Talking Workplace Safety with QHSE Director Henk Boden

"Safety is also a matter of awareness and is strongly connected to a safety-first mindset – what you do and how you do it."

Since its inception, Caldic has always recognized the importance of a safe and healthy workplace. We ensure that we operate in accordance with the global quality standards in all our entities worldwide. We have dedicated colleagues who are part of the Quality, Health, Safety, and Environment teams that are local to each region. Henk Boden, Global QHSE Director, gives us an overview of some of the practices we have in place.

“Because we care, we feel responsible for making sure that all our colleagues are safe at home again at the end of each working day. Simple things like ensuring technical and personal protective equipment (PPEs) are of the highest quality and meet all the requirements can go a long way. Moreover, we also conduct workplace risk assessments to verify that the environment is safe and take preventative measures where necessary.” He also adds that while organizations can do their best and take all the precautions, “safety is also a matter of awareness and is strongly connected to a safety-first mindset – what you do and how you do it.”

Caldic conducts regular training sessions to instruct the employees about the different safety measures while also making them aware of the importance of being alert and cautious of their surroundings – especially in factories and pharma and industrial plants. He is working on installing behavior-based observation systems in all offices – hoping to highlight both the good and bad of workplace safety. Present in quite a few regions, there are observers in place who report on incidents on the system, which are shared worldwide.

He has overseen the implementation of ten life-saving rules (LSRs) that must be signed by employees and states that there has been a noticeable reduction in overall accidents. These LSRs are equally applied to everyone irrespective of their designation. Highlighting the importance of transparency and uniformity in the implementation of such rules, he cites the example of an office in Benelux, which has a board at the entrance of the plant detailing the number of days without incidents and other relevant information.

Henk has been the director of QHSE since 2011. He has witnessed huge progress in the implementation of uniform procedures and an enormous improvement in cooperation among entities. “While all entities differ in their operational setup, we have created working groups or communities, wherein we communicate and inform each other of incidents, etc. so that other regions can prevent it in their sites and offices.”

As several Caldic entities have been receiving a wide range of ISO Certifications, Henk stresses that a safe environment is not only limited to the inside of an organization: “We are very transparent about the impact we have on the environment and continue to implement systems that reduce our emissions. Caldic has also signed a letter of commitment to the UN Global Compact – which covers principles like human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption as well as the Sustainable Development Goals.”

You can visit the QHSE page to learn more.