Enthone: Safety awareness must be “daily practice”

After two incidents in which hazardous substances were released, PBZO company Enthone in Den Bosch was placed under strengthened supervision by the government. Enthone would not be “in control” and had to present a plan of action within a month. Symbol contributed to this plan with a safety awareness plan named “Time for safety”.

“Safety awareness must be daily business”

Time for safety

Enthone, daughter of the Alent group, is known all over the world as a supplier of chemicals for the galvano industry. We met with Manno Hellemons (Operations Manager), Ad Kersten (KAM-Manager) and Werner Cornelissen (Manager of Financial Systems Europe).

The name of the project is “Time for safety”. “We deliberately chose that,” says Werner. “We want people to realize when they see an unsafe situation and to take action.”

Recognize each other’s competences

“The action plan consists of five main pillars,” says Manno. “The first was to identify and evaluate risks. The second pillar was the improvement of technical provisions. Competence development of employees was the third pillar, followed by the creation of safety awareness among them. Finally, the fifth pillar concerns communication within the company.”

“Especially for the fourth pillar, the safety awareness among employees, we made use of the expertise and knowledge of Symbol, which at that time was still called FirmXperts.” Ad: “Symbol started working with upper and middle management on doing analyses, from which the DISC profiles came forward. Using this method, we got a clear picture of what personalities people have and, perhaps even more important, how we can best interact with each other and use everyone’s strengths to their full advantage.”

Quick wins in the workplace

When this first part was completed, all 80 employees were divided into groups consisting of four to five people from different disciplines in the organization. The aim of the groups was for employees themselves to consciously look at safety by looking for situations that could be improved. Any improvement below 1000 Euros could, after a short presentation, be implemented immediately without further approval. As a result, the involvement was optimal and the results were quickly visible, the so-called “Quick Wins”. Ad: “I found the collaboration and dedication in the teams that started working on the projects to be the most surprising of the entire process. By looking with different eyes, especially with colleagues from outside the production, we have greatly reduced the jumble of safety information signs and pictograms, resulting in a well-arranged space. ”

Make it a daily practice

Advice for other companies? Werner starts: “Listen carefully to the staff and what they see in terms of improvements. They should sense whether they are in a safe or an unsafe situation.” Manno continues: “And make sure you make visible changes, so that people see results fairly quickly. So ensure quick wins.” “Incidentally, 5S is also an important point,” says Ad. “We have been doing 5S for years. Because keeping your working environment tidy contributes enormously to safety.”

Another important aspect is continuity. Safety awareness must remain part of normal business operations and our business strategy. “We have had 20 projects,” says Werner: “We must continue to ensure that people stay active, not only through training, but also by tackling problems hands-on.”

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