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"Lean is so multi-functional that it has helped us to be certified to an international standard".

APM Terminals Spanish Gateways has successfully achieved accreditation as a multi-site organisation and obtained Quality, Environment, Health and Safety ISO 9001, ISO14001 and ISO45001 certifications for its four terminals in a single process. How? Through the validation of our Operating System, whose traceability between the standard and our Way of Working has been demonstrated by our colleagues Paloma Delgado, HSSQE Technical Advisor in Barcelona, and Paula Tortosa, HSSQE Site Coordinator in Valencia.

"In Barcelona we had been demonstrating for years that the Operating System already met the points of the standard, and we had already been certified in this way, but now we had to prove it to the whole of Spain. It has been a very cool challenge, very interesting and constructive", explained Paloma, who has been working at the terminal for 21 years, and confesses to being "in love with the place, the company and all the changes and challenges that are coming".

One of them is to make her debut as a Lean trainer. "I will take advantage of this training so that my colleagues know that WoW and Lean's way of working is so versatile and so applicable that it has helped us to become certified to an international standard," admitted Paloma, who started working at the terminal in Operations after finishing her studies in Civil Nautical Studies, has a Master's Degree in Risk Prevention in the Workplace, and joined HSSE in 2014.

For Paula, the process of achieving the new multisite certification has also been interesting. "It has been a very nice challenge, but also a tough one. Due to the deadlines of the previous audits we had per terminal, we needed to do the work in a very short time so that no terminal would lose any certification and even achieve certifications in terminals that did not have them previously," Paula explained.

The process involved a very elaborate preliminary work with the auditor, who, although having always considered that there was a great integration work that evidenced the continuous improvement of the processes, it was the first time that they had carried out a multi-site audit of a management system integrated in 3 ISO standards linked to the Operating System.

Once underway, Paula and Paloma say that they had to unify different ways of working, talking to many people and finding solutions, optimising both material and human resources. " It took many hours, but it was worth it because of the results obtained," added Paula, who has a degree in Psychology, a Master's degree in Risk Prevention in the Workplace with three specialities (Occupational Safety, Industrial Hygiene and Ergonomics and Applied Psychosociology), a Master's degree in Port Management and Intermodal Transport, and has been working at the Valencia terminal since 2007. Since 2011, she has been involved in ISO certification processes and, like Paloma, has Lean level 4 certification. 

"But we do not stop working and from the day after the audit we started to work on this year's audits. We continue to improve the processes, which is what WoW and ISO standards are all about," they agreed.


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