By Margaret Tra
Source: Safe To Work
Environmental services specialist Veolia has taken its safety
training a step further, with a program that takes a behavioural approach
to safety and empowers its staff.
The company implemented a program from People & Quality Solutions
(PaQS), a training and coaching organisation that specialises in the unique
areas of personal performance and development. Its programs aim to make
constructive attitude and behavioural change towards safety.
Veolia employs about 450 people in WA. During its training sessions, PaQS'
safety psychologists trained company representatives as safety coaches, who
then return to their organisations to implement specialised safety
According to Veolia's WA training & development manager, Nathan Simms,
the company focuses on each individual staff member being responsible for
"Our company focuses heavily on safety and we have the correct systems in
place, but we also want to build safety awareness from the top down and the
bottom up. That's why we like the coaching process that PaQS uses.
Participants play an active role and see how they contribute to the bigger
picture. It shows them that everyone is responsible for safety," said
There are currently four Veolia people going through this coaching process
whose main roles within the company are as compliance officers or safety
advisors, so the coaching complements this.
Simms said after analysing our incident rates, there is definitely evidence
that they have decreased. We've also seen a much higher awareness of
"Our workforce is spread throughout the state and is a diverse bunch. In
our Geraldton waste division where the participants are from a variety of
backgrounds, the program was very well received." he added.
As a result of its success in Western Australia, other states are now
engaging in the PAQS program.
According to PaQS managing director, Carl Reams, attitudes can change and
that's exactly what his programs do.
"Most attitudes change over time. Even strongly held or deeply ingrained
attitudes can change. You don't have all the same attitudes now as you did
when you were a children or a teenager. Experience and exposure to people
and ideas shape and reinforce beliefs and attitudes. New ideas and
experiences, if presented in the right way, will serve to enhance, develop
or modify existing attitudes," Reams said.
"People will willingly adopt new information, beliefs and attitudes very
quickly when it's presented in the right way for the right reason. If they
can see how it will benefit them individually, they're far more likely to
cooperate," he added.