There are many pockets of good practice in health and safety throughout Aliaxis, but until recently, these have remained with the local teams in different divisions. By identifying those good practices and sharing them more broadly, we significantly improve our performance. Therefore, we want to draw on a common and strong group commitment to care for the health and safety of our people.
Go for Zero: working together to eliminate risks at work
In line with the Group’s overall values, Aliaxis is committed to a culture of prevention which it calls ‘Go for Zero’. This journey is coordinated by a global health and safety leadership team, made up of the health and safety managers from each division, and is dedicated to moving towards a more consistent global approach.
From reactive to proactive
The team wants to empower people to take control of their work and develop safer and easier ways of working. This way, we’re moving from a reactive approach, where improvements occur as a response to incidents or legal requirements, towards a proactive approach, focused on risk identification and management. The ultimate ambition is to build a common culture of care where people throughout the company are looking out for each other – an interdependent culture so to speak.
Defining global safety standards is a crucial element of this new approach to risk management. The global health and safety leadership team has developed a set of global standards which are currently being deployed in all divisions. This important milestone means each local business will carry out internal audits against these standards and develop a plan to close any gaps, prioritised according to the level of associated risk.
The team has identified seven key risks for the operating sites and has drawn up a Global Standard to manage or eliminate risk wherever possible. The use of forklifts is top of the list because the consequences of an incident can be extremely serious. Solutions include separating forklift use from places where employees walk around, with one site in the UK excluding all forklift truck movements inside production areas.
A culture of prevention & wellbeing
A crucial part of this journey is the empowerment of line managers, equipping them with the skills to make better health and safety decisions. Therefore, Aliaxis is rolling out a new training programme called Safe by Choice. The programme helps local Health and Safety Leaders to understand the technical side of risks and become change agents, skilled in motivating, influencing and coaching.
New global metrics to identify and assess risks are also assisting Aliaxis in its transition towards a culture of prevention. The company will no longer focus on lost work days, but rather look at all reportable injuries and illnesses, including incidents which result in restricted work or in medical treatment beyond first aid. This more holistic measure will also track the number of ‘near misses’, unplanned events where fortunately nobody was hurt, but where potential risks existed and could have been avoided in the future. An index will measure how effectively local teams are implementing the Aliaxis Global Standards.
Finally, we are increasingly focusing on wellbeing, making an effort to help Aliaxis people live healthy lives. There are already some good practices, for example musculo-skeletal health in the working environment and psychological risks. Some sites in the UK and Australia are even implementing a mental health first aid training. Aliaxis is constantly seeking to make life flow better for its employees as well as its customers.