In industrial construction projects, a safe site is priority number 1 on the priority list. Given that the construction industry is constantly reinventing itself, it’s clear that the safety framework has to keep up. For that reason, edibo and edibosud have committed to a new engagement: one where every constructive challenger is individually involved.

Building on a solid foundation

“At edibo, we have been investing time and energy in the safety image from day one, for our sites as well as for our workshop,” as Thomas Van Hooydonk, Safety, Quality and Environment Coordinator explains.

“Our policy with regard to safety trainings, toolbox meetings, site inspections, PPE… is perfectly in place. Just like our overarching safety systems and regulation. That’s how we obtained the OHSAS18001-certificate in 2004 (replaced in 2020 by the ISO45001-certificate), which was supplemented by the VCA-certification in 2014. This proves that we are certainly on the right track. We have also been additionally committing to technical safety and the safe use of work materials. This means that our workers can perform their tasks in all safety.”

“However, despite those large efforts, we notice that the number of incidents or damage claims doesn’t necessary decrease in the same extent. Then again, the frequency and severity of the cases certainly keeps declining. In other words, we keep hitting another wall.”

“And so, we are looking more in the direction of safety awareness on the work floor and the human behaviourisms that surround it. This is a challenge we must dare to express. Especially as a company with enormously high-quality requirements, and given our expanded focus on the pharmaceutical industry and the petrochemical industry. Those two industries stipulate even higher requirements safety-wise, compared to other industrial industries.”

“As of spring 2020 we have been looking for a partner that can guide us in the expansion towards a broad-based safety culture. The objective is to handle safety with more awareness and to learn how to better align our daily behaviour accordingly. Every individual should decide for themselves which potential risks are involved with the tasks they are to perform, to eventually grow towards a mentality with the motto: Let’s do it safely or not at all.”

From anonymous calls to mixed workshops

The safety trajectory was launched at the beginning of this year, called Building a safety culture. “With a little delay”, acknowledges Thomas Van Hooydonk. “On the one hand due to the whole corona issue, on the other hand because we didn’t find the appropriate partner right away. Finally, we very accidentally bumped into the coaches of NOA Trainings at the end of last year.”

“We matched instantly. We presented them with our challenges, they rebutted with a – at first glance – surprising reply. Where we as company intuitively wanted to aim for the sites and the workshop, their safety coaches presented a whole different approach: start from the managerial profiles to eventually involve every individual in the safety trajectory.”

The result is a roadmap, spread over different months, where we look for the so-called largest common denominator among our constructive challengers.

“We started from the management team, our department heads, project and site leaders. During a number of master classes, we mapped the largest challenges with regard to safety but also order and cleanliness, all across our sites. All our other employees were allowed to give their views and opinions during anonymous interviews. This way, we are trying to gain insight on the largest common denominator among all our colleagues.”

“The coach then loops the results back to the management team. It is then that we proceed to the most important stage of the trajectory. Soon, we will be organising a variety of workshops in groups of about ten participants, consisting of a mixture of site workers, workshop workers, engineers, you name it. To eventually come to one final workshop with our edibo safety ambassadors. These are the employees who have shown the most involvement during the entire trajectory.”

Official starting signal

In other words, it is proving to be an intensive exercise. But one that will certainly reap results, emphasises Thomas Van Hooydonk.

“The end goal of this entire trajectory is to determine a number of concrete and feasible values and objectives that exist collectively among our constructive challengers. Those goals will then be transformed into a safety campaign with short- and long-term actions.”

“This way, we are taking longer strides towards a shared safety culture, with as many people at edibo closely involved as possible. But let’s be clear: safety will always be a work in progress. The external safety coaches will therefore stay and evaluate us for a little longer, to redirect where needed.”

Is safety on site one of your main priorities?

As you can see, safety, order and cleanliness on site are not just common terms at edibo. Are you looking for an industrial construction partner that brings quality industrial constructions into the world and stays 100% attentive to what’s happening on site? Our constructive challengers are up to the challenge. Book an appointment or feel free to contact as with your questions.