Ensuring health and safety with 3 key safety checks: safe environment

Did you know that around 2.3 million women and men around the world succumb to work-related accidents or diseases each year?

We believe that accidents are preventable so have committed to embracing a culture of safety to ensure injuries and ill health are avoided.

One of the ways we do this is through training all employees on our ‘3 checks for safety’, which must be completed before starting any task:

  1. Do I know how to do the job?
  2. Do I have the right equipment?
  3. Is my environment safe?

As well as following stringent safety procedures, we encourage employees to embrace their entrepreneurial spirit and introduce additional measures to improve safety.

Each year we celebrate the teams and individuals going the extra mile to ensure safety at their workplace through our ‘Have a Safe Day Awards’.

Here are some of the ideas which finalists from across Sodexo introduced last year to enhance the ‘Is my environment safe?’ safety check:

Reminders to keep all environments safe in Switzerland

The team at a client location in Switzerland worked together with their client to produce stickers with the 3 checks for safety printed on them. These labels were then applied to equipment around the site. The aim of the initiative was to remind employees of the 3 checks during their everyday tasks, further embedding our health and safety mantra into each daily routine.

This idea was later replicated across all locations in Switzerland and other Sodexo teams across Europe have also adopted the idea.

Reducing the risk of cleaning at height in Italy

Cleaning oven hoods can be complicated. A ladder is often needed because the hood is so high up with many cavities, which are difficult to access.

Manuela Favaretto, a cleaner at a healthcare site in Italy, suggested introducing a specific tool, which is more commonly used when cleaning operating theatres. The extendible beam, which has a cloth and a small pump for the degreaser, has allowed employees on site to reduce the risks associated with cleaning at height. The new piece of equipment meant that the use of ladders and other supports could be completely avoided in the limited space around the oven hood, making the environment much safer.

Ensuring safe building refurbishments in the UK

Refurbishing buildings is a great opportunity to improve the overall safety of a space in the long term. Whilst the work is being completed, however, the safety risk increases… but not when under the supervision of technical operations manager, Ian Hendry. Ian managed the full refurbishment of a reception and student social space at a university client site in the UK. The project didn’t fall under construction, design and management regulations, but Ian insisted that the team worked in line with the regulations anyway to ensure optimum safety. He carried out regular health and safety audits to ensure the work was undertaken safely and all employees were always wearing personal protective equipment.

Ian even encouraged the team to carry out safety audits on him while he was completing practical tasks. This really helped to drive home the fact that safety is everyone’s responsibility.

Ian lives and breathes health and safety; find out more about Ian’s career story here.

These are just some of the ways our teams around the world are going above and beyond to help each employee, client and consumer stay safe.

This is the third article in the ‘3 checks for safety’ series. You can read the first and second articles in the series here:

Find out more about our Health and Safety culture