Healthy and safe working conditions as a basis for the future: sustainable employability of our employees

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Healthy and safe working conditions as a basis for the future: sustainable employability of our employees

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The “Healthier” workgroup (from all levels of the organization started with an assessment, which led to 2 priorities:
- To get people moving
- Healthy prepared Food
- Increased sleeping patterns
"Healthier" (name created by an employee through an internal quiz, incl the logo) is an independent operating group that year-in year out are coming with new projects:
- Stop Smoking with medical coaching and getting smoking outside of the buildings
- Interfering on cooking strategy @ our catering firm
- Sleeping advice, including mattress selection
- Move (lunch walk, do not take the elevator, Kika cycling event, fitness projects, dietician and fitness to improve training for firefighters, etc.)
- On-line nutrition program (MyDailyLifestyle: coaching by a dietician for 3 months)

The "Good procedure base” (safe processes and safe systems, safety procedures and

craftsmanship) is annually enhanced by programs that fully focus on reducing the hazards in the workplace:
- The performance of the site daily visible
- Electronic newsbulletins @ the gates and in canteen
- Task specific, inherently safe knives
- Visual Safety (Videotaping of task analysis owned and edited by operators themselves) and posting them on LCD screens.
- Task specific gloves through free accessible vending machines
- Process safety risk studies
- Small by operator executed safety projects that are executed by the operators themselves
- Communication of accidents and near accidents, incidents through flyers
- Personal fit with Safety Shoes after measuring your feet dimensions
- Awareness posters at all entrances to the site with Mr. Zero as anchor
- Various classroom courses on EHS (or interactive e-learning)

This is applied to all personnel on site, including our contractors. This level of cooperation has led to the creation of a contractor association (called SYMBIOSIS) with the intent to work together with SABIC to be the most cost effective asset and project management with sustainable EHS performance. We will go several steps further than the Dow unified partners, which is only limited to EHS.

From a safety culture theory as Bradley (DuPont, similar to Hearts and Minds program of Shell Solutions), we have grown from a dependent stage ("ZERO is difficult", governed by rules and regulations, activities with a major role of supervision, selective communication of objectives, discipline as a development tool and an egocentric atmosphere) to a "solid" Independent stage ("ZERO is feasible”, process and operational activities are well understood, personal commitment regarding EHS, management feels comfortable with delegating his leadership, teams are owning procedures and sharing ideas based on trust).


And the results are significant:

We see a continuous reduction of serious incidents (fires, explosions, spills) and environmental incidents. In addition, the Injury rate (measured using the OSHA protocol, per 200,000 hours worked) decreased significantly.

The company has for many years a low absenteeism (3% since 1994), despite an increase in the average age on site. In addition we do NOT have registered for a number of years any occupational diseases.

The “klemvast” program including the health programs have brought us to a stage where our employees can grow into a sustainable employability within a workprocess-driven organization in an interdependent safety culture ("ZERO IS SUSTAINABLE" co-own / other teams, brother's hood, organization is proud, self-managing teams, team fully involved in setting objectives and improvements)

Awards / Publications
The SABIC IP Health is nationally and internationally:
- Items in literature / journals
- Books
- Videos
- Internet columns
- Radio broadcasts
- Lectures at conferences
- Awards
- Newspapers
References can be shared based upon request; because of the high amount of data.

Challenges for the coming years:

Een zeer belangrijk thema (misschien wel het thema) voor 2010 en de jaren daarna wordt duurzame inzetbaarheid. We hebben allemaal de discussie over het verhogen van de pensioenleeftijd naar 67 jaar kunnen volgen, het onbetaalbaar worden van de pensioenen, de vergrijzing van Nederland, de krapte in de zorg, etc..A key theme (perhaps the most important theme) for 2010 and beyond, is “sustainable employability”. We have all heard about the discussions in The Netherlands about raising the retirement age from 65 to 67 years, the funding issues of pensions, the aging of the Netherlands, shortages in health care, etc.. Ook wij bij SABIC-IP ervaren een geleidelijke stijging van de gemiddelde leeftijd. De arbodienst ziet (in vergelijking met vroeger) vaker leeftijdsgerelateerde problematiek. Also within SABIC IP we experience a gradual increase in average age. As a company we see two points of interest:

  1. Be able to Langer kunnen werkenwork longer

  2. Langer willen werken.Willing to work longer.

  3. InterIndependent safety phasedependent phase

Langer kunnen werken:Be able to work longer:

Het langer kunnen werken betekent dat we ons personeel zo lang mogelijk gezond proberen te houden, dus voorkomen van ziekten en het bevorderen van gezonde leeftstijl.Being able to work means that we try to keep out workforce healthy as long as possible, thus preventing disease and promoting healthy living style. Bepalend voor het langer kunnen doorwerken zijn: Important to be able to work longer are:

  • Goede persoonlijke gezondheid behoudenMaintaining good personal health

  • Flexibele indeling van werktijden.Flexible working time.

Basic support De kernprogramma's vanuit arbodienst/site in het langer kunnen blijven werken zijn:programs to support “longer working” are:

  • VerzuimbegeleidingAbsenteeism surveillance

  • Gezondheidsmonitor 1Health Monitor1

  • Leefstijl bevorderen dmv het Gezonder programmaPromote healthier lifestyles with the “healthier” program

Langer willen werken:Willing to work longer:

Het tweede punt, langer willen werken, heeft tot nu toe wellicht wat minder aandacht gekregen.The second point, willing to work longer, so far has had less attention. Als site vinden we dit een belangrijk punt.As a company / site we think this is an important point. Thema's als bv de juiste training van oudere medewerkers, zelfsturing (job crafting), sociale steun komen hierbij aan de orde.Themes such as proper training for older employees, job crafting, social support should come up for discussion. Maar ook andere zaken kunnen een belangrijke rol, vervullen. But also other topics can play an important role. Denk bv aan de rol van de partner thuis (Is die nog gezond? Wil die liever haar partner thuis hebben met pensioen? Etc). Consider for example the role of the partner at home (Is the partner still in good health? Would the he/she prefer to have her partner at home to retire? Etc.). Of denk bijvoorbeeld aan de attitude van leidinggevenden.Or think of the attitude of managers. Nu is onze ervaring dat er nog vaak gesproken wordt over ouderen als een probleemgroep. Kernpunt moet dus worden ouderen actief, vitaal en betrokken te houden. Vitaal door bv de reeds eerder genoemde programma's. Now it is our experience that quite often elderly are perceived as a problem group. So crucial issue will be to keep older employees active, vital and engaged. Keep them vital for instance by the previously mentioned programs. Betrokken en toegewijd zijn vergt een andere aanpak.Involvement and committed requires a different approach. Ouderen beschikken veelal over een ruime ervaring, maar doen het werk al erg lang. Older people normally have a wide extensive work experience, but do their job since a very long period of time. Uit onderzoek blijkt dat het aanbieden van nieuwe uitdagingen goed is voor het functioneren van ouderen, maar tevens voor hun gezondheid (blij in het werk, werkt positief op welzijn, etc). Research shows that providing new challenges is good for the performance / functioning of the elderly but also for their health (happy at work, employee satisfaction, etc).

Interdependent phases:
The interdependent phase characteristics as described above to give back to where the organization must grow and adapt very well in the above aspects of "longer able / willing to work".

1 The Health Monitor is a health assessment, which is particularly focused on the early detection of problems so that timely interventions can be arranged. The exam takes place on a voluntary basis. The test makes use of various questionnaires such as the Work Ability Index and the work experience UBES list (shows the degree of vitality, dedication and absorption in work and questions focused on training, career skills). The test is done once in every 2 years (for employees over the age of 50 once a year).

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  • Challenges for the coming years
  • Langer kunnen werken: Be able to work longer
  • Langer willen werken: Willing to work longer
  • Interdependent phases

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