utmost expertise and reliability, get in touch with us via contact us via email@example.com and (01482) 225080
Latest in a long line of innovations
And this is not our first collaboration with this forward-thinking business, based in Keyingham.
Three years ago, we helped to install three new combined heat and power (CHP) units, to help Mill Nurseries in their quest to heat their glasshouses as sustainably as possible. These replaced 10 old and tired 1.5 megawatt units with the latest, most energy-efficient technology in the form of three 2.5 megawatt generators.
“The glasshouse industry uses a lot of energy,” explained Hermanus de Lang, who owns and runs the business with his two brothers and sister, “especially for growing plants like tomatoes which have their origins in tropical climates like South America and need lots of heat. We need to keep our greenhouses at a steady 19 or 20-degree temperature, which is why we decided to install CHP units.”
These are basically large gas-fired engines which generate enough electricity and hot water to heat the glasshouses, exporting what isn’t used to the National Grid.
Not only that, but the flue gases they generate, which would otherwise go off into the atmosphere, adding to CO2 emissions, are diverted back into the greenhouses to again help their plants thrive.
For this project, Pearson Electrical worked alongside the manufacturers to install the state-of-the-art equipment for the three new generators. We also disconnected and removed the old units and re-routed and connected the necessary 11 kilovolt cabling. In addition, we had to modify the monitoring and control system that supports the equipment and notifies the Mill Nurseries team of the status of the CHP generators.
The CHP unit provides around 50 per cent of Mill Nurseries’ heating needs, and they take their other 50 per cent from a straw-fired biomass boiler which they installed around six years ago. This uses waste wheat straw from local farmers to create a completely renewable form of energy for their greenhouses. We were also entrusted with the full installation of this relatively new technology, including control systems and cabling.
Helping Mill Nurseries to look after the environment
Growing is a competitive game in a world where food production is having to keep pace with an ever-increasing population, and Mill Nurseries, which now employs over 100 people, have had to strive to stay one step ahead throughout their half a century-plus in operation.
Mill Nurseries’ water, too, comes from sustainable sources. “We collect all of our rainwater run-offs from the roofs of our greenhouses, and this all goes into a 12 million-gallon reservoir we built on site, which makes us around three-quarters self-sufficient for our water,” continued Hermanus.
They were the first UK tomato growers, in the early 2000s, to install fully automatic thermal screen covers in their greenhouses, designed to reduce their heat input requirements by 25 per cent during the winter months with the added benefit of creating a better summer glasshouse environment through the shading effect of the screens.
The sheets of glass in the roofs of the new greenhouses will be significantly bigger, further minimising light obstruction and shadow from the aluminium bars used to contain them, for optimum growing efficiency.
And their sustainable growing methods also include adopting endangered bumblebees to propagate the thousands of tomato plants which stretch as far as the eye can see within their vast greenhouses.
Pest control is also done organically. “Tomatoes, like other crops, can be prey to a variety of pests, like whiteflies and leaf miners. An entomologist visits us every week during the eight-month long harvesting season to advise and provide insects like spiders to help target the pests where needs be,” added Hermanus.
A rich heritage
Hermanus’ father Gerrit set up Mill Nurseries on a smaller plot across the road from where it is now, after migrating to the UK from Holland in the 1950s. He started off growing lettuces, chrysanthemums and tomatoes in the soil.
“Ironically, given that’s where our dad hailed from, we keep a close eye on what’s coming out of Holland, which is seen very much as the centre of horticulture around the world,” added Hermanus.
“That’s where a lot of the latest innovations in growing stem from, including environmental control sensors to maximise the potential of every plant.
“Dad was a first-generation grower but spotted an opportunity to do in the UK what had been done in Holland for many years. He arrived in the UK with nothing in his pockets, no possessions or even a suitcase and not even able to speak the language.
“He started to build the business through sheer grit and determination, and just not being prepared to take ‘no’ for an answer. We’re extremely proud of what he achieved.”
Throughout the past 20 years, as well as working on Mill Nurseries’ new installations, we have looked after the certification and periodic testing of all their electrical equipment, as well as being on hand to deal with any unanticipated problems.
“While we have the ability to manually control our systems, they spend most of their lives on auto,” explained Hermanus.
“Everything has to be fully optimised, well planned and fail-safe because the slightest glitch can result in thousands of plants being potentially ruined.
“Owner Mark Pearson and his team have shared our journey so far with us. I’ve always found him and his Pearson Electrical company to be very supportive of our needs and very responsive whenever we have a breakdown, providing a level of capability and service we can trust.
“They offer a depth of knowledge and expertise which is head and shoulders above other electrical companies, giving us utter confidence every step of the way.”
If you would like our help with an industrial electrical project or problem, don’t hesitate to contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org or (01482) 225080.
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