by Dirk Dusharme and Alexander Karolyi

An ISO Standard for Occupational Health and Safety?
RAB Seeks Feedback on EMS Criteria
Raytheon Sells Registration Unit
PBS Airs Juran Biography
Medical Devices and CE Marking
Waivers Add Process Flexibility
The Zen of Downtime Reporting
Akzo Nobel Receives First Joint QMS-EMS Registration
Police Unit Nabs ISO 9002
Can't Get No Customer Satisfaction?
Can't We All Just Get Along?
More Companies Join Registration Bandwagon

An ISO Standard for Occupational Health and Safety?

When the International Organization for Standardization meets in Geneva next month to discuss the possibility for an international occupational health and safety management standard, they will most likely get an earful from U.S. representatives. The workshop, with participation of major stakeholders in the occupational health and safety field, will determine whether a recommendation will be submitted to the ISO Technical Management Board.

A positive recommendation means ISO would establish a technical committee in this area. This is a move U.S. industry would just as soon not see, says Joel Charm, a member of the advisory group to the American National Standards Institute on occupational health and safety standards.

"U.S. industry's viewpoint is that a standard should not be developed by ISO at this time or not at all," says Charm.

The reasons are threefold.

First, ISO harmonizes management systems standards around the world, explains Charm, using ISO 14000 as an example.

"The reason that ISO 14000 got off the ground is that at the time ISO agreed they should do something in this area, there were about 15 national standards around the world," says Charm. "Each one was a little different from the other. Industry felt that having an ISO standard would be preferable to having differing regional standards. But there are no occupational health and safety standards around the world, so there is nothing to harmonize."

Second, if ISO were to try to develop an occupational health and safety management system standard from scratch, it would have to be agreed upon by all nations. U.S. industry fears that the result would be a standard that catered to the lowest common denominator, claims Charm. "Industry's view is that a standard emerging from the ISO arena is not likely to improve occupational health and safety but in all likelihood would lead to deterioration," he says.

For instance, industry by and large concurs with the concept of having employees involved
in health and safety committees and councils, observes Charm. This idea is not accepted by all countries. "So what stance should ISO take?" asks Charm. "How would they harmonize that kind of issue?"

Third, industry balks at the idea of embarking on another standard until have they gained more experience with the existing ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 standards, according to Charm.

Scheduled for September 5 and 6, the Geneva meeting will deal with a number of basic issues such as: likely benefits of voluntary standardization for occupational health and safety standards, possible disadvantages and the need for ISO to start work in this area. Four breakout sessions will involve stakeholders from employers and industry, labor, government, and insurance industry and related interests.

Neither OSHA nor the AFL-CIO were available for immediate comment on their stand regarding an international health and safety management standard. Their viewpoints will be covered in next month's "News Digest."

RAB Seeks Feedback on EMS Criteria

Seeks Feedback on EMS Criteria
The Registrar Accreditation Board has released its draft criteria for certifying ISO 14000 auditors and requirements for accrediting EMS auditor training course providers.

"The auditor criteria give the requirements that an individual must satisfy to earn RAB EMS auditor certification," says Joseph Dunbeck, RAB CEO. "The course requirements detail how training providers must organize and operate, and the content that must be covered within their courses in order to achieve accreditation of its EMS course by RAB."

The draft documents are available for public review and comment until August 23, 1996, and may be obtained by calling (800) 248-1946 or (414) 272-8575, or by faxing (414) 765-8661. The item number for the auditor criteria is B0722 and B0723 for the course requirements.

Raytheon Sells Registration Unit

Another large company is getting out of the ISO 9000 registration business. Raytheon Service Co. has sold its Raytheon Quality Registrar business unit to National Technical Systems. In June, Det Norske Veritas acquired the registration business of AT&T Quality Registrar.

RQR has been merged with NTS' existing Quality Management Services division to form National Technical Systems Certification Services Division, which is accredited by RvA.

NTS performs testing and engineering services on commercial satellites, air bags, natural gas vessels, and nuclear power plant hardware and systems to a variety of military and commercial requirements and specifications. According to the company, this strategic move will allow NTS to perform certifications for a greater variety of commercial concerns.

PBS Airs Juran Biography

For an in-depth look at the life of one the world's premier quality gurus, tune into "An Immigrant's Gift: The Life of Quality Pioneer Joseph M. Juran." This one-hour documentary, presented by Connecticut Public Broadcasting Inc., is available to PBS stations nationwide. Contact your local PBS station for dates.

More than 50 interviews with Juran, family members and industry notables such as Peter Drucker, Genichi Taguchi, Eizo Watanabe, Steven Jobs and Robert Galvin profile the quality pioneer and his impact on worldwide quality. The documentary doesn't focus on quality, however, says producer Howland Blackiston.

"It's a biography," explains Blackiston, who spent five years and nearly a quarter of a million dollars producing the film. "This is the story of a humble immigrant who overcame dire poverty and a bitterness against the world, and went on to make a profound impact on society. It is a lesson in perseverance, self-reliance and unwavering ethics."

The documentary follows Juran from his birth in Romania in 1904 and subsequent emigration to the United States in 1912, through a 70-year quality career, beginning with his first exposure to quality control in 1924 at the Inspection Department of the Hawthorne Works in Chicago and culminating with his "Last Word" tour in 1993­p;1994.

For more information, contact WoodsEnd Productions, (203) 761-1703.
More info:

Medical Devices and CE Marking

If you sell medical devices to European Union members, you'll need to have an established quality management system such as ISO 9000, according to Victor Clements of Interference Technology International, a United Kingdom-appointed competent body.

The Medical Devices Directive 93/42/EEC went into effect January 1, 1995, and has a transitional period that extends through June 14, 1998. Beyond that date, no medical device can be sold in the European Union without a CE Marking showing MDD compliance.

The MDD ensures the safety of patients, operators and others using or exposed to the medical devices. Complying with the MDD signifies that the manufacturer has not only met essential directive requirements, such as product liability, but has also addressed issues such as: personnel responsible for product quality, personnel training affecting quality, complaints, recalls, feedback systems and the maintenance of quality records.

Those familiar with ISO 9000 may see similarities between MDD requirements and the international quality standard. In fact, the MDD indicates the need for a documented quality management system such as ISO 9000, EN 29000 or the U.S. GMP, says Clements. However, the requirements of these management systems aren't enough, he adds. Therefore, auditors will audit to the EN 46000 standard, which is EN 29000 (ISO 9000) modified to cover medical devices.

Clements notes that the EN 46000 series of standards is not a stand-alone series. They must be used in conjunction with a standard such as EN 29000.

Source: Victor Clements, European Community Quarterly Review, 2nd quarter 1996, Technology International Inc., (804) 560-5342.

Waivers Add Process Flexibility

Just because you'll be audited for conformance to a strict quality requirement, doesn't mean you'll have to give up process flexibility. Waupaca Foundry, a tier-one supplier to General Motors and tier-two supplier to Chrysler and Ford, is using customer waivers that enable it to pass a QS-9000 audit and, at the same time, occasionally deviate from customer specifications.

The problem Waupaca faced last year when applying for QS-9000 registration stemmed from the fact that they produce unfinished products-castings for brake rotors, drums and other brake components-which customers machine to final specifications. In most cases, the default process capability value (CpK) of 1.33 required by QS-9000 was unnecessary for Waupaca's processes.

For instance, where a dimension crosses two halves of a pattern, there is more variation, and meeting a CpK of 1.33 for sand-cast parts didn't make sense, explains Steve Ebert, Waupaca's assistant quality manager.

So, Waupaca asked customers for a CpK value of 1.0. Customers sign a CpK waiver that defines when Waupaca is permitted to deviate from a specified CpK value without customer notification.

However, the waiver doesn't mean that the foundry can ease their quality requirements.

"We also made a general statement that there is no reason that we shouldn't continue to improve or that we're still not liable for any fall-out that the customer may experience from problems associated with our parts," stresses Ebert.

At audit time, the waivers provide the necessary documentation for auditors to determine whether Waupaca can deviate from the CpK specification. The waivers allow the company to satisfy auditor requirements and still retain the flexibility to make changes without a lengthy customer-notification process.

The Zen of Downtime Reporting

When Texas Instruments' Motor and Commercial Controls Department in Attleboro, Massachusetts, established machine-downtime reporting as part of their ongoing total productive maintenance program, their approach was less is more.

The problem with many machine-downtime reporting systems is that operators must often manage dozens of downtime category codes, says TI Manufacturing Engineer Jim DeWeese.

"They try to cover too many areas at one time," explains DeWeese. "The more complex the codes are, the less people will look at them and use them to improve the process."

DeWeese and a TPM team of operating and support personnel developed a simple 10-code downtime reporting system that enables operators to view downtime as it relates to large segments of machine operation. It's much easier to do a Pareto analysis with the simplified data. And if your analysis detects a problem with a reporting category, temporary subcodes can be developed to collect more precise data regarding that specific machine process.

The first five codes are reserved for downtime losses related to specific machine operations (most machines can be broken down into four or five basic operations, says DeWeese). Downtime losses are recorded for machine operations regardless of whether they are caused by machine malfunctions or by material problems.

The team reserved two codes for planned downtime, one for "operator absence" and one for "no material." The last category tracks machine uptime.

Although DeWeese estimates that companies using a downtime reporting system of this nature may see a 5- to 10-percent improvement initially, he stresses that this system is not a quick fix.

"The key thing is where you go from there," notes DeWeese.

Akzo Nobel Receives First Joint QMS-EMS Registration

Following more than a year of preparation, Akzo Nobel Chemical's LeMoyne, Alabama, plant became the first U.S. plant to receive a joint ISO 14001-ISO 9001 certificate.

To prepare for the registrations, a team of 14 managers and engineers investigated Akzo's quality management and environmental management systems components, and identified QMS and EMS components that lent themselves to integration. This is something that would have been missed had the company pursued the certifications separately, says Kay Higby, Responsible Care superintendent and chemical engineer at Akzo.

"We probably would not have tried to integrate as hard if we were doing them separately," Higby points out. "Integration is also a really positive thing when you are trying to ensure that your employees are aware of the policies. It's kind of hard when you throw one policy at them today and then throw another policy at them tomorrow."

To conduct the joint audit, registrar Bureau Veritas Quality International sent in two lead auditors, one for the ISO 9001 audit and one for the ISO 14001 audit.

"Where the audits overlapped, they worked together," says BVQI's Randy Daugharthy. "But in the areas where they had different elements, they split up, and each identified that the customer was compliant with the standards."

Because the final version of the ISO 14001 standard will not be released until later this year, the site was actually accredited to the draft international version of the standard (DIS) by BVQI, which is accredited by UKAS and RvA to register companies to DIS ISO 14001.

Police Unit Nabs ISO 9002

If you commit a crime in Manchester, England, be sure to wear gloves. The Greater Manchester Police Fingerprint Unit has become the first fingerprint unit in Britain to be registered to ISO 9002.

The principle functions of the 73-member unit are to confirm or establish by fingerprints the identity of arrested persons, identify fingerprints from crime scenes and produce fingerprint evidence in court. The continuity and traceability of all fingerprint evidence is critical when a case goes to court, says Mervyn Valentine, quality assurance officer in GMP's scientific services division. That's where ISO 9002 registration comes in.

"We recognized that a documented quality management system was required to form the basis of control for the critical activities of the Fingerprint Unit, which demand a systematic approach," explains Valentine. "ISO 9002 seemed to be a common-sense standard."

The GMP Fingerprint Unit received its certification from registrar ISOQAR and now intends to introduce ISO 9002 to other areas of the Greater Manchester Police.

Can't Get No Customer Satisfaction?

It may come as no surprise that customer satisfaction is closely allied with organizational quality. However, not all organizations recognize how to make their customers happy.

In their effort to better understand the forces that influence customer satisfaction, Total Research Corp., which specializes in the measurement of customer satisfaction and related post-research activities, has identified key factors for understanding and heightening customer-satisfaction levels.
Research shows that many highly satisfied customers don't remain loyal. Organizations need to determine the factors that must be met to retain customers.
Without commitment from top management, customer-satisfaction programs usually don't succeed in garnering the resources needed to conduct quality research and improve customer satisfaction.
If employees believe customer-satisfaction scores will be used against them, they may sabotage their company's effort to improve customer satisfaction. Employees must see that improved service to customers benefits everyone.
It's important for managers to share the "good news" (i.e., elated clients) with employees. Positive feedback helps unite those employee teams responsible for increasing customer satisfaction.
To be useful, customer-satisfaction research requires action-oriented presentations and follow-up research.
Merely knowing areas of customer satisfaction and addressing them through good intentions won't augment customer satisfaction. Improvement comes from formalizing and implementing action plans.
Effective customer-satisfaction research must identify those parts of the customers' experiences that influence their satisfaction the most and target two or three for action.
Most customer-satisfaction improvements come from changes in employee behavior. Good up-front and ongoing communication and reward/recognition systems aid these changes.
Every day, new crises emerge to be dealt with. Effective actions occur by taking "baby steps." When work plans divide into small tasks, the process becomes easier to start and complete.
Customer satisfaction is only the first step in building long-term, loyal customers. After addressing the factors that affect customer satisfaction, organizations must focus on other factors that influence retention and loyalty.

Can't We All Just Get Along?

You might think that your employees spend a lot of time battling the fax machine or insufferable customers. However, they may be spending a greater amount of time battling something more serious-each other.

Eighteen percent of an executive's time-more than nine work weeks per year-is spent resolving employees' personality clashes, according to a recent survey by Accountemps, a staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping positions.

"Increased market competition and a more rapid business pace are contributing to conflict in the workplace," explains Max Messmer, Accountemps chairman. "Company mergers and restructurings have also created a more volatile environment that can increase employee competitiveness and job insecurity."

Managers can reduce the time they spend resolving conflict if they:
Encourage employees to see their managers only when they've failed to solve problems with co-workers on their own.
Encourage employees to be as concerned with "how" they speak as they are with "what" they say.
Clearly delineate the responsibilities of managers and their employees.
Encourage a team approach to everyday workplace projects.
Encourage employees to adopt problem-solving attitudes when discussing sensitive issues.

More Companies Join Registration Bandwagon

As the 20th century draws to a close, a growing number of companies are realizing that ISO 9000 and QS-9000 will be the driving force behind their future success.

Twenty-five percent of responding companies said they have a deadline for registration or compliance to ISO 9000 and/or QS-9000 by the end of 1997, according to a recent survey conducted by Tompkins Associates Inc., an engineering-based consulting firm.

In addition, 33 percent of those companies are presently registered, and 42 percent have a documented quality manual or system in place. Another 38 percent expressed an interest in using proven templates for system documentation.

Other results show that 86 percent of the companies have invested in training in at least one of the following areas: leadership, team development, continuous improvement and problem-solving techniques. And 55 percent of these companies report a "return on the investment in the training."

For full survey results, contact Tompkins Associates at (919) 876-3667 or (800) 789-1257.