How do you ensure that a HSE policy and protocols are embraced by a hands-on organization like Steinweg? That is the challenge faced by Djina Boshuizen, Head of HSE. Together with her team, she strives for an optimal safety culture. Collaboration and involvement are the keys to achieving that goal.
At Steinweg, the HSE department is responsible for developing policies concerning health, safety, and the environment. This policy includes both legal requirements and internal guidelines that form the basis of Steinweg’s commitment. Djina explains, “The goal is to identify risks and develop policies that ensure employees can return home safely and in good health. Equally important is the environmental aspect, such as obtaining the necessary permits and managing the weeds and pests.”
Collaborating with other departments
Djina’s daily tasks involve collaborating with other departments and monitoring the progress and decision-making at policy level. Within her team, she has employees responsible for health, safety, and the environment, whom have their own area of expertise. “They conduct incident investigations, develop work instructions, carry out inspections and work alongside employees on the shop floor to ensure a healthy, safe and environmentally conscious work environment.” HSE closely collaborates with operational and commercial departments as well as the technical service department. Whilst Quality and HSE are separate departments, they work closely together and share common objectives.
HSE frequently engages with employees on the shop floor to gather their input and ensure they feel heard. “We listen to them and involve them in shaping policies and work processes.” This is done with the aim of creating a safety culture and if necessary, bringing about behavioral change. “We strive to raise awareness and motivate employees to adhere to safety regulations and procedures. This goes beyond merely following rules; it also involves understanding the reasons behind them and actively contributing to safety in the workplace.”
Improving the safety culture
Establishing a strong safety culture can be challenging, Djina states that Steinweg has succeeded in bringing about positive change. “Employees feel involved and are willing to ask questions, suggest improvements and take responsibility. This has led to a safer and healthier work environment, where employees can perform their tasks with confidence. These improvements are also noticed by customers and suppliers, who have higher expectations regarding safety and the environment.”
A learning environment
Steinweg is recognized as a leader in the sector and plays an active role in promoting safety. “Steinweg’s HSE policy also affects our customers and suppliers who come into contact with our policies. Some may require some persuasion when faced with a new procedure, while others are receptive and view it as a positive development. I see it as a learning environment that we offer to our customers and suppliers.”
Djina and her team’s work area covers Steinweg’s Dutch facilities, but she is increasingly in contact with international colleagues. “Whilst there are naturally differences between countries and regions, there is a growing collaboration and exchange of knowledge and experience.”
Published on: 10 August 2023