“Safety first!” at our depots

A lot has changed at our depots in Switzerland since last year. We have successfully introduced and implemented new safety rules, driven by the clear commitment of Implenia and the management of ETS Switzerland to Health & Safety in the workplace. This commitment begins with the company’s own Safety Charter, which makes management’s responsibilities clear: duties are explained, powers of authority and responsibility are clearly defined and the charter has been signed by all depot heads. But safety is not just a matter for managers. Each and every employee is responsible both for themselves and for their colleagues. The maxim of “say STOP before something happens” has been emphasised with a poster campaign by the Suva, Switzerland’s national accident insurance fund. At work, the safety of all involved is always the first priority.

This message, together with monthly depot-specific safety courses and a Health & Safety training programme, have brought a new safety culture to the depots. And if an unfortunate incident should still occur, safety alerts will be posted immediately afterwards with information about the accident, advice, tips and rules of conduct. Near misses and dangerous situations are also thoroughly investigated in order to discover additional ways of preventing actual accidents. Further improvements include the removal of potentially hazardous obstacles, additional first aid equipment and the replacement of unsuitable tools and machinery. Continuous detailed audits are conducted to review, prioritise and adapt the measures. Markus Reinhard, who is responsible for safety at the depots, looks back on the last year with satisfaction: “The great efforts we have made on safety culture and employee training are paying off. The most difficult job here is to create a cultural change in people’s minds. It will probably still take a while before we have a sustained reduction in accident figures, but we are already seeing improvements and a trend in the right direction.”