Waste management company Veolia Environmental Services has improved its health and safety record and reduced the rate of accidents affecting staff in the workplace in the UK.
New figures show that up to the end of April 2007 Veolia had 176 Lost Time Accidents [a lost time accident is defined as any accident where one day ore more of absence has occurred]. For the same period in 2008 Veolia has had 150 accidents, so an overall reduction by 15%.
The firm is working towards a policy of zero accidents this year and has initiated a new programme to tackle the issue of safety in the workplace called the Behavioural Approach to Safety (BATS). It aims to change peoples perception of safety and reinforce safe behaviours in the workplace.
Health and safety director Glenn Davies told MRW: Safety has become a real focus for us this year, accident rates are reducing due to a number of things. The BATS programme will really start to contribute over the next six to nine months. We are striving to be more proactive by identifying and understanding why near misses are occurring. A near miss is any incident which may have had the potential to become an accident.
We have a number of design features for our fleet which is making them safer in their operation. Also in one of our businesses we have appointed a team of safety assistants who will be carrying out observations of safe and unsafe acts.
Finally we are investigating more thoroughly our accidents and why they were caused, this enables us to put action plans together that really get to the root cause of why the accident happened.
The Health & Safety Executive told MRW that the waste industry had an appalling accident record. The fatal accident rate was four to five times above the national average. (www.mrw.co.uk, Feb 15 2008)
Davies said that Veolia is tightening up safety this year. We want to benchmark ourselves against the safest organisations in the world. Were not adverse to learning from them. We want to be better than them and we want to be number one in terms of safety performance.