Following their outstanding success in the 2018 RoSPA Health and Safety Awards (a Gold Achievement, Best New Entry and a Guardian Angel Award), the #1 global beauty company L’Oréal Group took the 2019 Awards by storm.
As well as creating with RoSPA, the popular Safe@Work-Safe@Home Award which is open to all Gold Award winners, L’Oréal also achieved 2 Gold, 2 Silver and a Bronze award as well as the Best New Entry – International trophy.
L’Oréal’s strategy is to encourage individual sites or regions/countries to apply for the RoSPA awards and then cascade the impact and pride of being recognised for their local systems and performance.
Following the success of L’Oréal sites across the Americas (or L’Oréal Americas) in 2019, we discussed with Dr Jay Harf, Vice President of Environment, Health, Safety & Sustainability, Zone Americas, the reasoning as to why they choose the RoSPA Awards programme.
Why did you enter the awards and why is achieving a RoSPA Award important for your organisation?
Consumers’ expectations are higher than ever and are increasingly supporting companies that look after people as well as the planet. To be an employer of choice, it is important to care for your employees and their health and safety. It is important that our efforts and performance be validated by others and it’s not just patting ourselves on the back. RoSPA recognition provides our employees with a sense of pride, knowing our policies and initiatives are perceived as world class.
Participating in the RoSPA Health and Safety Awards and being recognized reaffirms that we are on the right path in protecting our people but it also benchmarks us against other companies. It is vital in today’s society to be able to demonstrate to our employees and customers that the health and safety of our employees and visitors is a real core value. The RoSPA Awards and recognition that comes with it allows us to do that.
What do you think entrants could do over the year to keep drafting an awards submission simple?
The best advice that I can give is to be continually collecting relevant evidence that can be included in your RoSPA Health & Safety Award application. In doing so, you can ensure that you are keeping your submission current, and building off your baseline. This will mean that what you submit in year 1 you can build on in year 2, 3 and 4. Demonstrating day-to-day, month-to-month safety operations are important, so take notes and collect this evidence throughout the year.
I would also like to add that the careful selection of the proof provided is vital. Take the time to select the proof that supports the text you have written and please do not give more than eight pieces of proof…. the 9th and beyond will not be considered!
Have you used the reflective practice involved in drafting a submission for Career and Professional Development (CPD) purposes?
The RoSPA Awards application process is a great tool for CPD because it forces our team to step out of their routine and think clearly about where we are at in our journey towards zero accidents and even further by creating a positive safety culture. This reflective practice helps us improve processes, generate ideas and move forward. Being able to benchmark our progress through the peer-to-peer view is invaluable.
Which innovative approaches, risk assessment practices and/or control measures to manage health and safety are you particularly proud of?
Over the last few years, we have streamlined many of our processes at L’Oréal in the Americas in order to be more sustainable and digitally-minded when it comes to health and safety reporting. A key component of this is that we have moved a lot of monitoring over to apps that can capture data in real time. This allows us to make faster and more informed decisions on safety and focus on what matters and that is on the ground safety and talking to employees about their safety and their concerns.
Recently, we launched the Corporate Safe@Work-Safe@Home and LIFE programmes which we helped to develop. The former promotes spreading our culture outside of L’Oréal and we have seen our employees working in the community to promote safety more widely. In the USA, we are particularly proud of our schools’ program that has successfully passed on lessons relating to all aspects of safety (fire, road, home…). At the fire (fire safety) sessions, we have seen employees teach kids, in a fun way, how to plan an evacuation of a building and use a fire extinguisher – vital training which may very well save lives.
How has working with RoSPA, inspired you and your sites/regions to continually improve health and safety management?
Attending the RoSPA Awards ceremony in Glasgow this year was a revelation and gave my team and I a fantastic opportunity to network and learn from other health and safety professionals from a diverse range of companies. We came back from Glasgow with ideas for improvement as well as a hunger to do even better in 2020.
I am personally convinced that any organisation that wants to get the reassurance of where they are in their health and safety journey and what are the next steps of improvement should participate in the RoSPA Awards. Each year, if companies take on board the feedback on their application I am convinced that everyone will make progress and that this progress will be recognised. That has to be good for the company as well as for all the employees, contractors and visitors.
I walked out of the door at the end of a great evening and I made a single promise: we will be back! See you next year in Birmingham for the 2020 Awards.