Veolia wins prestigious health and safety prize

The UK’s leading recycling and waste management company, Veolia Environmental Services, has been awarded the 2010 Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) Awards for Environmental Excellence, in the category ‘Health & Safety’ Best Practice. 

This is the third year running Veolia has won an industry health and safety award, having won the National Recycling Awards for Innovation & Health Safety Practice in 2008 and 2009.
 
The award was presented at a ceremony held at the Marriott London Grosvenor Square Hotel, in London, hosted by journalist and news reader Kate Silverton.

The CIWM Awards recognise and reward good practice in sustainable waste and resource management and Veolia was recognised in the category of Health & Safety Best Practice for its new initiatives, training, technical improvement and behavioural change and communications.

Speaking about the awards, the judges said: “Veolia Environmental Services have introduced health and safety initiatives that have contributed to a ‘sea change’ in their health and safety performance. 

"That assertion is evidenced by the demonstrable and significant reduction in lost time accidents of a third and more in the last two years along with a continued commitment to capitalise on the success of these new initiatives in meeting their future health and safety and business targets.
   
“The initiative is comprehensive, wide-ranging and encompasses both traditional and new health and safety approaches. As an example, their new behavioural safety scheme is used as a driver for continued improvements in company performance. 

"Integral to that approach is the promotion of an all-inclusive approach that encourages strong leadership from the top down and meaningful worker engagement from the bottom up.

“Finally, the company’s recognition of the importance of rehabilitation programmes for those employees who do suffer work related injuries was particularly worthy of note.”

As part of Veolia’s strong health and  safety culture, the company has developed a set of tools to engage all its workers in the form of a Behavioural  Approach to Safety (BATS) which identifies safe and unsafe behaviours from which Veolia can learn and improve on its health and safety performance. 

These learnings are communicated through its communication risk assessment expert (RAE) and the company has also developed simple and effective toolbox talks to deliver these messages.

The judging panel for the awards included Dr Liz Goodwin, chief executive of the Waste & Resources Action Programme, Owen Jenkins, director of CIRIA, John Ingham, environment editor of the Daily Express, and Simon Chapman of the Freight Transport Association.