Management and Leadership in a Quality System

December 16, 2017
By Nicholas Lowe-Hale

The groundwork for any quality management system begins in the organization’s management and leadership. Beyond the decision to pursue or maintain certification status, having clear communication and involvement in the process promotes continual improvement. This will also lead to more buy in from the employees and middle management of the company. One standard we work with often, ISO 9001:2015, requires management and leadership to take responsibility for the quality management system, and to be involved in promoting its use throughout the organization. This kind of leadership involvement ensures that the quality management system is a priority and has the resources …

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Compliance as a Selling Point

November 27, 2017
By Nicholas Lowe-Hale

With the increased use of industry standards and pressure for positive social impact, regulatory compliance and certification have become key points of focus for many companies. Almost every industry has its own regime of compliance or certification, and organizations with in that industry often consider it a burden to meet. Compliance, however, can be an outward selling point that accurately reflects the internal culture and structure of the company. New business can come from customers who require certain standards be in place or by having a competitive advantage over similar companies that do not have matching certifications. While achieving compliance …

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Do You Need a HACCP Plan?

November 25, 2017
By Nicholas Lowe-Hale

Food safety systems are a key part of the food production industry, designed to allow the large-scale production of food in a safe and clean environment. Having certain plans and processes in place protects consumers from physical, chemical, and biological contamination of the food they buy. Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Point (HACCP) plans achieve this type of protection throughout the production process by identifying areas where contamination could occur, assessing the risk of contamination, and putting mitigation efforts and responses in place. While the FDA and the USDA require food production companies to have a HACCP plan, other organizations …

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Freer Consulting at StormCon 2017

September 12, 2017
By Nicholas Lowe-Hale

We had the pleasure of attending the vendors’ expo at Stormcon 2017 last month and seeing the latest and greatest in stormwater treatment technologies. Stormwater treatment is often necessary to meet regulatory requirements for limiting levels of pollutants such as turbidity and metals. Whether you need improved sweeping BMPs, catch basin filtration systems, or a large-scale treatment system, Freer is available to help you meet your stormwater benchmarks with the most up-to-date technology. If you would like to know more, contact us at 206-285-9044 or info@freerconsulting.com.…

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Freer Consulting Supports the Austin Everett Foundation

August 28, 2017
By Brian Schefke

From our president, Brian Freer:

As part of Unite2Fight with the Austen Everett Foundation, I had the honor of meeting Rob Heckard and his wonderful family at Safeco Field in June for a Seattle Mariners game against the Rays. I came away inspired by Rob’s gratitude and was swept up in the joy his family expressed at the beauty of a great day at the ballpark. As a company founder and executive, the Unite2Fight program at AEF has encouraged us to reach beyond philanthropy. In the process we have learned a few things from AEF Honorees about courage and …

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Should Your Organization Pursue ISO 9001 Certification?

August 11, 2017
By Nicholas Lowe-Hale

Quality management systems have become an essential part of modern organizations. Having a standardized system that can streamline your business and be scalable with the company will save the organization time and money. ISO 9001 is an internationally recognized quality management standard that helps organizations achieve consistent product and service delivery that meets their customer’s requirements. The latest version of the standard, ISO 9001:2015, has a large emphasis on risk based thinking, helping leadership get ahead of potential risks, and mitigate their causes before they happen. ISO 9001:2015 also has an increased emphasis on leadership involving everything from key performance …

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WSDOT Bridge and Ferry General Discharge Permit: Keeping the Environment and Travelers Safe

July 20, 2017
By Nicholas Lowe-Hale

Washington State is striving to keep its infrastructure safe, and a major part of that process is inspections. To do this, inspectors need clean surfaces to identify structural issues. Working with the Washington State Department of Ecology, WSDOT was able to get a general discharge permit for cleaning bridges and ferry terminals for inspections. This permit allows the spot and maintenance cleaning of fracture critical bridges during the winter, spring, and fall, seasons when the flow of waterways is high enough to mitigate any effects of contamination and debris from the washing. The permit also outlines the catch and filtration

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Does Your Company Need a Stormwater Permit?

March 22, 2017
By admin

With an incredibly rainy winter in Seattle, and more wet weather to come, managing stormwater is coming to the forefront of everyone’s mind. Whether you are a new company applying for a permit and managing stormwater for the first time, or finding new outfalls, staying on top of the permitting process and responding to changes this time a year can be fast paced and is extremely important. Understanding the types of permitting and when each is needed can be difficult. To help with this decision process, here are a few questions that can be used to determine if your organization

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Reviewing Quality Objectives for ISO 9001 and 14001

January 17, 2017
By Brian Schefke

The advent of the new year is a good time for an organization to review its existing objectives to see if they are still relevant to the organization’s goals. If your organization is certified (or is seeking to be certified) in ISO 9001 or 14001, it’s worth looking at your quality and/or environmental objectives to determine if they are being monitored and measured properly and if the objectives themselves need to be updated.

ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015, sections 6.2.1 and 6.2.2, outline the requirements for quality and environmental objectives and how to plan for achieving them. Objectives should:

• …

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