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Energy & Resources

Building a safety culture

Safety is a critical concern for any organisation but especially for Sodexo with 460,000 employees that work in a wide variety of environments, each with their own risks and hazards.

Safety is also quite complex, since there is no one-size-fits-all solution for assessing it across an organization.

Getting it right demands exceptional awareness, culture and practice. For one thing, safety is very operational – it must be embedded in everything management does and every task employees are asked to do. The ultimate goal is zero-accident workplace so everyone returns home safe.

A recent Sodexo report entitled ‘Safety culture: assessment tools and techniques’ identifies three different angles for approaching safety culture: the academic (anthropological), analytical (psychological) and pragmatic (experience-based). Many researchers emphasize that no single approach or technique is suitable for understanding and exploring safety culture. Rather, a multi-method and holistic approach should be taken to account for the specificities of each environment.

"Safety is very operational – it must be embedded in every decision management makes and every task employees are asked to do. The ultimate goal is zero-accident workplaces so everyone returns home safe. That’s why across all the sites where we operate, we ensure on-going dialogue and safety leadership by example to continuously improve our safety performance and culture." Susan Elston, SVP Offshore & Marine – UK and global HSE lead, Sodexo Energy & Resources

At all levels of our organization, Sodexo’s teams are at the forefront of safety. The range of services they provide covers everything from food services for major offshore projects to technical maintenance on mine sites at extreme altitudes. Across all the sites where we operate, we ensure on-going dialogue and leading by example to continuously improve our safety performance and culture. All of our employees are empowered to approach colleagues or a supervisor with concerns about knowing how to do a job, having the right equipment or ensuring a safe environment.

Leaders who drive dramatic safety improvements should be recognized and rewarded in the same way as those who drive financial performance and business development. Recognizing and rewarding employees who have contributed and made a difference is also very powerful. At Sodexo, we do it via our annual Have a Safe Day Awards and regular Safety Shares at staff meetings, and Safety Walks and Toolbox Talks on site.
  
Above all, our management leads by example, continuously engaging with employees about safety “in situ”. We go to sites and talk about safety, asking questions about how we can improve behaviours and make the workplace safer. Manuals and ring binders can be useful, but in the end, unless an organization buys into the idea of safety and drives a strong safety culture, they will just collect dust.

Find out more about Sodexo's safety culture.

 

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3 checks for safety

Our "3 checks for Safety" campaign ensures safety is always part of the conversation

June 24, 2019

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