Priority to Health, Safety and Environment

January, 2019
 

“A safe worker is a wealthy worker.” This is a daily motivational quote by SGA Security Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Manager, Josephine Mwongeli. Safety, as she explains, reduces the amount of time wastage and hefty hospital budgets that could have instead been used for other life developmental projects if only hazards are avoided in an organization.

Health, Safety and Environment also features in our key strategic pillars of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) through various sustainability projects to transform lives in the community. These projects include Mater Heart Run that supports healthcare for less fortunate children with heart ailments. SGA has also participated in Lewa Marathon in the conservation of the wildlife as well as supporting children through sponsorship of education, golf and tennis sports.  

As an indication of our commitment to the achievement of zero defects in service provision as well as our obligation to customer satisfaction and quality delivery of services, SGA is ISO9000 certified since April 2008. With over 5,000 SGA employees deployed in different regions across Kenya, health and safety measures are vital to ensure work is carried out in a favourable environment, which translates to the delivery of quality security services to diverse clients.

HSE risk frameworks, policy and assessments by SGA are incorporated into services which have a secondary effect in protecting employees as well as families, customers, suppliers and neighbouring communities. Critical risk identification and controls also assist workers in responding quickly to emergencies from clients.

Safety, health and environmental impact assessments are essential in an organization for social and economic sustainability. Impact assessment processes at the workplace is, therefore, one of the clearest indicators of areas that require improvement in work efficiency through regular performance and appraisal evaluation. 

Gaps in HSE knowledge, skills or attitude are met through monthly training, both practical and structured learning and development at the workplace. Hence, HSE Compliance training aims to enhance transparency and communication across all corporate levels through standardized and thorough inspections.

Some of the courses in the training manual include Risks/Hazards Management, Emergency and Crisis Management, Transportation Safety training for drivers in various categories such as Cash-In-Transit, Defensive training and traffic regulations.  Electrical and Fire Safety Drills, Human Error Management and the general workplace ergonomics that entail the psychological, physical and social well-being of employees to ensure they have a comfortable working environment.

Work Ergonomics training is vital in creating a conducive environment to the workers. For example, poorly designed workstations and chairs could render a worker uncomfortable and suffer from serious health problems of back pains.

Electrical Safety and Fire Safety and Prevention training expands to schools where pupils are offered basic practical training drills on staying safe during fire emergencies and also on the use of fire extinguishers and first aid kits. Use of safety gears is a key notable area that SGA considers for its workers to ensure safety and prevent injuries.

According to Ministry of Labour and East African Community Affairs, Directorate of Occupational Safety and Health Services department outlines Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) 2007, whose main objective is accidents and diseases prevention at the workplace. OSHA department also oversees the Work Injury Benefits Act (WIBA) 2007 that provides compensation for workers injured or suffered from a work-related disease in his or her line of duty.

Coordinated by the Risk Management Committee, HSE training Policy entails Standards, Procedures and Work Instructions that are simple, easy-to-understand and relevant to the promotion of a smooth working atmosphere. This policy assists the departmental heads in the company to monitor and evaluate employees’ compliance with the regulations and measure results in terms of behavioural change and assessment of risks reduction. It is a basic requirement to identify hazards and adopt measures to minimize dangers such as safe riding and driving, handling of chemicals, reducing noise and vibration and handling of work equipment.

 Ms. Mwongeli says everyone is obligated to protect the environment. SGA Security contributes to waste management through recycling of oil waste from the company’s large fleet of vehicles destined for diverse security services to clients. We also embrace electronic communication through e-mails, phones and radio calls to reduce unnecessary wastage of printing documents that cause risks to the environment. Wastage of water and electricity is prohibited. A designated smoking zone is also erected away from the workplace to prevent pollution.

The HSE Manager delights in motivating a safe working culture to her colleagues by creating Health, Safety and Environment Policy manuals. The purpose of the HSE policy is to ensure the optimal physical and mental health of employees keeping in mind that there are associated risks involved during operations.

“At SGA, our goal is to eliminate discomfort and risk of injury in the execution of one’s duty. We take priority in yielding good results to our clients. Those found breaching obligations contained in this HSE Policy will not be tolerated and may lead to strict disciplinary actions,” Mwongeli concludes.