As you may already have heard, Royal Wagenborg is fully committed to improving the HSEQ culture within the organisation. A number of companies has shown being able to work at the desired level; other have started to improve their way of working. We are, of course, pleased about that. However, the parent company Board believes that companies will learn even more from each other in terms of HSEQ if there is centralised guidance and structure.
The first step was to set up consultation groups across the companies, both at board level and at shop floor level by installing the “Safety Board” and “HSEQ professionals” respectively. The appointment of a Corporate HSEQ Manager to direct the corporate process was the next step.
One of the priority areas is to improve communication. We know from experience that highlighting HSEQ issues on a regular basis makes the subject a live issue for our employees. That’s why we pay attention to HSEQ related topics in every edition of “Times”, starting with this edition.
Employee health a top priority
The Wagenborg Group is made up of a large number of companies, which operate in different markets and territories. This means that the way in which health, safety, the environment and quality assurance are addressed differ quite a lot. The companies that operate in the energy sector (oil and gas, petrochemicals) usually score better in this area than other companies. But even this group’s customers are making more and more demands in the area of HSEQ. And above all, the Wagenborg Board believes that employees should return home from work healthy and safe. We are a family business and therefore care about our “family members”.
On the right track
Improving our HSEQ culture is not something that can be achieved within a short space of time. We often say: “Let’s just do it”. Unfortunately, in the case of a culture change – because that’s what we are talking about – this will not work. It’s a continuous process that involves making small adjustments on a regular basis, not only to the way we work but to all the elements of the business. This includes the way we recruit staff, the way we familiarise them with our business and the way we train them. It also concerns the selection of suppliers: can they meet our more stringent requirements? And are our systems and procedures geared to this process? But by far the most important element is to act as a role model and have the courage and ability to address undesirable behaviour. This concerns not only managers but all of our employees, from the top of our organisation to workers on the shop floor or working at sea.
How will our employees notice the changes?
If all goes well, a lot! We are trying to involve employees in this process wherever possible. In order to achieve the desired HSEQ culture, it is essential to work in accordance with legislation and regulations. Whenever possible, we leave it to the people who have to work with the system to decide how to apply it. In this way, and also by explaining what the benefits are, we generate the maximum amount of support. The main point is that we are not introducing unnecessary rules to deprive people of pleasure in their work. What we are doing, however, is complying with rules once they have been agreed. As stated, a number of Wagenborg companies have proved that it is definitely possible to combine good HSEQ performance with pleasure in work. If you get the opportunity, just ask their employees how they think about the changes. We are keen to make use of their experience!