Risk prevention: a tailored reference system for Safran

<strong>Safran is taking a proactive approach to halving its occupational accidents over five years (2009-2013), which inter alia involves setting up a specific Health-Safety-Environment (HSE) reference system for the Group. Sustainable Development Director Olivier Guyonnet expounds.</strong>

What is this Safran "HSE reference system" all about ?

Our reference system comprises a set of Safran HSE standards and a manual. The manual includes all ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 standard requirements and outlines the HSE management system that all Group operations need to apply. The standards clarify the practices that teams need to roll out in about 30 areas with a view to enhancing performance.
These standards provide management with a powerful tool to educate and edify staff. They are down-to-earth standards that help managers to self-assess the extent to which they control operations in each of those areas and to map out their plan for progress within the continuous improvement process. Each operational entity will have specific targets to improve these standards in light of their particular activities.
Once annual site self-assessment results come in, the in-house certification committee will issue HSE certificates attesting to the site's level of maturity and compliance with ISO 14001 or OHSAS 18001 standard requirements.

There are already respected international standards on these issues. What was the point of building a specific system for Safran ?

HSE certification in our sites goes back over a decade. In 2008, we realized that our operational safety performance had improving considerably in the 1990s but then stagnated. We also noticed that sites that had been ISO-14001 or OHSAS-18001 certified for several years had stopped improving their performance. That was why we decided to build our own assessment system: to tighten requirements to kick progress back into gear, and to bring requirements down to earth to focus them more closely on continuous improvement.

Is this certification worth the same as the ISO or OHSAS certification that outside organizations have issued so far ?

Yes, because it includes all ISO and OHSAS standard requirements as well as Safran's specific HSE standard requirements. We have set up an in-house auditor network to audit our sites, and use a stringent process to train and accredit our in-house auditors.
Auditors never audit their own company. That way, they are very independent – and circulate best practices.
At the same time, to show our customers that our risk management system meets all ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 standard requirements, we have asked Bureau Veritas to confirm that our system is tantamount to third-party certification.

Will this reference system remain an in-house tool for the Safran Group ?

When it comes to HSE, sharing best practices as extensively as possible is the best way to go. Companies don't compete on this front. Safran HSE standards are based on methods and tools that all Group companies use. Other companies that want to use them will need to fine-tune them case-by-case, but they can transpose the overall system directly. That's why we are happy to tell our customers, suppliers and partner firms about our approach and to help them to improve their HSE performance. One of our big customers is already interested…