Xavier Perret: A Global Approach to Safety Standards

Published on Sep 15, 2021
Xavier Perret
Xavier Perret

Global Care Director, ENGIE

It’s important that companies play a role in developing local rules and cultural norms, particularly where safety is not always at the forefront of local business activity. For us, it’s more about applying our own high safety standards in a uniform way. Having a mix of industrial and service activity expertise is also helpful as it highlights the need to adapt and implement precise and concrete rules to meet the specific safety needs of each activity, while at the same time having an overarching set of global standards to work towards.

Integrate across the ecosystem

In terms of the supply chain, we have group safety principles that are universally applied when selecting and implementing supply contracts. This strategic sourcing policy then cascades into more specific safety rules depending on the activity and the customer. So we are globalising high safety standards while at the same time deploying activity-specific safety levers at ground level. As both a provider and a contractor, we are in a good position to benchmark our policies against others to ensure our safety offering is achieving best practice.

Encourage positive safety habits

I think, like other international groups, we are in a state of continuous adaptation and we have benefitted from this need to be agile and responsive to change in a positive way when tackling a crisis. Good positive habits are an important aspect of health and safety and I’d like to think that the collective efforts made to implement COVID specific safety measures could be applied in a non-crisis environment. In this way, safety measures can turn into seamless actions that improve daily working lives.

Looking ahead, the long-term effects of the pandemic need careful consideration from a health and safety perspective. We have two mantras; no life at risk and no mind at risk. Again, these good habits of recognising the twin needs of body and mind in the workplace have helped us roll out more specific support related to COVID-19. So the good actions are already in place, it’s now a question of continuing to share and discuss as we go forward. I think by focusing on the human aspect of health and safety, we can deal more effectively with operational risks.