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March 22, 2018

Customer Spotlight: Johanna Vergoni, H.C. Starck


Our Customer Spotlight series showcases the unique perspectives and innovative approaches of the EHS professionals who are using our solutions every day. For this installment, we’re speaking with Johanna Vergoni, Manager of Product Safety at H.C. Starck, Fabricated Products.


H.C. Starck is one of the world's leading manufacturers of technology metals (tungsten, molybdenum, tantalum, niobium, and rhenium). H.C. Starck’s Fabricated Products (FPR) division turns technology metal powders into customer-specific semi-finished and finished components through extrusion, sintering, rolling, melting, thermomechanical processing, and surface treatment.  Their dedication to creating high-quality, high-tech materials for their customers is paralleled by a strong sense of responsibility toward mankind and the environment, as well as the needs and requirements of individuals, markets, and society.


To that end, H.C. Starck FPR has been using Enviance solutions since 2010, including SDS Vault, Water and Air Solutions, Compliance Calendar, and Workflows. We talked to Johanna about how her background as a consultant and use of software solutions have helped her face challenges in the EHS arena:


As Manager of Product Safety, what are your primary responsibilities?


My primary responsibilities are to manage health, safety, and environmental regulatory requirements that pertain specifically to our products. Some of those requirements include the development, maintenance and distribution of product safety data sheets, REACH registration, RoHS compliance, and TSCA reporting, to name a few.


How did you make your way to H.C. Starck?


I started my work with H.C. Starck in 2004 as an HSE consultant back when H.C. Starck was a part of Bayer Material Science. The consulting work ranged from training to HSE audits to regulatory reporting both internal and external to H.C. Starck. After the sale of H.C. Starck in 2006, a need for in-house management of product safety related systems was identified where previously these services (SDS management, chemical reporting, etc.) were covered by Bayer Corporate. I was hired to cover existing systems and where applicable, implement new systems related to product safety and regulatory compliance.


What is your greatest professional accomplishment?


The implementation of our SDS management system, although a close second would be the implementation of our HSE Information Management System (IMS) hosted by Enviance. Both projects required a lot of institutional knowledge that needed to be pulled from several areas of H.C. Starck and then translated into meaningful processes for our vendors (Actio/Enviance for SDS and Enviance for IMS). I believe my experience as a consultant helped in coordinating between the two sides where communication was key to a successful implementation. I am happy to say that the SDS system has been in place for over eight years and our HSE IMS for over five. We recently agreed to expand the HSE IMS to our international sites and look forward to updating our current incident reporting workflows with Enviance's new Incident App.


What is your favorite part of your current position?


My favorite part of my job is the flexibility. I can "go" where I am needed. Given my broad HSE background that I gained as a consultant and my current position where I interface with each site's HSE manager, I am exposed to a lot of different issues and challenges. I enjoy working collaboratively to help solve those challenges by providing workable solutions to meet our company's HSE needs.


How do software solutions help you manage your EHS program?


The Enviance solutions provide a centralized enterprise-level solution for all critical HSE-related data. The HSE IMS serves as a single source of truth for capturing institutional knowledge and provides 100% visibility.


What are the biggest challenges you face in your work?


The ever-changing regulatory arena in which we work, but I guess that is an obvious one and comes along with the job. Another challenge which probably isn't as visible but just as challenging is getting everyone involved in HSE (which is everyone in your company!) headed in the same direction moving toward a common goal.


What aspect of EHS are you most passionate about?


I really enjoy figuring out solutions to problems. I know that sounds a bit hokey, and probably extremely broad, but it is the truth. Every day I am faced with questions that need answers - whether it is a question on how we meet a particular requirement or figuring out how to make our plants safer, the answers come in putting the right people together with the right resources. I enjoy being a part of that process and look forward to learning along the way.


What's your favorite way to keep up with industry trends?


LinkedIn is a great tool. I also enjoy seeing what's new on Enviance's customer success portal. As a company we belong to several industry groups and consortiums where we utilize HSE committees for monitoring new or upcoming regulatory requirements.


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