Occupational Health and Safety Week: a generational challenge

Ahead of its 2018 international occupational health and safety week, the Group has launched a visual art competition for its staff members’ children aged between 3 and 17 years old. The aim is to rely on family ties to boost the impact of the awareness-raising initiative.
Published in the dossier of June 2018

An original approach, which puts a fresh spin on the standard codes used in the area of occupational health and safety prevention.

“My commitment to the future”: a highly organized competition for 3 to 17 year olds.

The slogan of the visual art competition launched by Veolia among its staff’s children in spring 2018 was “Acting for a better future.”

Divided into three age categories, the participating children had to answer a specific question:

• For the youngest (3 to 6 years old): what protection do my parents need? The winner saw their design reproduced on a T-shirt: it will be the emblem for the international week.

• For 7 to 12 year olds: what do my parents do to work in complete safety? The winner’s artwork will illustrate the poster for the event.

• Finally, for 13-17 year olds: what does occupational safety represent? The winner had to design the Group’s health and safety mascot.

Prizes will also be awarded to the top three winners in each category.

An effective occupational health and safety policy can be judged by a key indicator: the accident frequency rate. At Veolia, it is 10% on average and has been dropping steadily over the past decade for all its activities worldwide. This performance is as much the fruit of the engagement of the Group’s Chairman and CEO as the result of the partnerships established with organizations such as the International Labour Organization (ILO), which make it possible to gain a better grasp of collective risks and put forward shared standards and processes. It is also due to a deep awareness on the part of the Group’s staff of the need to follow these rules.

At Veolia, the health and safety approach is based on five pillars:

  • involve the entire line management;
  • improve health and safety risk management;
  • improve communication and dialogue;
  • train and involve all staff members;
  • monitor and control health and safety prevention performance.

To support this approach, management tools have been developed by the Group with the “AlwaysSafe” logo. They enable managers to develop and improve their strategy based on the safety culture and allow each member of staff to adopt the right behavior.

“Acting for a better future”

For the fourth consecutive year, Veolia is organizing its international health and safety week from September 17 to 21, 2018 with the slogan: Acting for a better future. An expression that sheds light on the Group’s twofold conviction, highlighted by Nuno Marques Peiriço, Deputy Health and Safety Director in charge of performance and audits:

“We must act with a sense of continuity; not only in the life of the staff member, but also to guarantee a better working environment for future generations.”

Thinking about the future of the Group’s employees in terms of physical protection has led the company to consider the next generations, “so that young people are no longer exposed to the risks faced by previous generations.”

Whereas, in the past, investment in terms of health and safety focused a great deal on resources,

“today it is more a question of helping people to create their own risk and health prevention culture. Understanding individual behaviors and habits, which take root in the staff member’s family unit, is at the heart of our prevention and safety approach,” emphasizes Nuno Peiriço.

This approach explains the huge drawing competition launched by Veolia, now involving not just staff members but also their families.

Getting children involved, all the better to raise their parents’ awareness

Launched in March 2018, the international creative competition “My commitment to the future” (see boxed text) invited the staff’s children to create a drawing illustrating their parents’ work and occupational health and safety. Over 10,000 drawings were sent in and then preselected into three age categories. The three winners, chosen by the Group’s Executive Committee, then had the chance to see their artwork “come to life” on three media: a T-shirt for the 3- to 6-year-old category, a poster for 7-12 year olds, and a mascot for 13-17 year olds.

“I was able to see the difference in how the parents are seen depending on the child’s age,” continues Nuno Peiriço. “The youngest children painted an undifferentiated picture of a protective family; the intermediate category showed a more focused relationship with the parents, who are seen as protective heroes. From the age of 13, technology and innovation clearly take precedence,” concludes the Group’s Deputy Health & Safety Director.

By taking part in the “My commitment to the future” competition, Veolia staff members’ children have undoubtedly helped develop a better health and safety prevention culture among their parents. There’s nothing more effective than seeing things through your children’s eyes to learn life-saving reflexes or adopt healthier rules for living. For the benefit of all.

Key figures

41 countries
> more than 10,000 drawings
123 drawings preselected / 9 finalists / 3 winners