Singing the SHEQ song

Singing the SHEQ song

One of the most memorable cinematic intros, ever, is probably that of The Sound of Music, where Maria (a mischievous nun turned governess, played by Dame Julie Andrews), sings her way through a picturesque meadow … But JACO DE KLERK discovers that the hills are alive with the sound of SHEQ – the transport hills that is.

The world has probably changed more during the past century than it did in the previous millennium. Technological advancements have flung humanity towards greater connectivity, enhanced accessibility to information and greater ease of movement.

You can talk to anyone, anywhere in the world, in real time; see how loved ones are doing across various social media platforms; access almost any information via the World Wide Web; and travel to virtually anywhere in the world within hours …

Individuals have also gained more rights and protection in workplaces. In addition, businesses, civil society and governments have realised the importance of protecting the environment and our planet.

A stellar example is Toyota. The company does its environmental part with the development of hybrid and electric vehicles (EVs), but also conquers metaphorical mountains through the way it builds these eco-cruisers …

It isn’t the size that counts, but how you use it

In October, urban transport became more economical in the French city of Grenoble – thanks to a partnership between the City of Grenoble; Grenoble-Alpes Métropole (an intercommunal structure of Grenoble and some of its suburbs); the French electricity company EDF and its affiliate Sodetrel; Cité lib (Grenoble’s car-sharing service) and of course Toyota.

Dubbed Cité lib by Ha:Mo (for harmonious mobility), the innovative three-year trial project is a new take on a car-sharing scheme – using 70 EVs from Toyota (35 three-wheeled i-Road models and 35 four-wheeled COMS electric vehicles).

The idea is to provide a link between public transport and the “first or last kilometre”, so that commuters won’t feel that they need to take their cars, which means less pollution and traffic congestion. Using an app, users can reserve and pay for one of these EVs located at their usual stop.

Once commuters reach their destination, a flash of their smartphone releases their ride from its charging station and they’re off. There are around 30 of these stations around Grenoble, with a total of 120 charging points for the project and 41 for other plug-in vehicles to be added.

“The main advantages for our users will be the ability to pick up and drop off cars at different locations, and the flexibility of a very small vehicle for short trips,” explains Martin Lesage, director of Cité lib.

SHEQ not only for landlubbers

The SHEQ song isn’t limited to land-bound folk, however. DCD Marine Cape Town is also proving that safety and quality are a core part of its business. DCD Marine Cape Town is part of the DCD Marine Cluster, which provides ship repair solutions to the marine, oil and gas sectors. It has shipyard facilities in Walvis Bay, Saldanha, Ngqura, East London and Durban.

The company complies with global SHEQ regulations and standards and is fully certified with, among others, the Lloyds International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) 9001:2008 quality management system.

As part of its SHEQ programme, the company holds regular “safety days” during which its project team members, as well as key sub-contractors and their employees, take time out to focus on all safety-related issues and processes.

DCD Cape Town states that the underlying purpose of these safety days is to reinforce one of its stated company values: “One team, one goal”. Gerry Klos, general manager, explains: “When it comes to providing a world-class turnkey project management service to our clients, it is critical that every member of the project team is aligned. It is only then that we can achieve our goal, which is an incident-free, 100 percent on-time delivery on all planned shipyard projects.”

Abdullah Elmie, health, safety and environmental (HSE) manager at DCD Marine Cape Town, adds: “We have organised safety days over the past few years for major projects and they have proved to be very effective. They provide an invaluable opportunity for all parties to discuss safe methods of implementing mission-critical activities, prior to the commencement of the project.”

The safety days feature various activities, including risk assessment exercises and presentations. These provide an overview of the project with specific reference to safety policies, procedures and standards to be enforced throughout its duration.

Elmie continues: “The project team leadership is empowered with the knowledge of exactly how safety will be managed during the project. The challenge is to ensure that this knowledge successfully filters down to all levels of the team. This is particularly important for people joining the team at a later stage, which is why we have HSE induction sessions and ongoing safety awareness training.”

Project observation systems (called “Start/Stop”) and group hazard identification and risk assessment (HIRA) sessions also form a key part of safety days, notes Elmie.

“The aim is for each individual working on the rig, whether he or she is a labourer or a rig manager, to take ownership and be proactive. By making use of the systems we have in place, such as ‘Start/Stop’, individual team members can work together to ensure safe working practices at all times.”

Klos emphasises: “For our clients, safety and quality are critical factors in determining our competency and capacity to execute a project safely and on time. Our safety days serve to reinforce our proven international HSE track record, strengthen our client relationships, and ensure that we continue to provide a world-class service as one team, with one goal.”

Music to one’s ears

It is clear that the entire transport sector is singing the SHEQ song as it is embracing the acronym to the fullest extent – and is likely to do so well into the future.

Isn’t it just music to your ears … (Cue picturesque meadow.)

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SHEQ Management

SHEQ MANAGEMENT is the definitive source for reliable, accurate and pertinent information to guarantee environmental health and safety in the workplace.
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