The Independent – Six ship breaking yards likely to get ISO nod

3 November 2011 - Six ship breaking yards at the lone ship breaking zone of the country at Sitakunda in Chittagong, are going to get ISO certificate soon. This was revealed at a seminar, at a city hotel on Wednesday. TUV Rheinland Group, a German based certification body and DEG, a German funding body in association with Bangladesh Ship Breaker’s Association (BSBA) organised the seminar under “Holistic programme for sustainable, environmentally balanced and safer ship recycling in Bangladesh”.

Manoj Panta, TUV Rheinland – project director, chaired the seminar on “The best practice exchange forum for ship breaking yards”. It was addressed by Zafar Alam, director of department of environment, as chief guest, Dharmesh Jani, creative consultant of the project, Mohammad Ali Shahin, representative of NGO Forum for ship breaking and representatives of different ship breaking yards.

Giving the details of project execution, Dharmesh Jani said, 10 companies were selected as pilot project for aligning the ship yards with international standard ISO 30000 (ship recycling management system) and OHSAS 18000 (occupational health and safety management system) and given development assistances for last two years.

Six, out of 10 yards, have successfully completed the process and recommended for certification and other yards are under auditing process for certification, he informed the seminar.  The ship yards successfully cleared the certification process  are ; PHP Ship Breaking, S N Corporation, Ahmed Muztaba, M M Ship Breaking, Mak Corporation and ARL Ship Breaking.

Sharing experiences in the seminar, Dharmesh Jani said, initially, it was very difficult to install the international standard of ship recycling management system at the yards on trial basis.

But at the end of the project, the workers are now quite comfortable with the system and the working environments at the yards have been improved up to international standard, he observed.

Jani also said, once the system is installed in the yards properly, the maintenance of accidents and volume of environment pollutions will reduce significantly.

Appreciating the infrastructural and systematic development in the yards under pilot project, Zafar Alam said it is still miles to go for the ultimate development of working environment and making the industry environment friendly.

He, however, backed the industry saying that it has been contributing a good sum in the national economy by meeting the demand of steel in the country and creating employment for a huge number of unskilled workers.
Underscoring the need for training of the workers, Alam urged the ship breakers to develop a skilled and permanent workforce for the development of the industry.

Manoj Panta, said that TUV has a long term plan to assist the ship breaking industry of Bangladesh in implementing international standard ship recycling management system.

Our responsibility will not confine in only certifying the ship yards, we will also monitor and check whether the system installed in the yards is properly maintained or not, he pledged.