Safety has always been extremely important to me. It is a precondition to any operation, and it is about caring for people. In addition, it is also an essential element to operational excellence. Safety, quality and effectiveness always go hand in hand.
Companies have the responsibility to protect people
I have always felt that there is no right to create harm to people at work. It is an old saying that no one comes to work with the intention to get hurt. I believe that this is true, and therefore companies have to accept the responsibility and protect people from harm. It is also fully aligned with one of our values, We care, and clearly reflected in our safety vision No Harm. Together.
The other old sayings are “every day has to be earned” and “everyone shall return home safely every day”. These are easy to say but challenging to reach, also in Neste since serious incidents also happen in our operations. But they are so true; every safe day has to be earned by systematic work and the only true goal is zero incidents.
Safety ⎯ simple word, several meanings
Sometimes safety is considered in a too narrow way focusing on occupational safety. For us, safety covers much more from health & safety to protecting assets, environment, and brand. A very comprehensive understanding and management of safety is essential at Neste throughout our operations and global locations since we operate in a high-risk industry where very serious accidents and incidents are possible.
Reaching excellence in safety means strong leadership commitment, involvement of the whole organization to walk the talk and to drive improvements together. It also requires effective management practises which ensure that risks are understood and managed. At Neste, these practises are defined in our OEMS (Operations Excellence Management System). Safety should be taken into account in all of our decisions and actions in everyday life: operations and maintenance at sites, recruitments, promotions, investments to existing and new technologies, organizational and technical changes, cost reduction activities, etc. Without a systematic approach at all the levels in the organization, No Harm. Together. safety vision is not possible.
Everyone is responsible for safety
Therefore, I propose that we all regularly stop and think: are my own behaviour, actions and decisions in line with safety being integrated to values and it’s importance as a precondition to operations? Am I caring for people’s safety and wellbeing, am I behaving as a good role model, do I know the risks and am I mitigating them in my responsibility area? When doing so at least I always find something to improve. How about you?