Centre from left: General Manager Ron L., Managing Director helsa Fashion Shaping Gerd Homski <br>and Auditor Valentin G.The helsa Compliance and Safety Standard sealThe helsa plant in Svay Rieng Province produces shoulder pads for the global market.A look behind the scenes in the production hall of the Cambodian helsa plant.
13.04.2018 helsanews, helsainside
By: Monika Scherer

Cambodia – “helsa Country”

Part 2: A completed audit that has consequences

Did you know that our helsa family speaks eight different languages and is at home in eight different countries and cultures? Five in Europe, three in Asia – five in smaller towns, three in cities inhabited by millions of people – five headed by men and three headed by women.

I’m impressed by how a small Upper Franconian firm that was founded 71 years ago by a man with a vision has blossomed into this internationally poised company. But that story is worthy of its own blog post. 

Today I am introducing you to our plant in Cambodia. Our Cambodian colleagues recently celebrated passing the helsa Compliance and Safety Standards (hCSS) audit. They proved that the working conditions on site meet the high standards set by our audit catalogue. In short, the objective here is to ensure extensive protection for our employees and the environment.

As the youngest helsa location, the plant in Sangkat Prey Angkonh Bavet City, in Svay Rieng Province was built and opened in 2015. Our colleagues there produce shoulder pads for the global market under the leadership of General Manager Ron L..

Auditor Valentin Groß inspects and audits helsa locations each year to ensure they meet hCSS criteria. Here in Cambodia, they genuinely appreciate the guidelines and requirements helsa sets with the hCSS: “It brings the workers and the company closer together. Our employees sense helsa’s interest in their well-being. That gives them a feeling of pride and boosts motivation,” says Ron.  

Unfortunately, Cambodian authorities still place little value on labour law-related standards. Passing the hCSS audit, however, guarantees our Cambodian colleagues safety in the workplace and ensures that their employer will act ethically and in accordance with the law. Our customers also appreciate the efforts helsa makes to ensure safety in the workplace and sustainability in all of our production processes.  

One of the consequences of passing the hCSS, for instance, was that it ensured the Cambodian plant was well-prepared for an audit performed by our key account H&M. With just a few small enhancements the site was able to pass the audit and thus generate new orders.

 

The helsa Compliance and Safety Standard obliges sites to act in a humane and environmentally friendly manner

Once a year each helsa plant around the world undergoes a thorough audit: A comprehensive audit catalogue is used to examine each location, department by department. Buildings and people are audited to ensure security and safety, fire prevention precautions are surveyed, first aid facilities are inspected to ensure they are ready for use at a moment’s notice, auditors ensure that protective clothing and equipment is available for employees, waste and energy management efforts are reviewed and much more.

Valentin Groß explains how the inspection criteria for the audit is structured:
“We developed generally applicable criteria based on the safety check lists we use in Germany and our customers’ inspection criteria. Clearly, you have to adapt the tools from country to country. That’s obvious. For example, in Cambodia, where many employees are unable to read, verbal warnings are issued regularly instead of being provided solely in written form. Our main objective is to establish German standards in all of our locations.”

Regular reports from Cambodia and other locations on internally initiated improvements are proof that raising awareness of vulnerabilities has consequences and does not end with the completed audit. And this means we can proudly claim that we have achieved the objective of the hCSS audit – namely sharpening the focus on and continuously optimizing occupational health and safety and ecology.

 

Be sure to read the following articles on our helsa Compliance and Safety Standard as well:

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