Peder Sødal on one of his regular safety rounds: In a high-risk environment, trust and good safety routines are essential
Implenia Norway’s heart beats for health and safety: Our colleagues are frontrunners in the company when it comes to making the topic a priority – a fact that is reflected in record-low incident numbers. To ensure the topic is on everybody’s agenda, they have dedicated an entire “Safety Week” to promoting active cooperation.
On site, project manager on Fornebubanen, Peder Sødal, is doing one of his regular safety rounds. It’s the annual health and safety week at Implenia Norway, and Peder is stopping by workers to hand out stickers, discuss potential issues and offer proof and recognition that they are taking health and safety seriously. «Health and safety are a normal part of our daily routine, but it’s important to remind everyone once in a while that their work and opinions matter”, he says.
«Health and safety are part of our daily routine, but it’s important to remind everyone that their work and opinions matter.»
Peder Sødal, project manager
He explains that initiatives to secure safety and health are part of the workers’ daily life in many ways. For instance, they usually are teamed up with people they know very well. "When there is so much going on at any given time, with many risk factors, large machines, and noise, it is important to trust each other so that you can communicate if an unwanted situation arises," he says.
Another initiative is to focus on always using the correct equipment for each task or project. This year, for instance, Implenia Norway introduced gloves and glasses as mandatory work equipment. “It’s not always popular when new safety requirements are introduced, but if we do, it’s because we want to avoid injuries,” Peder stresses. And it’s easy to understand why Implenia is not taking any chances: “We have highly skilled workers on site that we value very much. It’s our highest priority to make sure everyone gets home safely every single day”, Sødal says.
Anne Gundersen is Head of PES Safety in Norway and oversees the annual health and safety week. She explains that an important reason why health, safety and sustainability have a front seat in Implenia Norway is that rules and regulations are stricter in Norway than in many other European countries. “Tenders have high requirements when it comes to softer values. To be able keep up with the market and win bids, we must further strengthen our focus on health, safety, and sustainability,” Anne says.
As a result of the strict requirements, all aspects of operation are being measured, such as emissions, recycling, and injuries. And the efforts are paying off. Implenia has won many exciting projects in Norway the past months. And more importantly – Norway has a lower rate of work-related injuries than any other unit within the Group.
«Norway has a lower rate of work-related injuries than any other unit within the Group.»
Anne Gundersen, Head of PES Safety
Strict requirements are not the only reason for Norway’s success in keeping both workers and the environment safe. “We put a lot of effort into creating a safe workplace for everyone at Implenia. That’s why we both focus on establishing good routines and include every single person in the process. Every worker is encouraged not only to follow rules, but also to contribute to creating guidelines,” Anne Gundersen says.
She explains that project managers on each project collaborate closely with the workers to constantly evaluate safety measures. Rather than simply following the rules, every worker is encouraged to assume responsibility and contribute to a safer workplace. That way, the bar for reporting safety breaches is much lower because everyone takes ownership. “It’s so important to avoid safety being about pointing fingers. Everyone should be able to report safety breaches without having to worry about negative consequences,” she adds.