Getting home safely at the end of the workday is a normal wish but unfortunately not always a given. Even with the necessary knowledge, personal protective equipment (PPE) and safety measures all in place, one small lapse in concentration can have huge implications. That is why at VolkerWessels we pay extra attention to awareness and behaviour. After all, safety is a way of working.
At VolkerWessels we work safely or not at all! Our safety agenda is clear: in 2018 we took the first steps towards culture and behaviour change. The Safety Ladder is the perfect tool to help us achieve this. The tool is based on the hearts and minds principle, meaning that safety really must be an integral part of what you do. The Safety Ladder has five levels. Our objective is for all VolkerWessels companies to have reached level 3 by 2020. Level 3 stands for ‘calculating: we have the system in place.’
Safety rules and values
While safety is in our DNA and we are often well aware of the dangers in our work, the rules and values of our WAVE safety programme keep our people extra alert and precise. Our core value is ‘we work safely or not at all.’ Everyone – including hired staff and subcontractors – works together to apply and comply with these rules. The overarching theme for 2019 is accountability and agreements, with people being rewarded but also being called out. Safety cannot be optional. Rewards come in various shapes and forms, from the proverbial pat on the back to being nominated as safety employee of the week.
Consistency: Safety is a part of everything we do
Responsibility: I am responsible for my own safety and that of others
Willingness to learn: I want to learn from accidents and near misses
Openness: I alert others to unsafe behaviour and safety
Action: I put a stop to unsafe working; if necessary I halt operations
Respect: I accept that others may alert me to safety matters
Honesty: I report all accidents and near misses
An important part of our WAVE safety programme is the annual safety day in the Netherlands. One year this involved our operating companies and over 12,000 employees focusing on road safety. And since 2017 VolkerWessels is taking part in the annual national safety awareness day for the construction, infrastructure and technical engineering sector organised by Dutch sector organisation Bouwend Nederland, the employers’ association for the installation sector Uneto-VNI and the federation of contractors Aannemersfederatie.
Registration and investigation
Learning from accidents and incidents is crucial to prevent them from happening again. Central registration via the WAVE app (which has been launched throughout VolkerWessels) makes a useful contribution in this respect. In addition, specially-trained experts investigate the causes of accidents and incidents so that we can take appropriate action to prevent them from happening again.
VolkerWessels trusts that everyone who works for the company complies with the company’s safety rules and in doing so prevents dangerous situations or even accidents. It is extremely important to VolkerWessels that the safety rules which are part of the WAVE programme are followed correctly. An enforcement policy for employees and for subcontractors and suppliers has been devised to safeguard compliance with these safety rules.
If you can see me, I can see you
Accidents are more likely to happen if drivers and other road users are unable to see each other. The distinctive sticker ‘Zie je mij, zie ik jou’ (‘If you can see me, I can see you’) makes road users aware of the need to be visible. The sticker is meant for vehicles including trucks, track excavators, wheel loaders, diggers, drum rollers, tractors, sidebooms, dump trucks and forklifts.