Van Leeuwen
Safety and environment: important for our customers and for ourselves

Safety and environment: important for our customers and for ourselves

In our branche, safety and environment are important topics. Not only for our customers, but also for ourselves. Van Leeuwen wishes to offer her employees a safe and healthy workplace and to contribute to a sustainable environment. For our customers, safety and environment become increasingly important supplier selection. For example, customers active in the process & power industry often impose high safety demands on their suppliers. Customers from all market segments frequently ask for our policy regarding sustainability.

As Coordinator for Safety, Health and Environment at Van Leeuwen in Zwijndrecht I contribute to the creation of rules and procedures for these topics. Moreover, I offer assistance for the execution of these procedures in many ways. In this blog I am happy to tell you more about it.

Safety starts with yourself

My often used slogan is: “safety starts with yourself”. Individuals are often perfectly capable to judge if they are working in a safe way. Moreover, they should watch over their colleagues and indicate possible unsafe situations. This appears not to be that easy in practice. You need to have some discipline and you have to strike the right tone when correcting someone else. Improving our safety culture and changing our behavior is something we all have to do. Managers should support this actively and will be trained to improve their skills to do so.

Moreover, we have set a number of important safety rules. They are documented in so called “Safety Toolboxes”. We have 12 toolboxes with “Life Saving Rules” for all kinds of subjects and situations. For instance, we have a toolbox for “working with machines”, “lifting”, “physical loads” and for “clean workspaces”. For each of the toolboxes we offer an online training that leads to a certificate when  completed successfully.

Our policy for health and safety has been certified by Lloyds Register according to ISO 45001.

From policy to practice, that’s where I like to help

Each employee is responsible for applying the safety rules. Managers have a supervising task. Most of the rules relate to working in our warehouses. That is where our pipe and tube material is unloaded, stored and, when sold, picked and loaded again for transport to our customers. We also carry out treatments on our material such as cutting, marking or packaging. At least twice a week I do my rounds in the warehouse, sometimes accompanied by one or two operations managers. We look at situations where we can or must improve safety. And how we can avoid unsafe situations.

During these rounds, employees often come to me with questions. Lately, an operations employee showed me a lifting strap while he was unsure if it still could be used. I checked this according the rules that apply, made a picture and informed everybody working with lifting traps about my conclusions. Very practical and down to earth. What I also do is checking if fire extinguishers and first aid kits are accessible without obstacles. Often, it is the sum of all kinds of details that improves the general safety.

Sustainability and environment

Sustainability is a topic of unquestionable importance. The social acceptance for passing on our planet in a sustainable way is growing rapidly. In our business this becomes obvious by more and more customers having sustainability requirements for their suppliers.

Because this is such an important topic, we have defineddoelste a policy for sustainability and environment with measurable goals. The most important goals are CO2 reduction, reduction of waste and of energy consumption. If you want to know more, please check our webpage with a link to our digital brochure on sustainability.

Recently, our environmental management system has been certified by Lloyds Register according to ISO 14001. I am rather proud of this achievement. Improving sustainability concerns all aspects of our company’s way of working. The fact that I have a coordinating role in this important process makes my work even more valuable to me.



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