Sarens entered US Heavy lift and heavy haul space in 2009 by acquiring Rigging International, a company based in California. We officialy changed the name to Sarens USA, INC. in 2012.
Sarens USA, INC has offices in Houston from where we cover the Gulf area, in Montana from where we cover the Midwest, and in Rowesville from where we cover the East coast.
We provide Engineered Heavy Lifting Services
Heavy Transport Services
Decomissioning and Dismantling Services
Houston, Texas (Office & Yard)
10855 John Ralston Rd
Houston, TX 77044
Tel: 832 536 3669
Fax: 832 615 2678
Missoula, Montana (Office)
Missoula, MT 59808
Tel: 406 543 4427
Rowesville, South Carolina (Office & Yard)
122 River Dr
Rowesville, SC 29133
Tel: 832 714 0176
Sorrento LA (Yard)
9204-A Highway 61
Sorrento, LA 70778
Tel: 225 450 7027
Across the globe, Sarens employs 4.600 people and undertakes countless projects at a time. But how do we keep all of those people safe—and all those projects successful—no matter where in the world they may be?
Starting in 2016, we resolved to standardise SHEQ practices across every business unit in every country, something that is such a logistical challenge that no company in the global crane and heavy transport sector had done it—until now.
Leading the Way with One Group Certification
On December 31, 2019, Sarens became the first in the industry to secure a multi-site group certification, the One Group SHEQ Certification, which covers safety, health, environmental, and quality standards across over 50 global business units.
“As a global company that takes Safety, Health, Environment, and Quality (SHEQ) seriously, there was no better way of walking the walk than by certifying all our business units,” explains Joris Mareels, Sarens Group SHEQ Director since 2016.
Today, Sarens’ One Group Certification includes:
When Sarens set out to achieve this goal in 2016, it faced a formidable challenge: every business unit held different certifications issued by 16 different local accrediting bodies, with no alignment within the Group.
Soon, Sarens began methodically integrating business units into the One Group Certification*, requiring that they implement the same standards and procedures in pursuit of this common goal. When Sarens’ Integrated Management System (IMS) finally went live in 2019, it was the game-changer that allowed us to combine all systems, processes, and standards for SHEQ management worldwide.
Today, every Sarens business unit can present the same certification to clients, anywhere in the world. With the One Group Certification, clients can trust that a project in South Africa will receive the same service level for operations, fleet, HR, and SHEQ as a project in Belgium would.
“If a client in South Korea says, ‘Show me the certificate,’ we just have to show them the Group Certificate,” Mareels says. “This is important because clients are requesting these certificates more frequently, especially for huge projects with huge players in the world.”
The pursuit of One Group Certification has also led to a remarkable decrease in accidents as well as frequency and severity rates over the past three years.
While the average frequency rate across the European crane sector was 27,26**, Sarens booked a frequency rate of 1,00 by September of 2020. (The frequency rate is the number of accidents with lost time days, multiplied by 1.000.000 and divided by total working hours). And as the industry’s severity rate held at 5,86**, Sarens’ was a mere 0,03 as of September 2020. (The severity rate is based on the number of lost days due to accidents, multiplied by 1.000 and divided by total working hours).
“As we worked to achieve One Group Certification, our SHEQ level was increasing and our accidents were quickly going down,” Mareels says. “You can see the success in the statistics.”
But he doesn’t plan to stop there, as Sarens pursues its goal of achieving Zero Harm in 2020. “My figures always have to go down!” Mareels laughs.
Higher Standards, Higher Stakes
The One Group Certification is an incredible achievement, but with higher standards come higher stakes. To maintain the three-year certificate, every Sarens business unit must pass a regular external audit conducted by Bureau Veritas. If even one of them fails, all of them lose the certification.
“There is no choice: we have to be in compliance with all three standards at each business unit,” Mareels explains. “Quality, Environment, Health and Safety must be aligned and integrated. It has to be all or nothing.”
“The multi-site audit process can be laborious,” he adds. “Sometimes the external lead auditor for Sarens knows more about our systems than a local external auditor would have, so the process is certainly more difficult. You can fail based on different domains: management level, document level, yard level, practical project level. It’s quite a lot for business units to be in line with all that we ask of them.”
Because the stakes are so great, Mareels and his team must ensure that all sites are always audit ready. To prepare each business unit, they’ve introduced a rigorous internal audit program:
With demanding internal and external audits to prepare for, Mareels says there is no time for business units to lean back and relax. “The stakes are higher: if your business unit fails, you let down the whole global team.”
Still, Mareels views this approach as an opportunity for everyone in the organisation to grow and achieve a higher standard, and is inspired by the African saying that invites us never to pull out the grass, but to water it at the roots so it may grow.
“I think this expression says what we want to achieve with this Group certification. You cannot get awareness and accountability by slinging the hammer, but by supporting, helping, and training people so they can understand and comply.”
A Promise to Clients—and a Challenge to Competitors
The One Group Certification sends a clear message to clients: Sarens is committed to these standards everywhere in the world, and wherever you work with us, you will always get the same high level of service.
It also sends a message to the competition. Having achieved One Group Certification, Sarens can now see how companies that continue to certify on a site-by-site basis are missing out on the chance to consistently reduce SHEQ risks across their organisations.
“As good corporate citizens, we should encourage all other large crane companies to rise to the challenge of a SHEQ multi-site certification,” says Mareels.
As always, Sarens is proud to be blazing the way forward and showing the world what is possible.
*Special exceptions include JVs in Algeria, Sarens Nass Middle East, and Sarens Nigeria Buildwell, which nonetheless still follow the same standards in the Sarens IMS. And due to reorganisation in 2019/2020, Sarens Australia will officially be integrated in January of 2021, although it also adheres to the same standards.
** Figures based on the EU rates.