For more than a century Royal Wagenborg has constantly proven to be able to adapt to a changing environment, market developments and customer requirements. Nowadays Wagenborg offers complex integrated logistic solutions for any customer around the world. What makes us special in this? In every project safety and reliability have top priority. A special focus on Health, Safety, Environment and Quality has to come naturally and be visible. That is why Royal Wagenborg sees HSEQ as a major topic in the company’s strategy. Of course to every company, health and safety is important, but in a family owned and managed company like Wagenborg it is of paramount importance. Two family members elaborate: CEO Egbert Vuursteen and CEO Rob Wagenborg.
Q: What does safety mean for Royal Wagenborg?
Rob: Safety is something we have to be aware of every single day. Our activities involve risks and that is why we have to be alert constantly. Wagenborg is a family owned company in which we consider family values as important. I want to prevent unsafe working conditions for our employees at all times because I really feel responsible for the well-being of them. Actually, I see them as my ‘family members’.
Q: And for your family you actively take care and pay attention?
Egbert: Of course! Our care and attention to safety is crucial for our good reputation as a good employer and reliable, professional partner to our customers. As Wagenborg is dealing more professionally with HSEQ, over time, we gain entrance to industries with a higher safety standard and benefit from it. Our long term goal to continuity is inseparable from safe working.
“Our top priority is that every Wagenborg employee returns safely from his/her job!”
Q: Talking about continuity: what do you think is the secret ingredient of Wagenborgs’ success?
Rob: Over the years we discovered that all Wagenborg people have something in common. We think in solutions, excel in cooperation and think before we act. And this attitude comes naturally. That is why these values are rooted deeply in our company. Connected with a ‘safe working’ attitude wethink everyone related to Wagenborg has to be held accountable and everyone feels accountable.
Q: It sounds like you defined certain targets on the subject of safety...
Egbert: That is true. Recently our commitment to safety has been translated into an updated HSEQ statement. In this statement we declare to guarantee continuity by realizing excellent HSEQ performances.
Q: Those are quite ambitious targets! But where does Royal Wagenborg stand nowadays?
Rob: Last months we talked and discussed safety in a transparent and frank manner with all Wagenborg companies. Our shared conclusion was that some Wagenborg companies are more ‘state of the art’ safety-wise and thus that we can learn a lot from each other. We definitely want to bring HSEQ year by year to a higher level to remain successful in the long run. So we are working continuously on an internal program to develop a way of working within Wagenborg with an enhanced focus on HSEQ.
Q: What ambitions lay beneath the internal program you mentioned?
Egbert: Good question, easy answer: zero incidents! Without good preparation our kind of work involves certain risks. Everyone will agree on that. But that does not mean we accept incidents and accidents as part of our business. As Wagenborg we strive for zero incidents and we will do our utmost to prevent these at all times.
Q: Safe working is all about attitude and behaviour, so how will you prevent incidents?
Rob: We aim for a kind of behavior that focuses on taking more responsibility, respect and help each other to improve. We cannot always avoid mistakes, but we have to learn from them. Anyone is allowed to share his/her ideas about improvements. We must improve our attitude to learn to ask for help and offer assistance instead of doing everything ourselves. We have to think before we act. And the last, but probably the most crucial point: our managers have to demonstrate exemplary behavior towards their employees. Our managers are the most influential persons in the process of achieving a more safety aware culture. Safety has everything to do with leadership, our way of working and our style of management. In the upcoming years we will actively invest in the development of our managers and thus our organization to achieve a more and more professional and safe way of working. But not only our managers and leaders are important; everyone’s efforts are!