First Balfour maintains its triple-ISO certification for the 20th year following the assessment of TUV SUD Philippines of its compliance with the requirements of ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System (QMS), ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System (EMS), and ISO 45001:2018 Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSMS). The four-day surveillance audit, which happened on 27-30 September 2022, involved both online and in-person interviews with various divisions and departments and a site audit in the East Bay Water Treatment Plant (WTP) Project. The news was announced during the closing ceremony held during the last day of the audit which was attended by top First Balfour executives, TUV SUD auditors, and department representatives.
Referring to the maturity of the company’s Business Management Manual and the commitment of its top management, TUV SUD Lead Auditor Michael Nelson Soriano shares that the decision to maintain its certification was because “…it was evident in the audit that First Balfour guarantees continuous compliance with regulatory requirements, tracks performance indicators, and ensures the effectiveness of its internal management systems audits and management reviews.”
For QMS, two positive items were noted including the management’s commitment on QMS implementation and project planning. Specifically, TUV SUD was impressed by First Balfour’s improvement initiatives such as its Business Continuity Management System and its people and culture programs like its ongoing Embedding the Mission campaign. The provision of resources needed for QMS implementation was likewise lauded. This includes leveraging on technology to increase productivity and efficiency, a leadership development program to ensure a sustainable leadership pipeline, and beefing up the organization with key critical hires. For project planning, the auditors commended First Balfour’s project planning and monitoring website which was primarily established to ensure efficiency improvement.
Meanwhile, the EMS and OHSMS audit reports indicated zero non-conformities for the second straight year. Head of Environment, Safety, and Health (ESH) Joselito L. Vicente attributes this to “all First Balfour workers who ensure that tasks are completed safely while keeping healthy in their respective work environments.” He shares that the company continues to drive for ESH excellence to set the standards in the local construction industry. A solid testament to this is the achievement of 10 Million Safe Man Hours last 12 September 2022.
Head of Corporate Quality Jose R. Lagdan, Jr. shares, “This is the third consecutive year that our QMS audit report indicated zero minor and major non-conformities. We must be doing something right and I would like to commend everyone’s contribution to this feat. Let us all take pride in being with a company that does not only comply with its existing standards but one which continuously aims to improve its management systems through a risk-based thinking.”
It was in January 2002 when First Balfour received its first ISO 9001 certification for then ISO 9001:2000. The following year, it was certified to both its first ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certifications, making it one of the first triple ISO-certified engineering and construction companies in the Philippines.