Safety – a top priority within all our sections of H.Essers

Safety – a top priority within all our sections of H.Essers

In the world of logistics and transport, safety is something that cannot be discussed afterwards; human lives are at stake. Hence, H.Essers focuses on the safety of its employees and visitors day in, day out. From the driver with the forklift truck in the warehouse to the management at the corporate headquarters, everybody is involved. We achieve this level of involvement, for example, by implementing lean manufacturing in the workspace, emergency exercises and safety days.

5S+Safety, give praise where praise is due

An organisation the size of H.Essers needs a good structure to ensure that everything runs smoothly and to achieve optimal results. That is why, for some time now, we have been in the process of implementing the 5S programme, focussing on order and cleanliness to decrease wastage, to discover deviations faster, and to involve everyone in the continuous process of improvement. The 5 S's of this technique stand for Sort, Set in order, Shine, Standardising and Sustain. By reducing and avoiding wastage, we can also save on operational costs.

The next step is the implementation of the Safety aspect, including for example clear guidelines, safety rules for visitors and third parties, procedures for fire and work permits, clear evacuation plans at every entrance, regular checks of cables and outlets, ergonomics etc. In short: Nothing is left to chance!

In order to keep the 5S+Safety philosophy alive, we have created a quarterly 5S Award, which goes to the hall with the highest scores on the different aspects of 5S+safety. The actions and initiatives taken regarding safety, order in the workspace and visual management have led to fantastic results and have set the standard for best-in-class logistics. The winning hall may treat all its employees to something delicious of their choice. In this way, we keep our employees motivated and safe!

Practice makes perfect

To make sure that procedures are mastered by everyone and that everyone is familiar with the procedures and knows what to do when push comes to shove, we regularly organise ‘emergency exercises’ at the different sites of H.Essers.

On Saturday 14 October, for example, our car wash in Tessenderlo (T.C.C) featured the ‘save man from tank’ exercise in cooperation with the rescue team of the local fire brigade. The purpose of the exercise was to be able to react adequately if someone falls into a bulk trailer and cannot get out by himself. Both our employees and the firefighters, who had never before performed such an exercise, learned a lot from the experience, so much so that we decided to organise a similar emergency exercise every year from now on. After all, you can never be too prepared!

Second edition of H.Essers’ Safety day

On 5 October 2017, the second edition of our Safety Day took place. The participants were: H.Essers’ management, Business Unit Managers, Operational Managers, CPBW-members and prevention advisors of the Logistics, Transport and Overhead departments.

Three interesting guest speakers ensured a diversified programme. Pablo Coosemans of Atrium, André Van Dael of Toyota and Kristof Schockaert of MAN showed us that organising trainings within your company is important, that you are never really done when it comes to safety, that technology is there to help human beings, but that human behaviour remains the determining factor. Thus, these speakers were perfectly in line with the step we took with our external partner, The Human Link, who will examine within our company what drives our employees to work safely or not.

Several interactive group exercises regarding target behaviours and safety priorities within H.Essers, with a specific focus on the time actually spent on these priorities, completed the afternoon programme. The results of these exercises were discussed per group. The target behaviours that were highlighted were: reminding each other in a positive way about (un)safe behaviour, showing exemplary behaviour, and keeping the cell phone out of reach while driving.

Let us take care of our human capital together by continuing to work for a safer environment for each and every one of us!

For more information, please contact Raf Timmermans via