World health and safety at work day 2022, celebrated on 28th April each year, is a day designed to focus international attention on the importance of health and safety in the workplace and promotes the prevention of workplace accidents. On this day, we want to promote the importance of staying vigilant in the workplace and also highlight the role of our SHEQ department at Anord Mardix, who work hard to ensure a safe working environment for our team worldwide, safeguarding not only our physical but our mental health at work every day.
Occupational safety and health is paramount for reducing the risk of occupational accidents and diseases at work, enabling employees to work safely with the assurance that the relevant procedures are in place to prevent the worst case scenario.
According to the United Nations,
"The annual World Day for Health and Safety at Work on 28 April promotes the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases globally. It is an awareness-raising campaign intended to focus international attention on the magnitude of the problem and on how promoting and creating a safety and health culture can help reduce the number of work-related deaths and injuries."
At Anord Mardix, it's obvious that there are a number of risks associated with working in a manufacturing and production site and this where our SHEQ team come in. They are tireless in their commitment to keeping our colleagues safe, most recently with the omnipresent threat of COVID-19 on top of monitoring their usual risk factors.
And who best to talk about World Health and Safety Day than our SHEQ team themselves?
Paul Callan, Head of SHEQ, EMEA, has guided our team across EMEA through the COVID-19 pandemic, following government advice to the letter and keeping our staff on site, in our facilities and in our office spaces as safe as possible. Aside from the pandemic, Paul also works with his team to minimise workplace accidents and enforce safety precautions before accidents even have the chance to arise.
Our SHEQ (Safety, Health, Environment and Quality) team’s responsibilities include:
"Many people see the H&S department as a function that investigates accidents, much like a policeman arriving after an incident. Anord Mardix H&S department are so much more than that. Accident Investigation is a part of the job we simply wish we did not have to do. It is a reactive response to something that has gone wrong.
Our H&S team are driving to be more proactive, to instil a culture that has H&S behaviours as part of our everyday tasks. Tasks such as carrying out Risk Assessments to understand what risks and hazards exist within our business and then implementing mitigating factors to eliminate these risks where possible. Not all risks can be eliminated, this is life, so we look to reduce their effects through the use of PPE. We assess PPE types and approve for use.
An important role for the H&S team is engaging with employees. We have forums at each site so we can discuss tasks that employees may feel may present a risk. These forums are a very useful communication tool that allows these issues to be raised and allows us to demonstrate how we can help.
As we move forward we want to ensure all employees that we take your Health, Safety, and Welfare seriously. We want to develop a positive health and safety culture in order to provide a workspace that safe to attend.
Anord Mardix has always driven a Zero Harm ethos, and we have been getting better year on year. Yes, we have accidents and incidents, each we have dealt with and none that have been severe. With the help of every employee we can drive that Zero Harm ethos further.
With Peter Hall driving the process in the UK and John Doherty driving the process in Ireland, supported by Philip Marginson in Blackburn, Jordan Todd in Kendal, and Martyn Quigley-Phipps in Hemel we believe that we can improve standards and work practices to benefit every employee."
At our US facility in Henrico, Virginia, our Facilities and Safety Manager Kevin O’Connor supports our US colleagues in keeping safe and well at work. Kevin explains more about his role,
“Myself and the AMUS safety team are in the business of hazard identification and elimination, resulting in a safe work environment for our employees. It certainly helps in the world of safety to have as many people on your team as possible, and ours consists of every employee at our facility. On day one of employment at AMUS I get to provide every employee not only the tools to keep themselves safe, but also their fellow coworkers as well. From there employees will continue to attend safety training sessions, participate in the safety committee, or simply stop by my office with an observation to report. It’s building a team this way that empowers employees to look out for each other, and teach them they have the power to change and eliminate safety hazards.
An employee stopped me on the factory floor to point out the hazard created in front of the break room ice machine, when ice melts on the floor and creating a slipping hazard. Within a day we had a new drainage mat installed eliminating the slip hazard entirely.”
Anord Mardix wouldn’t be able to function or operate safely without the work of Kevin, Paul and the teams we have in place across our global sites. Today on World Health and Safety Day, we want to take this opportunity to thank the teams for all their hard work! Thank you for keeping us safe.