‘Safety is a powerful subject to enhance leadership’
SHP caught up with VP Group Health & Safety at Carlsberg Group, Luiz Montenegro, to find about innovative safety management and the importance of finding the right balance of complexity in health & safety systems.
Luiz Montenegro has been working as a health & safety leader since 2002, holding different responsibilities, from site level to world region and eventually global level.
“My story with safety starts with my very first job as a trainee chemical engineer, when I worked in Process Safety Management at Union Carbide. My career developed in the production and process improvement areas, when I also worked for DuPont. Looking back, it does feel like ending up in the health & safety area was not a coincidence,” he said.
Luiz told SHP that he believes safety is a powerful driver of cultural change, if you manage to reach hearts and minds. “Safety is a powerful subject to enhance leadership, to create a true caring culture and, as a consequence, to create the level of engagement needed for any business to be successful. People only give that extra mile when they believe in a purpose and if they feel that the company cares for them.”
Challenges and diversity
Working for Carlsberg, Luiz is faced with a range of health and safety challenges, across various sectors, including food & beverage, manufacturing and logistics. “When I joined Carlsberg, we defined the first and most important priority: to eliminate work-related fatalities in the Group.”
Alongside that, Luiz and his team also defined two other strategic priorities: “To make health & safety front of mind to all our people and to progressively reduce risk exposure.”
The strong focus on fatality prevention paid off: “We’re more than 600 days fatality-free, a record in the Group. Together with this, we see our injury rates decreasing and the levels of engagement and participation improving in all areas of the company.
“It’s a long journey. With the diversity of countries, cultures and local history, we have been working strongly to harmonise the most important health & safety programs and processes to ensure the Group speaks a common language and improves in knowledge and understanding of hazards and its controls. We’re still in the middle of this transformation process, but the initial results are quite encouraging.”
Innovative safety management
Luiz will be speaking as part of a panel debate at April’s EHS Congress, looking at Innovative Safety Management. SHP asked him to about some of the innovations and initiatives he has in place at Carlsberg.
“First you must create the conditions for innovation. An organisation dealing with fatal or very severe cases tends to be very reactive. Therefore, you must first focus on strengthening the foundations and on building engagement of all areas and levels with health & safety.
“The beauty of building engagement at all levels is that it creates a strong pull from the lower levels for things that are closer to their daily lives at work (and eventually also off-the-job).
“People get interested in making things better for them and for their fellow colleagues. This is the perfect foundation for empowered teams and, ultimately, to self-managed teams. We’re not at this stage yet at Carlsberg, but I’m confident with the direction because I’ve implemented this before as a regional lead.”
Luiz stressed that finding the right balance is always a challenge, when it comes to reducing complexity in health & safety processes. “Some are naturally more complex due to regulations or potential liabilities. You’re able to reduce complexity once your stable processes have been in place for some time and, if you build sufficient competency in the organisation. But pursuing simplification is an excellent opportunity to engage the process users and to increase focus on the purpose (more on ‘why’, less on ‘how’). People get more engaged by a purpose rather than a method.
“I am a strong believer that the most powerful driver of safety is engagement, starting with the leadership and across all levels and functions. Therefore, more than just seeking for feedback from the workforce, we should aim in developing them into self-managed teams.”
EHS Congress has catapulted itself into the center of the Health & Safety community by providing an unparalleled combination of high quality presentations, bringing together hundreds of important thought leaders and has been the annual meeting point for all H&S professionals from across Europe and beyond.
In 2020, the leading EHS event in Europe gather some of the world’s top thinkers including Sidney Dekker, Erik Hollnagel and Dianne Parker with organisations lining up such as BP, Danone, BASF, PepsiCo, Engie and many more.
It’s a great place to initiate collaboration, brainstorm new ideas & concepts and connect into and over the 300+ senior safety leaders that will be in attendance having the responsibility to bring their workers back home safely, every day.
The early bird delegate pass offer ends on November 30.
Sleep and Fatigue: Director’s Briefing
Fatigue is common amongst the population, but particularly among those working abnormal hours, and can arise from excessive working time or poorly designed shift patterns. It is also related to workload, in that workers are more easily fatigued if their work is machine-paced, complex or monotonous.
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