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Hernic Ferrochrome implements IsoMetrix EHS Management

Hernic Ferrochrome implements IsoMetrix EHS Management

Hernic Ferrochrome (Pty) Ltd is the world’s 4th largest integrated ferrochrome producer based in the North West Province, South Africa. It is located in a part of the western limb of the Bushveld Complex which is one of the world‘s largest chrome ore deposits. Hernic operates four furnaces including the largest ferrochrome furnace in the world.

Location Brits, South Africa
Industry Mining
Products and Services Chrome Ore Mining and Ferrochrome Production
Employees 700 permanent and 3 000 contractors
System Users 150
Number of Sites 3

Objectives

  • Migrate a primarily paper-based EHS managment system to an automated system
  • Full integration of data between IT and Process Flow Systems
  • Real-time visible reporting via dashboards
  • Full visibility on compliance to mining regulations
  • Scalable solution
  • The ability to include additional functionality and modules with the progression of the system
  • Better management information and reporting
  • Effective change management process

Challenges

  • Safety incidents can contribute to financial and reputational losses – Incidents, including data and documentation, were primarily controlled via manual processes
  • No visibility of Key Performance Indicators
  • Lack of integration of the various processes
  • No collaborative management reporting
  • Manual systems allowed for historical statistical information but not real-time information
  • Users could view historical information but not collaborate

Why IsoMetrix?

  • The ability for IsoMetrix to provide a fully functional GRC suite. Four or five different systems would have had to be installed to achieve what the IsoMetrix GRC suite offers.
  • Hernic’s core strategy in terms of system development and implementation was full integration between systems which IsoMetrix was able to provide
  • The reputation which IsoMetrix has within the industry from previous installations
  • The ability to re-adapt processes to suit those of the company’s internal decisions made subsequent to implementation

IsoMetrix Solutions and Modules

IsoMetrix GRC suite incorporating:

  • Health, Safety and Environment
  • Occupational Health & Hygiene
  • Primary Healthcare & Wellness
  • Audits
  • Enterprise Risk Management (in conjunction with PwC)
  • Legal Register & Compliance

The main modules used within these solutions are:

  • Contractor management
  • Incidents and inspections
  • Environmental monitoring
  • Action manager
  • Training
  • Occupational health
  • Visible Felt Leadership (VFL)

Implementation Highlights

  • The implementation of Phase 1 ran according to proposed timelines and took three months
  • What was committed, was delivered
  • Additional information about industry standards was always forthcoming from the IsoMetrix Projects team
  • IsoMetrix has been very adaptive to the way in which Hernic is carrying out their integration and the two teams have shared technology and solutions throughout the implementation and subsequent integration

Benefits

  • Accurate and true reflection of data in real time.
  • Legal inspection and incident reporting became electronic.
  • Dashboard reporting. The built in reporting means it is extremely easy to see summarized graphs and stats with the ability to drill down into the source data.
  • The Central Action Manager within the solution provides the ideal platform to capture and analyze information. This data can then be used to create processes and procedures to improve on and ensure better sustainability management going forward.

Unlocking the value of technology integration

Hernic has adopted a deeply proactive approach to risk management. The SHEQ systems are tightly integrated to the access control system, so that entrance to the site is physically prohibited for employees and contractors who:

  • Have not received adequate training
  • Have not passed required medical examinations
  • Do not have required permits to work

Alfred Pawson, Information Technology Manager, has implemented various information, operational, mining and process flow information systems at Hernic Ferrochrome. However, with the risk of managing SHEQ through a required information system, it was essential that Hernic obtained the best possible system and solution to control all aspects of SHEQ and sustainability as well as Compliance within those areas.

Hernic analyzed various solutions but the essential criteria was a system that would integrate with the core of different information and process flow systems. A further essential requirement was a system that would exist as a management tool in handling the information obtained from the integration of these various systems.

Hernic therefore required a system that would be fully functional from go-live onwards, simplicity of use and have the ability to report correct data at any given time through reporting and dashboards.

Alfred was impressed with various aspects of the IsoMetrix software, most notably the agility of the framework and the ease with which modules could be adapted; its visibility through the dashboards; and its ability to integrate with other software.

Alfred’s vision incorporated with the business requirements has now created a solution which can manage all of its 700 employees together with their 3000 contracted employees with regards to SHEQ. At any time, it is possible to see who is on site as no contractor, or contractor’s staff member, who is not fully compliant in terms of rules and regulations, are allowed access to the property. Pre-employment medicals are integrated with the access control system and employees whose medicals have expired are locked out. IsoMetrix acts as the central repository for all employee and contractor records, allowing KPIs such as lost time injury rates to be managed effectively.

Besides managing the safety and compliance of employees and contractors, the development of the Visual Felt Leadership (VFL) module has turned around relations with employees. Every Friday, management spends time with staff. They ask questions, make notes of areas which may not comply with standards, give compliments, and constantly collaborate with employees, building a stronger relationship between management and staff.

All interactions of the VFL are logged in the central action manager so that problems can be rectified and there is a record of collaboration. This has certainly helped in the approach to change management.

As users have started using the system, they have also started giving suggestions on what can be added or what can be done differently. Because of the agility of the framework, their suggestions are easily adapted into the system. This means that users use the system willingly, without the attitude of “having to use it”. All users have fully embraced the IsoMetrix GRC suite and it has had a positive influence on all business users.

The time saved by management through no longer having to draft reports, which traditionally reported on historical data, has allowed them to spend more time viewing real-time trends and making decisions that are relevant to the day to day running of the business.

Working with the IsoMetrix team

Alfred indicated that the implementation and running of the IsoMetrix system has been a pleasure. “We have installed multiple solutions within the organization, and the IsoMetrix team was one of the best project team with which I have worked. They never missed a deadline, they delivered what was committed, and they always had suggestions of what was industry standard. We would have had to install four to five different systems to achieve what we have been able to with the IsoMetrix GRC suite.”

Johan Kruger, IT Administrator at Hernic says that what he like most about working with IsoMetrix is not only the capability of the software itself, but the team members; “Support, friendliness, understanding your requirements and then executing are areas where IsoMetrix have the edge. When we log a support call, we receive immediate feedback. When the change request takes time to resolve, we receive continuous feedback regarding the situation. The further skill transfer from Metrix to myself has been beneficial as first line development and support are delivered on site and where required, Metrix is always on hand to assist with critical development.”

ROI – Training Module linked to Access Control

According to Alfred and Johan, a return on investment was generated within a very short period after the training solution was fully operational. “We could deliver proof of training done, from the document manager. This made it much less time consuming in providing the accurate stats with original documentation as proof,” he says.

Without proof that training had been carried out, the organization was at risk of receiving shut-down notices due to legal requirements, which would have cost the organization millions in lost production. “We had an inspection from the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR),” says Johan. The DMR requested legal training records, along with the certificates. “It took us less than five minutes to retrieve the records to display to them, allowing us to avoid a potential Section 54.”

Integration is a critical part of our business solutions. This saves our organization immeasurable time on data capturing and reporting. With integration we now have the ability to view statistical and analytical reports, from various solutions, on one reporting platform. Our integration with Isometrix and other business systems started with a daily schedule and progressed to a live integration without delay.

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