July 10, 2015
Safety and health are top priorities throughout Atlas Copco, and best practices from the Group were announced January 12 with the annual Safety and Health Award. Initiatives that were awarded range from one using walk-around audits to one that focuses on inspiring employees to a healthier lifestyle.
The award is given to one company in each business area, and one to Corporate or Holding units or shared sites, in order to inspire and promote the Group’s highest standards of health and safety.
Edwards’ manufacturing site in Eastbourne, United Kingdom, won for proven outstanding performance within safety. The site, which is part of the Vacuum Solutions division in the Compressor Technique business area, is a state-of-the-art facility for the design and manufacture of electronic equipment and software. It has more than ten years without accidents requiring lost time or medical treatment.
“The 150 members of the Eastbourne team have worked incredibly hard during the last ten years to consistently implement the Edwards’ safety management system, said Waleed Qader, General Manager. “Every member of staff is actively involved in the reporting and resolution of hazards, engagement in the behavioral safety program, on-time completion of basic safety training and constantly striving to reduce the risk through design.”
The product company Underground Rock Excavation in Örebro, Sweden, part of the Mining and Rock Excavation Technique business area, anchored its efforts on making safety a habit – a challenging task for many companies. The initiative is based on behavioral science and considers each individual’s needs, personal reasons and motivation to work safely, in order to create long-lasting change. Measures include a safety corner, a screen saver with safety messages, and a new movie with safety from a forklift driver’s perspective. The initiative showed clear results, with the number of accidents dropping by half in 2014 versus 2012, and the number of absent days also reduced by 50% in 2014 versus 2013. “I am honored to lead an organization in which safety and health always come first, and I want to thank all of our employees for contributing to a safe workplace,” said Scott Barker, President of the Underground Rock Excavation division. “I specifically want to recognize our SHEQ team in Örebro for their focus and guidance. By using methods that are beyond the traditional way of thinking, they have succeeded in addressing human behavior as a natural part of our daily operations.” On the other side of the Atlantic, the product company Atlas Copco Hurricane in Franklin, Indiana, United States, has implemented monthly 6S walk-around audits. These audits include all the elements of 5S (Sort, Set, Shine, Standardize and Sustain) and with an additional S for Safety. This combined with other activities have resulted in more than 1 489 consecutive days of no lost-time accidents, and low incident and sick leave rates. “I saw that when I came here from Europe two years ago that the safety work here was good,” said Pascal Courroux, General Manager at Atlas Copco Hurricane, which manufactures boosters and air compressors and is part of Construction Technique. “Still, you can always improve. Communication is key, and to be sure that we don’t forget anything we started the monthly 6S audits. We have formalized the safety work, and I’m happy to see it has had very good results.”
Meanwhile, Industrial Technique’s customer center in Detroit, Michigan, has focused on creating and inspiring all employees to adopt a healthier lifestyle. It focuses on the automotive industry, holds a Safety, Health and Environmental week each year with training workshops and activities. The efforts have lowered incidents and accidents and reduced the cost for medical care. They have also helped make Atlas Copco an attractive employer and attract a more diverse workforce. “We are very proud of the fact that we are proactive in encouraging and promoting a healthy lifestyle to our employees,” said Anders Hoberg, General Manager. “We promote SHE activities throughout the year, such as the Weight Watchers Program, bi-monthly chair massages to relieve stress, on-site yoga classes and healthy lunches.” Last but not least, Atlas Copco Holding, Central and Eastern Europe was awarded for the triple certification for 12 legal units out of 17 legal companies. It has reduced accidents and incidents, and do continuous follow-ups. It uses a common integrated management system surface for Central and Eastern Europe to share best practices, and has increased health and sports activities in a region covering 1300 employees. “This award is additional motivation for all of us in Central and Eastern Europe to continue to work hard on further improvement in safety and health areas,” said Radomir Maric, Vice President Holding, Central and Eastern Europe. “At the beginning of the year we set a clear mission to all in the Holding team with the main goal to promote and coordinate SHE awareness culture and to introduce ‘safety first’ thinking.” I am honored to lead an organization in which safety and health always come first, and I want to thank all of our employees for contributing to a safe workplace.” - Scott Barker, President of the Underground Rock Excavation division. This award is additional motivation for all of us in Central and Eastern Europe to continue to work hard on further improvement in safety and health areas.” - Radomir Maric, Vice President Holding, Central and Eastern Europe.