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“What is important is how factory workers want to adopt these procedures. They work with these procedures every day, so a pragmatic approach is key. Incidents are often caused by wanting to do something quickly. We have put a lot of time into raising awareness of safe working practices, through our internal communication system, work meetings, and simply by going out into the factory. I do a safety round every month, for example, and invite management to join me. Workers themselves also provide input for improvements.’

‘At our Scharsterbrug site, we have regular toolbox meetings, which are short meetings of no more than 10 minutes that focus on a specific subject. This allows us to, in a very low-threshold way, raise safety awareness together and pass it on to external parties as well. This has already brought down the number of incidents. Inspired by the success of this meeting format, we are now also going to do this at other departments.’

‘When it comes to technology, we have made various improvements to increase safety. The preventive check in Ultimo Jobs is one example, as is the fire detection system, the evacuation alarm, and explosion protection. Incidents are sometimes caused by wanting to do something quickly, such as with repetitive tasks. It is important, therefore, that workers be well aware of the risks and perform all their tasks with due care. Over the past year, there were 18 incidents, which could fortunately all be dealt with by our internal emergency response organisation. Our internal emergency response organisation is made up of a group of employees who are trained to give first aid in case of accidents and to coordinate if external emergency responders are called in.’

‘In 2019, we had seven lost time accidents here in Scharsterbrug. We reduced that to one lost time accident in 2021. In early 2022, we had been completely accident-free for 12 months. There is a downward trend in the number of incidents and accidents and an upward trend in the number of reports. I find this latter point very positive: near accidents and hazardous situations are now increasingly reported to me. We then together look into how to prevent them. After all, prevention is still always better than cure.’