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Explore the Health and Safety Management

11 July 2014

What is Health and Safety management nowadays according to protective equipment manufacturers?

To better understand what is at stake in terms of Occupational Safety and Health, the Managing Director of a worldwide leading company in safety protection solutions agreed to be interviewed.

Mapa Professional is a protective gloves manufacturer for all types of activities that require hands protections (Food, Chemical, Mechanical, Engineering, Energy, Fishing, Construction, Critical Environments, etc.). That is the reason why its slogan says: MAPA Professional aims to provide a solution for each working hand. As explains its Managing Director, Mr. Robert Pierrefils: “The first responsibility of a supplier like us is to perfectly understand the needs, closely related and linked with the H&S managers. The understanding of their missions and what's at stake everyday is the key issue of our work".

H&S managers are facing a very challenging environment. The regulatory framework is getting more and more complex–and tense in the meantime. As a consequence, internal pressure is higher and higher; daily emergencies replacing priorities. "They are performing an incredible work, says Mr. Pierrefils, as their missions are getting sharper and sharper."

This stands as a global picture, a situation that most big corporations are confronting to, all over the world. "Disparities are dropping, adds Mr. Pierrefils, particularly because they now all take into account their partner’s H&S management rules and regulations. One of the latest example is GDF-Suez that announced the signature of a worldwide agreement, making Top and Middle managers as well as operators and suppliers, acting people for safety and health in the working field".

But should H&S function be considered solely as a source of constraints? When it comes to dialogue between management and employees, Health and Safety managers are the best actors to make it easier and smoother.  Besides, H&S strategy is a very effective tool to get productivity gain. "We did notice this increase among all our clients. The better this function is considered, the better productivity is, especially throughout the Lean management or the 5S workplace organization".

This supportive state of mind should go back and forth. If Health and Safety managers are very much in tune with employees, they expect a real understanding for their needs from the other side: manufacturers. "We are meeting our clients day after day on the field, in their professional environment, so that we can perfectly understand their requirements to guide our R&D department. For example, we are working very hard in R&D to produce a protective glove that leaves the operator totally free of his gesture, as if he wasn't wearing any glove." Still, too many working accidents occur because operators don’t put on their PPE.

Manufacturers and H&S managers pursue a common goal: changing operators' behavior and upgrading workplaces. To ensure this success, both parties should pull themselves together!