Safety, health and work / life balance
“It is our duty to attend to health and safety, both our own and our colleagues’. This is a moral obligation for each and everyone at Bouygues, irrespective of their position or job grade. Safeguarding physical well-being is integral to respect, to which we are all entitled. At the same time, we are also responsible for giving the alert to preserve health and safety when need be.” (Bouygues group Human Resources Charter)
Health and safety are priorities for all Bouygues group employees and have been so for many years. For example, road safety and psychosocial risk prevention campaigns are carried out in all Group businesses, with a faster roll-out of such measures in 2013. For example, Bouygues Construction put in place a helpline and has introduced psychosocial questionnaires for use during medical check-ups. However, it is on worksites where there is an inherent risk of danger, where the need for accident prevention is crucial. The construction businesses are redoubling their efforts to promote health and safety, with results in excess of construction industry benchmarks. To improve on this record even further, Colas and Bouygues Construction have rolled out training programmes on health and safety issues, including the fight against addiction. In France, workplace health and safety policies are implemented in consultation with health and safety committees. Lastly, implementation of safety management systems, some of which may have OHSAS 18001 certification, is the organisational bedrock at the operating units of the Bouygues group.
Throughout 2013, a pioneering campaign targeting safety on worksites and roads involved employees based in subsidiaries both in France and abroad. The Chairman and CEO of Colas in January issued a video message to employees worldwide to signal the start of the campaign. In September, another message was broadcast to review actions carried out so far in the year. During Global Safety Week at Colas, employees from all subsidiaries took part in safety-oriented actions which included news sequences, workshops, role plays and practical exercises.
To implement this policy in the field, senior managers at subsidiaries can draw on a global network of health & safety coordinators as well as a broad range of prevention resources, including training on safety, eco-driving techniques, first aid, 15-minute safety sessions, awareness-raising initiatives, accident analysis, best-practice sharing, cross-subsidiary challenges and half-yearly rankings. Additionally, Colas in 2013 created a new line of work clothes for added comfort and protection for employees.
Colas also encourages staff to take first-aid training. This benefits staff in both their work and private lives, and further raises awareness about safety issues. At the end of 2013, 31% of Colas employees were trained in first aid.
With regard to health, targeted actions were continued to fight occupational illnesses relating to musculoskeletal disorders, noise, ultraviolet exposure, alcohol and drugs, and psychosocial risks. For example, “movement and posture” training is given to new recruits. Moreover, equipment is chosen on the basis of ergonomic criteria. Efforts are made to reduce noise; where this is not possible, employees must use earplugs.
Colas also implements mechanisms to keep exposure to bitumen fumes, silica dust and chlorinated solvents to an absolute minimum.
2013 was marked by the official publication of two important documents on bitumen fumes: a monograph by the IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) and an official report by the Anses (French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety). The IARC is the world’s leading scientific reference on the subject and in its publication it stated that, despite the substantial number of studies carried out, it was unable to judge whether there is a link between cancer and exposure to bitumen and bitumen fumes in road work. The conclusions of the Anses reflected the risk analyses carried out by the road construction industry. Nevertheless, Colas is working to reduce exposure to bitumen fumes and has deployed a global strategy that focuses on two main areas: reducing bitumen temperatures at use, since reducing the temperature by 12°C divides the quantity of fumes emitted by two. An extensive Research & Development program is currently being developed and upgrading the fleet of road pavers (machines that lay asphalt mix) to equip them with fume extraction systems.
Initiatives are in place both in France and abroad to reduce exposure to silica dust. This includes the use of sealed and air-conditioned operator cabs fitted with air filters as well as basic dust masks. Lastly, a policy is in place to renew milling-planing equipment with newer machinery fitted with dust extraction systems. Risks arising from the use of solvents in workshops, on worksites and laboratories are receding in both French and global operations.
Work / life balance
Worktime organisation at Bouygues group aims to strike a balance between two priorities. One is meeting the needs of customers and adapting to patterns of activity in its various businesses, and the other is maintaining a healthy work/life balance as far as possible.
All business areas have introduced time savings accounts so that employees can manage their worktime more flexibly.
Prevention policy at Bouygues Construction, which is aimed at building up a culture of “safety”, is based on the continuous improvement of equipment and operating procedures and the high quality of organisational structures and management. A high value is placed on complying with rules and taking initiatives. This policy, which is manifested in tangible measures at French and international operations, affects employees, temporary workers and business partners.
All entities are carrying out large-scale, high-profile initiatives. Bouygues Bâtiment Ile-de-France, Bouygues Entreprises France-Europe and Bouygues Travaux Publics (in the 11 countries where this company operates) interrupted work on their sites for a whole day to train and raise awareness among employees, subcontractors and temporary personnel about health and safety issues. Bouygues Bâtiment International determined that project managers in every location should implement an action plan on the key prevention themes that came to the fore in the Global Safety Week, which brought together more than 20,000 employees at all sites in September 2012. Bouygues Energie & Services introduced the Safesitequality label, which is awarded to entities on the strength of their accident rates, level of managerial commitment and prevention-awareness initiatives in place.
Health issues are also taken into account through the prevention of occupational illnesses. For each type of job, the level of exposure to arduous work has been gauged and individual exposure sheets drawn up. This analysis is accompanied by a shift towards more ergonomic equipment: lightweight stays, less vibrant portable electrical equipment, stairs in the place of ladders, elevated tool boxes, wheeled hoppers, etc. With a “accident-free worksites” firmly in its sights, Bouygues Construction is working to eliminate dangerous types of behaviour and has implemented anti-addiction measures. The initial objective is to provide support to the employees concerned.
Bouygues Construction is endeavouring to involve its business partners in these same processes. In France, temporary staffing companies commit to providing a certain level of job training to their staff and a certain number of first-aid-qualified personnel. For example, Bouygues Bâtiment Ile-de-France in 2013 entered into a partnership with OPPBTP, the professional body for accident prevention in construction and public works. This comprises random visits to worksites, the debriefing of site workers on the basis of photos taken during visits, and awareness-raising with regard to specific risks.
At Bouygues Bâtiment International, new candidates for overseas postings are required to take the “Day One” training course, which discusses safety issues on an international level, covering business ethics, health, security and safety. The Dragages Safety Training Centre in Hong Kong, which opened in 2011, continued to expand the training on offer, for example with new workshops on tunnels and façades. In the space of two years, over 4,000 people have taken a training course. Training at the centre is now available either in English or Chinese. Similar training is equally available in other countries, such as Cuba and Turkmenistan.
Management and labour organisations at Bouygues Immobilier have signed a quality of life at work agreement:
this encourages the wider use of communication technologies to allow employees to work away from the office and seeks to optimise travel arrangements through the installation of video-conferencing facilities, thereby reducing tiredness and fostering a better work/life balance. Through the Sécurité, je m’implique ! campaign, employees are encouraged to adopt a proactive stance on various identified occupational risks, especially those on worksites.
In 2013, health and safety highlights at Bouygues Telecom were the commitments made between network operations personnel and line managers during annual appraisals, the creation of a network of first-aiders to offer local support (involving some 700 trained employees) and the drafting of a questionnaire on the psychosocial environment
to complement the findings of the well-being and stress observatory. Bespoke committees analysing workload issues, initiated in connection with voluntary redundancy plans, continued their deliberations, and appointments with company nurses were rolled out on a large scale. The RCBT store network specifically introduced an e-learning module entitled “La Sécurité en boutique”, ensuring that sales advisers are aware of risk-prevention regulations from their very first days on the job. Emphasis is placed on risks relating to robbery with violence and to verbal or physical abuse.
Health and safety policy at Colas aims to foster and strengthen a genuine accident prevention culture across all its units,
setting itself three targets for 2015: an accident frequency rate below 5 in France and in Europe and below 3 elsewhere; 35% of personnel trained in first aid; and 300 units in France without workplace accidents involving time off work.
Health and safety initiatives at TF1 focus on prevention and
the installation or adaptation of safety-oriented premises and workstations. Staff sent to dangerous parts of the world are provided equipment and resources for their personal protection, and all personnel are informed of the risks relating to their particular occupations. Lastly, all risks that could endanger the health and safety of employees are identified and remedial action is taken to eliminate them.
(Updated: January 2016)
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Lifesaver training is a major public health issue. Certain companies, such as Colas, have become aware of this. In 2012, nearly a third of Colas' workforce had first aid training, equating to nearly 20,000 people around the world ready to save lives when necessary. Credits: - Produced by: Bouygues…
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