Education is key, agreed Matt Compher, vice president of safety, health and environment for Quanta Services in Houstonan engineering, procurement and construction services provider with over 25,000 employees. Compher said everyone needs to be involved, from the safety staff down the line, to put new safety standards in place. That means front-line supervisors, middle managers, rank-and-file workers and clients. He said businesses also have to consider the additional expenses involved in providing new equipment and training. Employee Buy-In It's important to take the time to explain to front-line supervisors and employees why the company is introducing new safety programs, Fine said. Said Compher: "The workforce has changed over the last 20 years, and we've spent more time educating employees about safety and giving them more of a role in safety procedures." Compher recalled rolling out new policies when electrical workers were no longer allowed to free-climb poles. "The linemen felt like we were taking their skill away," he said. "They spent many years learning how to free-climb, and we had to explain that it's not about skill." Rather, it's about safety. When employees don't follow a policy, employers need to investigate and figure out what went wrong, he said. "Is there a culture within that workgroup we need to address?" he asked. "Most of the time, it's not the employee's total disregard." Employers sometimes hesitate to discipline employees for failing to follow a safety policy, Fine said. Disciplinary actions will end up in a worker's personnel file, which may not be ideal.
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We are proud to witness the graduation of the first batch of trainees of the Tahlya Training Programme, which equipped them with skills and knowledge, enabling them to play an important role in the desalination sector, said Shabib Mohammed al Mamari, communications and external affairs manager at BP Oman. Out of the 18 job seekers who were trained under Tahlya, two are women. Ahoud First Aid Training al Hashmi and Shatha al Rashdi overcame challenges related to the technical aspects to achieve success. To succeed in such technical areas what really matters is motivation and a strong desire to work. Having faith in ones capability and potential is of paramount importance, this is what enabled us to successfully complete the programme, said Shatha. I am very happy with how the trainees approached this course. They have applied themselves in a dedicated, professional manner and have consistently displayed a genuine interest in what they are learning. I am confident that they will carve a niche for themselves in this sector. We are working with BP Oman to help them achieve success, said Eng Riadh Dridi, head of Training at MEDRC.