Four workers are dead after a suspected gas leak at the Rourkela plant of SAIL, an Indian steel company. At the same time, SAIL’s Rourkela facilities are covered under an ISO 45001 occupational health and safety certification granted in 2019 by Bureau Veritas India Ltd.

According to a report by Hindu Business Line, “the mishap took place at a coal chemical department facility in the morning when 10 workers were on duty there.”

The Bureau Veritas website claims, “ISO 45001 Health & Safety Management System certification by Bureau Veritas supports organizations in proactively preventing work-related injury and ill health.”

ISO certifications are intended to attest to the quality, safety, or other aspects of a company’s operations, and holding such certificates allows companies to bid on lucrative government and private industry contracts. Routinely, however, the fee structure of such certifications pushes certification bodies to issue certificates regardless of the actual state of a company’s operational maturity. Then, accreditation oversight bodies ignore such incidents, and allow the certification body to continue to issue certificates regardless of product recalls, deaths, accidents, or scandals involving the certified companies.

Bureau Veritas has been repeatedly found to have certified companies later deemed responsible for deadly disasters or scandals.

  • BV continues to certify Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht, which was responsible for what was called the greatest international bribery scandal in human history. BV then went on to reward an Odebrecht executive with a Directorship position.
  • The manufacturer of the flammable materials found to be responsible for the deadly Grenfell Tower fire in England remains certified by BV. That fire killed 72 people, and was labeled the largest UK fire since World War II.
  • BV had certified MCM Construction in Miami, the firm responsible for the deaths of six people after a deadly pedestrian bridge collapse.
  • The US Dept. of Defense found multiple major AS9100 nonconformities at Aerojet Rocketdyne, recommending actions against the company, and yet Aerojet held — and continues to hold — certification by Bureau Veritas, who apparently took no action.
  • BV certified a company that experienced a gas explosion that killed 12 people.
  • BV issued an environmental management certification to a Russian firm that later was responsible for a massive oil spill in Siberia.

Bureau Veritas pays massive fees it pays to accreditation bodies like UKAS, a conflict of interest which some say explains how the company remains fully accredited despite continuing to attest to companies involved in deadly accidents and scandals.

 

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Since 2000, Oxebridge has worked to improve ISO and related certification schemes by identifying problems and then proposing solutions. We report on issues affecting standards users because so few other news outlets do. Our belief is that in order to fix the problems in these schemes, we must first understand the nature and breadth of those problems. Our reporting aims to do just that. Elsewhere on the Oxebridge site you will find White Papers and other articles proposing ideas to correct these problems.

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