Why do employees sometimes put themselves at personal risk when they come to work? If we assess the task risks carefully, guard our equipment well, encourage work place order, provide the best Personal Protective Equipment available & train our colleagues properly, why might we still have accidents in the workplace? These questions are ever on our agenda.
As a family business, committed to the quality of our products, but even more, the safety of our people, we will never be happy with being just best in class or better than industry benchmark.
Our obsession is Zero Defect, Zero Incident, which can only be a realistic choice when the culture allows it, an Interdependent Safety & Quality culture. As such, our safety focus must be centred on the psychology of people and the way they behave.
There is no job or task so crucial at work that we should risk our health or personal injury to achieve it, the message must be clear, and be the song of all, at the start and end of everyone’s working day…
Rules and instructions are important, but the real challenge is to encourage our colleagues to step back from danger when their natural instinct is to confront it, to avoid risk when their loyalty to the business draws them closer. Our colleagues act with positive intent, to do the best they can. They care about our business, the products they make and the job they do, but risk of injury is not a cost worth paying.
Through the power of family and the consequences of a workplace injury on those we love, our journey to Zero Defect – Zero Incident moves ahead to help our colleagues learn to avoid risk, to identify hazards, to work safely and to encourage each other to do the same, thereby becoming interdependent. The cultural shift is decisively driven by the positive encouragement of all to report hazards, accidents, unsafe conditions and concerns of any kind. The way we measure and what we target are critical to that cultural shift, so we measure accidents & incidents but we do not target reductions. The targets we set create safer workplaces – training & risk assessment completion, the removal of hazards, safe workplace assessment frequencies, incident investigations & actions closeout.
Zero Incident is a topic that we constantly keep fresh on our minds through all kind of occasions. Therefore, this year at the Stars of the Year awards for our best practices, I specifically wished the “Chairman’s Award” to the in the field of Zero Incident – Safety. And we hosted Lee Shelby, an expert name in this regard as keynote speaker of the event. Shelby lost his hands at a fairly young age due to a workpalce accident. He never knew the feeling of holding the hands of his daughter, born after the accident. As Lee points out, the heart of the matter is to “follow the rules, for the sake of your family.”