01 July 2020

QUALITY MANAGMENT IN CIVIL ENGINEERING – 5 main principles that make a difference

Every engineering company wants to deliver a high quality product to the client in any phase of the project. The difference between those who are more successful at it than others lies in the combination of external and internal principles as well as rules applied in their work which then result in high quality work. The quality management system is the backbone of managing all projects and very often makes the difference between a company failing or succeeding.

 

  1. PREVENTION INSTEAD OF CORRECTION

„There are several key goals in the quality management system, but I would primarily like to stress reducing possible defects during project handover by identifying and eliminating certain errors prior to handover“, said Igor Džajić, technical director of Institut IGH. Prevention is always more cost effective than a correction which is why it is crucial to establish a coherent and comprehensive quality management system in order to continuously improve the quality of service.

 

  1. EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL TOOLS-LEGISLATIVE FRAMEWORK, POLICIES, PROCEDURES AND GOALS

Igor Džajić stresses that a quality management system has to include both internal and external tools to continuously improve and, ultimately, do a good job. A company must have clear procedures; measurable goals set annually, and conduct business according to the legislative framework.

 

  1. STRATEGIC BUSINESS MANAGEMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH INTERNATIONAL QUALITY STANDARDS

„ Back in 2006, IGH recognized the need to conduct business pursuant to HRN EN ISO 9001 to introduce a quality management system. The Institute was among the first in Croatia, and in the region, to establish, document, implement and certify a quality management system according to ISO 9001, improving the quality of service, end user satisfaction and company competitiveness, says Džajić adding „However, we did not stop there, in 2009 we established and successfully certified a system pursuant to HRN EN ISO:14001 for an environmental management system, then an occupational health and safety management system pursuant to OHSAS 18001. Finally, to reduce energy consumption, protect the environment and raise consumer awareness on the importance of environmental protection, in 2019, the Institute was successfully certified pursuant to ISO 50001.“ ISO 9001_2015

 

  1. LABORATORY TESTING AND CONSTRUCTION PRODUCT CERTIFICATION

70 years ago, the Institute started its work as a laboratory for the testing of basic geomechanical features, so it’s no surprise that today, it has state of the art laboratories accredited pursuant to HRN EN ISO/IEC 17025 for a wide range of testing and calibration services in the civil engineering industry. With over 500 accredited testing methods and a wider range of non-accredited ones, the laboratories fulfill the competence requirements and make up the majority of all laboratories in Croatia and within the region, and their certificates are accepted throughout the EU. IGH Cert, an unbiased, independent and flexible organizational unit accredited by the Croatian Accreditation Agency (CAA), to provide certification services, that is, evaluating and assessing the constancy of performance of construction products, also acts as part of the Institute. IGH Cert has issued over 2700 certificates for various construction products.

 

  1. INTERNAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT OF PROJECTS AND MENTORSHIP

„Implementing all the quality management principles in our business, we felt it was necessary to introduce some additional ones. We have a considerable number of colleagues who have been working with us for 20 years and more, some even over than 40 years. On the other hand, in the past year, we have hired around 100 new colleagues, mostly junior engineers and designers. Here, we saw a possibility for a synergy of experience and expertise on the one hand, with a youthful desire to acquire knowledge and skills that can only be gained through practical work. Therefore, we introduced a quality management system, as a kind of mechanism for mentoring junior colleagues, so that they work with experienced mentors in all phases of the projects, which ultimately contributes to faster transfer of knowledge and delivery of a high quality project to the clients. Such a system enables each project to be seen and controlled by several people, so to say, and then we can detect possible mistakes, but also improvement opportunities, in time, Džajić concluded.

 

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