Strengthening and shaping a system-wide culture of safety

Through group-wide initiatives, like instituting a new reporting tool and adding a new metric to measure progress, Ragn-Sells continues to shape a culture of safety across all levels. One with the goal to become the industry leader in workplace safety by 2030 and built on a foundation of mutual trust and collaboration.

28 Apr 2022

Leadership is key to shaping the culture of workplace safety at Ragn-Sells. Management needs to promote open communication as a company norm so that employees feel supported in reporting risks or accidents. They must also foster a work environment where employees can thrive, as well as respect and care for each other. These principles are at the heart of every effort contributing to the culture of safety at Ragn-Sells.

A prime example is the ISO 45001 occupational health and safety management requirements. The ISO 45001 is an international system for managing workplace health and safety on both a physical and mental level, and it marks a change in industry standards for Ragn-Sells.

– Unlike with previous standards, there is a much greater focus on the management's commitment to safety culture and the shared participation of every employee to help us identify what issues we need to work on, says Anna-Karin Petursson, Work Environment Manager at Ragn-Sells Sweden.

That “shared participation” philosophy is also evident in another “Safety First” initiative: the expansion of a reporting system for risks or accidents. This has already been implemented in Norway and is now being rolled out in Sweden, Denmark, and Estonia. The system features a structure for open dialogue whenever employees report a risk or accident. Such a chance to be heard is a meaningful motivator — and employees’ insights are a vital resource for determining which preventive or corrective measures to take.

According to Petursson, the new reporting system which is called ImproveRS also includes pragmatic features to support work safety.

– ImproveRS is a great tool for being able to follow up on individual cases and measures. A unified plan where you can share solutions, follow statistics, perform analyses, and investigate the events, she explains.

Anna-Karin Petursson is Work Environment Manager at Ragn-Sells Sweden and works with several “Safety First” initiatives in the company.

A unified, proactive approach

A critical element for maintaining strong workplace safety at Ragn-Sells is the tracking of metrics to measure performance and inform efforts. They include the ratio of accidents to hours worked, as well as the proportion of accidents that result in employee absences. And in the autumn of 2021, Ragn-Sells developed a new metric to track. Named the “Safety Quota”, it’s the ratio of reported risk observations to hours worked.

– It’s about being aware of potential risks. The more reported risk observations that we receive and remedy, the better equipped we are to prevent accidents, says Petursson.

In December 2021, Ragn-Sells took a major step to further strengthen its work safety efforts by establishing a Safety Board. A joint venture across operations in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Estonia, the board is currently designing an official Safety Directive for a unified group-wide approach to work safety, as well as planning a new, annual Safety Week for the entire Ragn-Sells group, where events, seminars, workshops, and overall safety topics can be shared amongst employees.

– At Ragn-Sells, we’re ambitious and committed in regards to our journey towards a better safety culture. What it takes is a good system-wide effort for workplace safety. It begins with leadership, but it doesn’t end there. You always need to be improving what you are already doing and analysing to see what you can do better, says Petursson.