Tips to give HSSE life in your organisation

July 25, 2012

For years at Pragma we only talk ed about HSSE but did not think and live HSSE. A project was launched to change this culture within Pragma and after two years we have reached the point where HSSE is top of mind and lived out in the company. We can however say that HSSE is only 100% entrenched when it becomes a 24/7 activity with employees living HSSE wherever they are. The four Golden Principles that we encourage are:

  • Comply with the law, standards and procedures
  • Intervene in unsafe or non-compliant situations
  • Respect our neighbours and the environment
  • Reduce, reuse and recycle as we strive for responsible usage of our resources.

Below is a summary of the top five elements in our campaign thatis driving the culture change within Pragma.

Company Strategy – if it is important enough, the whole company will work together to achieve it

  • HSSE is a focus area in the company strategy and it drills down to operational and departmental strategies with reporting elements built into Balance Scorecards, Performance Charters and Monthly Meeting agenda points (Potential incidents, Near misses and Incidents are reported on and information on lessons learnt is shared during these meetings).
  • During quarterly strategic feedback sessions, HSSE is one of the introductory topics and specific elements are discussed.

HSSE Awareness Week – introduce it with a big bang

  • During a dedicated awareness week, the Chief Operating Officer sent daily communication on various elements of HSSE to each employee, informing, challenging and inviting participation. These messages were also posted on our intranet, the JunXion.

HSSE on the JunXion – make it prominent and easily accessible

  • HSSE owns a dedicated space on the JunXion. Our Incident Clock and Incident Reporting link is on the landing page and HSSE owns its own sub-page with content such as:
    • Announcements and news
    • Links to policies and other documentation
    • Contact information
    • Committee news and activities
    • The Incident Dashboard.

Promoting HSSE engagement is not just an internal thing – everyone is moving in that direction

  • Employees are encouraged to take part in external campaigns such as the I-Pledge that is promoted by Imperial. Regular communication on this and testimony by senior managers also contribute to promoting this campaign.
  • Linked to this is also the important element of personal health and vitality. An annual health assessment is arranged at the larger regional offices where employees are encouraged to participate, check their health status and make adjustments to ensure that they stay healthy or become healthy.

Living HSSE every day – the proof is in the pudding

  • HSSE becomes alive when all employees demonstrate the principles and take the liberty to make recommendations or raise flags of concern. Here are some examples:
    • I have witnessed my CEO clean a wet spill on the floor when someone bumped into him. No, he did not call a cleaner, he did it himself.
    • I read how my COO confessed how difficult it was to keep to his I-Pledge and how he made amendments to his behaviour to be true to his pledge.
    • I have seen how my receptionist showed a visitor our escape routes in case of a fire.
    • I have witnessed how one employee challenged another on not complying with stair safety.
    • I have been involved with safety plans for external events that we hosted to ensure that visitors are safe and emergency plans are in place in case of accidents.
    • We have recycling bins in our offices and in some instances at our desks to promote recycling.

Changing the culture did not happen overnight, but each person’s contribution on a daily basis has brought about the change.

If you have successfully entrenched HSSE in your company, we would like to hear about your successes and learn from them.

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