Sapphire & Glacier Conduct Nationwide Safety Tour
Management from Sapphire Energy Recovery and Glacier – the resource recovery businesses owned by Lafarge Cement – have embarked on a nationwide tour to review safety improvements made at sites and to elevate safety awareness amongst employees. Senior staff, including Sapphire’s resource recovery manager Jamie Randall, commenced their week long roadshow at the Thurrock site where Sapphire collects and processes used tyres for transformation into fuel for cement kilns. Visits were also made to Westbury, Cauldon, Hope, Oldbury, Manchester and Dunbar, where the focus upon safety awareness tied in with Lafarge’s global safety month, which has been held this summer across 76 countries and 3,000 sites.
“The roadshows were designed to impress on every single employee the level of importance Lafarge places on safety,” explained Andy Jones, who coordinates health and safety for Sapphire and Glacier. “It was a great way of ensuring received a clear message about the vital importance of site and personal safety – it also gave us the opportunity to review developments, highlight areas for improvement and share best practice.”
Each individual site was encouraged to present details of its own specific safety initiatives to management, highlighting significant local level improvements that have already been achieved or are at a planning stage. Safety improvements made in the last year include:
The installation of semi automatic feeders, which significantly reduce manual handling activities; new vehicle unloading platforms, reducing vehicle/pedestrian interactions and eliminating working at height; improved signage and information, highlighting laboratory safety; tools and material storage improvements, aimed at reducing slip, trip and fall risks; welfare facility improvements, including drying facilities for staff PPE; the creation of a mobile plant working group, giving staff the opportunity to be involved in plant selection.
So far this year both businesses have achieved zero lost time injuries, but as Andy Jones explained, no room for complacency is tolerated. “We’re rightly proud of our excellent safety record but we must continue to work hard to instil a ‘safety first’ culture in the organisation,” he said. “This week of focused events is just one of the initiatives we are using to help raise awareness of and focus on the importance of health and safety, but it has to be part of everyone’s mindset, day-in, day-out if we’re to ensure we all go home safe at the end of every day.”
The Lafarge Group has set itself the objective of becoming one of the world’s leading industrial groups in terms of safety. To achieve this, in 2006 the Group set out a roadmap covering all aspects of performance in terms of health and safety. Initiatives that now form a part of every manager’s objectives include ensuring health and safety and developing new standards for high-risk areas to which each of the Group’s 90,000 employees must sign up to. Lafarge also operates a Safety Excellence Club to reward performance at the best performing business units.
Nigel Clamp, Lafarge Cement’s safety manager, accompanied the resource recovery management team on its visit to Thurrock. “Lafarge Cement has made real progress in improving safety standards across its businesses and sites, but until we consistently achieve zero injuries there will always be more that can be done,” he said. “It’s really important that management as well as operators take a step back every now and again to review achievements and shine the spotlight on areas for improvement, which is exactly what the resource recovery businesses have taken the time to do with this roadshow.
“I strongly believe that zero injuries can be achieved and will be achieved, but only if every single employee takes ownership of the safety not just of themselves, but their colleagues.”