At the regulatory level, compliance with proscriptive Environment Health & Safety (EH&S) legislations is now often critical to market access in many countries. But the importance of EH&S is even more far-reaching.
Reports show a clear link between the effective management of operational risks and increased productivity and efficiency. In other words, organizations with comprehensive EH&S programs achieve superior business results. They achieve higher employee retention, increased shareholder satisfaction and greater brand value.
However, to obtain the most sustained value from these programs, companies should not limit themselves to the implementation of tools and continuous improvement initiatives intended to mitigate risks behind potential accidents.
High performing companies in the EH&S space successfully implement within their organizations a robust safety culture. And safety pays back, not only through reduced accidents, injuries and fatalities, but also by improving overall productivity and motivation across the board.
As companies strive for zero fatalities and incident-free operations, the promotion of safe and healthy workplace environments has strengthened the EH&S agenda, and real progress is being made. In the past 10 years, the incident frequency rate has decreased significantly in many sectors, including oil and gas, metals and mining, steel and extractive industries, despite more complex processes and operations, and larger plants and assets.
Meeting the safety challenge
To ensure sustainable improvements in employee safety, along with enhanced productivity and efficiency benefits, safety cultures must be embedded in the fabric of the organization at all levels.
By making safety part and parcel of ‘the way we do things round here,’ companies will be able to accurately identify risks and manage them effectively throughout the workplace (and across their supply chains).
They will also be better able to recognize and address the underlying causes of workplace incidents, including stress, which can distract workers and increase their vulnerability to accidents.
Accenture’s point of view
Based on Accenture’s experience with companies in the oil and gas, nuclear, utilities, and metals and mining industries, we believe that sustainable, enterprise-wide safety cultures are built on progressive cultural change at all levels of the organization. To enable this, we have developed a proprietary framework for change with training and awareness at its heart.
We strive to ensure that safety cultures are created and sustained for the long term at our clients. The benefits include:
- Improving management of regulatory compliance and operational risks
- Reducing cost through better planning and foresight (i.e. in insurance premiums)
- Promoting continuous improvement and best practices to raise productivity and achieve greater quality control. This further influences the brand image and impacts employee retention.
The journey to a sustainable safety culture is challenging, calling for a progressive process of change throughout the organization.
Our framework for change enables an enterprise-wide approach. In addition to redefining processes and setting metrics that ensure performance is improved on a sustainable basis, we deploy awareness and training sessions to foster behavioral change at every level of the organization. Accenture’s unique holistic approach is reflected in its integrated methodology that not only provides an end-to-end solution, but is also flexible in order to meet companies’ varying needs, from pure strategy work to culture transformation. Because this is a learning-driven process, training plays a crucial role from the outset. We have developed a flexible suite of training assets that form part of our proprietary framework for change.
Training tailored to every level of the organization
Our approach to training and awareness is fully customizable to meet the specific needs of each client. Based on a structured sequence of training modules, delivered locally and online and supported by proven change management techniques, we provide a comprehensive approach which influences and changes behaviors.
Our experience shows that successful implementations are designed to tackle each layer of the organization’s culture.
Already tried and tested with Accenture clients from several industries, our training modules and training sessions can be adapted to address production imperatives and other local requirements. And because organizations’ safety agendas vary, the modules can be delivered to focus on one specific topic or be delivered as part of a full program.