it remains a challenge for many companies in the manufacturing industry to reduce the number of accidents. "We focus on safety not only today, but all year round," declared Tom de Rybel, our safety officer.
Besides quality and productivity, safety is a widely supported area of attention within the organization. "Our vision in terms of safety is that we only do a job when it can be done safely," said Tom. As the person responsible for safety, he is the point of contact when employees encounter unsafe or potentially unsafe situations. Tom: "The aim is to report unsafe situations at all times. We will then look together for a safer way to do the work, at the same speed and with the same quality."
To this end, we use a dynamic risk management system. This so-called QUEENS system - which stands for quality, environment, energy and safety - was developed by VPK Packaging and introduced in all Belgian VPK Packaging member companies in 2014. Tom was involved in the development of the system. "QUEENS enables all employees to report unsafe situations digitally. This concerns preventive and curative reports. With curative reports, an unsafe situation has already occurred. Preventive reports are intended to prevent unsafe situations. The objective is therefore to continue to supplement the system with as many preventive reports as possible."
Social media for safety
All reports are digitally accessible to all colleagues and are read faithfully every day. "You can regard the system as a kind of social media for security," Tom said. "This way, everyone can contribute to a safer working environment. This is important, because safety should not only be a concern for employees like me, between nine and five. We are a company that operates 24/7, so we have to be alert to safety day and night. Everyone must do their bit. The work will never be completely risk-free and in that respect my work is never finished, but in this way we safety is top of the mind throughout the organization."