Occupational health and safety is the bedrock of every industrial plant. Without it, no facility can operate effectively – whether it’s a small workshop or a major ethylene plant. The risk of workers being seriously injured is particularly high during the construction of process plants and during modernisation projects. Dangers for workers here include falling from heights, being hit by falling objects as well as fires and explosions. The smallest mistakes can turn into major risks to health and safety or cause damage to machines and equipment. Customers also look at incident statistics when awarding contracts and so companies with above-average incident rates often struggle to win new business.
Although safety regulations are clearly defined, ensuring they are implemented and observed during day-to-day operations can often be a challenge. Linde Engineering is now launching a new suite of Construction Safety Services that supports customers in all aspects of occupational health and safety during construction and assembly projects. Kai Gransee is Head of Construction Safety Services. He and his team are drawing on Linde’s long-standing experience from internal projects in their work here. The programme is part of the end-to-end LINDE PLANTSERVTM portfolio, which encompasses all services previously bundled under Linde Engineering’s Customer Services offering. The Construction Safety offering comprises three mutually complementary modules called Behaviour Based Safety services, Safety Management Services and Project & Execution Safety Services
Module 1: Laying the right foundations
It all starts with Safety Management Services. “In this module, we help companies define and put in place the systems and processes that fit their needs,” explains Gransee. In concrete terms, this means the internal regulations governing key safety issues such as risk assessments and incident investigations. “Our aim is to work with companies to establish a suitable occupational health and safety management system, going on to optimise it further,” adds Gransee. If required, we also offer additional support services extending from training up to certification of safety management systems.
Module 2: Supporting individual projects
With Project & Execution Safety Services, Gransee and his team help customers with individual projects, for example the construction of a new industrial plant. “Factoring in regional and customer requirements, we plan safety programmes that ensure construction projects are executed safely,” comments Gransee. In addition to offering consulting services, Linde’s experienced specialists are also on hand to provide support on site if required.
Project & Execution Safety Services provide support during specific projects.
Module 3: Successful implementation
Gransee is particularly proud of the Behaviour Based Safety Services. This suite of services has been designed to put theory into practice. In other words, reliably and effectively transferring rules, regulations and training into day-to-day operations so that employees behave safely at all times. Linde is collaborating with renowned coaching experts from Performance Consultants International (PCI) in London here. The innovative concept was developed jointly by both companies and transfers proven coaching methods to occupational health and safety. “The best plans, programmes and guidelines are doomed to fail if you don’t have a clear idea about how you are going to get everyone on a construction site to actively adhere to these best practices. We use safety coaching to ensure that every employee sets themselves the personal goal of working safely,” adds Gransee.
Linde uses coaching methods as part of its Behaviour Based Safety Services.
Although other behaviour-based safety programmes also centre on this idea, they are frequently unsuccessfully executed. This is often because they rely solely on methods that have been specifically developed for occupational health and safety. Linde takes a different approach and has been incorporating well-proven professional coaching methods into the area of occupational health and safety for some time now. Most importantly, this strategy fosters a non-judgemental and curious mindset in safety dialogues with colleagues and workers, for example through a preference for open, powerful questions instead of instructions. This raises awareness about hazards and risks among employees, which, in turn, encourages people to take more responsibility for their own safety and welfare.
“In terms of our own construction sites, the locations with the best safety performance – in other words the lowest incident rates – are those that are systematically and enthusiastically implementing our Behaviour Based Safety programme,” explains Gransee.
More coaching – enhanced performance
Linde is already noting strong interest among customers, even though the service has yet to be officially launched. “Coaching has been successfully deployed in many other areas of business at Linde. In HR and the development of management skills, for example, coaching has had a proven impact on the motivation and performance of individuals and teams and is now firmly anchored in these areas,” comments Gransee. Linde is a pioneer in transferring coaching methods to the field of occupational health and safety. This approach is also mentioned in the latest edition of “Coaching for Performance”. Published by Linde's partner PCI, this book has been viewed for many years as the reference for coaching in business.
Gransee teaches these skills through an e-learning programme comprising six modules. Developed from the ground up by Linde and PCI, this interactive programme features videos and can be tailored to specific customer needs and requirements. Linde also offers a two-day workshop for customers looking to delve deeper into the subject and develop concrete implementation plans. “We launched the programme internally over two years ago and have received amazing feedback. This new approach to influencing behaviour and communicating have been extremely well received by our employees,” explains Gransee.
Through this new offering, Linde supports occupational health and safety at all levels – from introducing a safety management system across a company through providing concrete help in individual projects to embedding a long-term health and safety mindset throughout an organisation. “We have been successfully mastering health and safety challenges in the most demanding of environments for our discerning customers for years. We've been doing this for so long now that we would like to share our experience with other companies.”