Saint-Gobain's Commitment to Health and Safety in the Construction Industry
Annually over 1 billion builders globally are exposed to hazardous substances during their working hours, including fumes, dust, pollutants, and vapours, according to the International Labour Organisation. They also face additional risks by working at extreme heights and managing machinery to handle heavy materials and equipment, which make it essential for companies within this industry to protect the health, safety and well-being of their employees.
Saint-Gobain, the global leader in light and sustainable construction, has made the safety and well-being of not only their employees, but also temporary workers, subcontractors, customers and users of their products, a core component of its corporate culture. The company's commitment to safety not only protects its employees but also serves as an example for the entire construction industry.
Saint-Gobain recognizes that safety is not just about rules and regulations but is also a mindset and culture that should be embraced by every employee, contractor, and installer. Their approach to safety begins with leadership, and it trickles down to every level of the organization. Their objective to achieve ZERO accidents across all departments and sites, has already seen a 25% decrease in accidents between 2018 and 2020, with 70% of their sites having been accident free for at least one year.
The Environment, Health and Safety Charter established by Saint-Gobain states the following:
- ZERO work related accidents
- ZERO occupational illnesses
- ZERO environmental accidents and minimum impact of our activities
By adhering to the following principles:
- Respect for relevant legislation as well as for Saint-Gobain Standards
- Exemplary standards in all our processes, products and services, throughout their life cycle
- Prevention and continuous reduction of all risks for our employees, temporary workers, visitors and customers, as well as for the environment
- Dialogue continuous, responsible and open with all our stakeholders (colleagues, public authorities, neighbours, customers, suppliers etc)
Through the development of tools that anticipate and prevent the risk of work-related illnesses and disabilities, Saint-Gobain has been able to improve the ergonomic structure of all workspaces, which includes taking action to prevent psychosocial risks and stresses too.
The organisation undertakes regular safety training and education to contractors using their products to ensure that this knowledge is made available to all and is able to be spread across many channels through the industry.
Saint-Gobain's commitment to safety in the construction industry serves as a model for others to follow. Their approach, emphasizing a culture of safety, essential safety equipment, and accident prevention tips, not only safeguards their workforce but contributes to the overall well-being of the construction industry. By embracing these principles and continuously improving safety practices, contractors and installers can help create a safer and more productive work environment for everyone involved. After all, in construction, safety is not an option; it's a necessity.