19 september 2016

Veolia’s international health and safety at work week: aiming for "zero accidents"

Veolia’s second international health and safety at work week begins today. It is focusing on an overall objective: to develop the safety culture and achieve "zero accidents".

Semaine santé et sécurité

Mobilizing all employees to avoid accidents

This year Veolia’s health and safety week is highlighting high-risk activities: traffic management, working in confined spaces, excavations and trenching, hot work, and handling hazardous goods or chemical agents. To mark the event the Group is deploying a hard-hitting communication campaign that will mobilize all employees.
 
Antoine Frérot

"The major specific risks to our business activities have to be managed and brought under control, partly through in-depth knowledge of our expertise and our best practices, and partly by sharing those best practices and implementing them on a daily basis in all our activities, everywhere that Veolia operates," says Antoine Frérot.


Providing a healthy and safe working environment 

Health and safety is a priority for Veolia in all its activities. Everywhere the Group is committed to ensuring the physical and psychological integrity of its employees. To do so, Veolia has a Health and Safety Centre of Excellence which brings together 15 international experts and 130 local representatives. The accident frequency rate targets[1] are now included in the criteria for defining managers’ salaries. 
 

The 5 management standards for high-risk activities in Veolia cover: 

♦ Working in confined spaces
Confined spaces are not the usual type of workplaces. In most cases they are poorly ventilated, which allows hazardous atmospheres to develop quickly, especially when space is limited. The dangers are not always easily identifiable and can be different from one confined space to another. 

♦ Traffic management 
Traffic management on Veolia sites and on public roads can be the cause of a number of hazards in the Group's activities. Interventions on public roads in contact with users and interactions between different types of vehicles and with pedestrians increase the level of risk for employees and third parties.

♦ Excavation and trenching
Excavation and trenching generally includes any earth or rock removal work undertaken on a site that creates cavities and uses hand tools, power tools, or explosives. They are among the most dangerous jobs in the industry.
 
♦ Hot work
Hot work refers to work that may produce an ignition source (flames, sparks, heat, etc.) for materials, or which presents a risk of fire without the presence of flammable materials in the workplace. It is the cause of one in three fires. 

♦ Handling hazardous goods or chemical agents in the workplace is a major source of danger for employees. Chemicals are used everywhere in the Group's activities and the associated dangers are not always easily identifiable or discernible. It is a question of preventing and reducing occupational health risks.
 

More: 

> Health and safety at Veolia
> Our commitment to sustainable development
> Veolia 1st health and safety week (25 September, 2015) 


[1] Frequency rate = number of lost time accidents multiplied by 1,000,000 and divided by the number of hours worked.