13 years ago, the ILO celebrated the first World Day on Safety and Health at Work. The date, 28 April, is a day for raising awareness and promoting a culture of safety and health at work in companies but also among employees, regulatory organisations and public opinion.
In recent years the areas addressed have included issues related to safety regarding the use of chemicals, prevention of occupational diseases or the promotion of safety and health in a green economy. This year the main theme was: “Stress at work: A collective challenge”. Stress has been recognised as a global problem that affects all kinds of professions and workers. In this context, this year saw an emphasis on the impact of workplace stress and the problems that it causes in the field of health and safety at work.
The following figure is illuminating: about half of European workers believe that stress is common in their workplaces, and is a contributing factor to lower productivity and the reason for nearly half of all working days lost..
High levels of competitiveness, excessive workloads, high performance expectations or decreased job security all contribute to the creation of working environments that are perceived by workers as stressful and have an impact on their welfare.
28 April, a day to raise awareness
At Enagás we have been working on continuous improvement in the overall health of employees and the safety of our processes. These are two key elements of the company’s mission and values that contribute to the achievement of sustainable results in the environmental, social and governance areas.
We have therefore defined several actions and lines of work for 2016 that cover the analysis of new risks and measures associated with sociocultural change. They also include tools for improving crisis management and adaptation of the health and safety culture to the current situation.
Enagás participates in this campaign with the dissemination of good practices among our employees and awareness raising campaigns that involve everybody. All these activities are in line with the initiatives that we have been developing in recent years: transforming the risk management model into a concept of integrated health that seeks the physical, mental and social well-being of all our professionals and their environment. This work was recognised last year with the award of the “Healthy Company” certificate.
Prevention is key in the safety of facilities
Anticipating and detecting potential risks is crucial in the gas industry. To this end, our approach to safety is preventive and its inputs are actions arising from management of unforeseen circumstances through analysis of lessons learned. At Enagás, we have a continuous improvement system through which we identify our strengths and manage change.
To this end, we are working closely with both national and international bodies, in operations, development and analysis of trends.
Internationally, among other actions, we are involved in the Marcogaz Sustainability Standing Committee. On this Committee, we are involved in the Health and Safety Working Group, which addresses issues related to workplace health and safety.
Nationally, Enagás plays an active part in the Committee on Security and Sustainable Development and in its SEDIGAS working group, which establishes common criteria for action in prevention and safety in the Spanish gas industry. Also this year we participated with the UME in conducting the GAMMA SUR simulation, the largest earthquake simulation ever performed in Spain, in the provinces of Seville and Ceuta. The aim of the initiative was to put into practice the action protocol of the groups involved in a risk situation caused by a hypothetical earthquake.
The various initiatives promoted in this area seek to raise awareness about the importance of addressing the issue from the different areas for the management of unforeseen events. Health and safety should be part of our work.