Inside View

Minden: “How Dangerous Is what You Are Doing here?”

Front row from left: Klaus Althans, Joachim Faber, Henric Röbke, Michael Horstmann, Anja Reinking, Ramazan Keser, Andre Schacht. Back row from left: Jörg Schmidt, Jens Franke, Marek Dygas, Wilhelm Dick, Thomas Waberski, Christopher Reinhold, Thorsten Krah, Christopher Ohlrogge, Markus Doerr, Dr. Jan Coombs, Carsten Heinemeyer, Burkhard Witte, Ingmar Rösener, Volker Rüffer.

The safety seminar organized for Siegfried Hameln by the employers’ liability insurance association has become a tradition for ­Siegfried employees. The three-day workshop was organized by the SHE department and carried out beginning of May. A total of 21 employees from various areas of activity participated in this year’s seminar.

The seminar began with an overview of the safety targets defined and reached for 2017 and an outlook on the current year. Following this rather abstract representation of major improvements and investments, an illustrated presentation threw light on the before-and-after comparison. The significance of such events became apparent in an open discussion, all the more so owing to the heterogeneous composition of participants and a varying wealth of individual experience.

The second day focused on improving our safety awareness. At the start of the day, an external psychologist explained the value of a process of ongoing improvement for safety work by taking as an example the information process implemented at the Minden site. The subsequent discussion showed that there is room for improvement in some areas as information is not being transferred as planned.

How does one approach an employee suitably when one recognizes that he or she shows a degree of insecurity in their work? A possible question is: “How dangerous do you consider the activity you are doing right now?” The speaker gave valuable examples of how one can ask certain questions and which questions should be asked, and he helped us interpret the behavior with an understanding of the human psyche. Finally, in group work, the participants developed a discussion guide with a practical orientation.

The third day focused on the background and context concerning various substance-related thresholds and the various sources of values such as AGW, MAK, acceptance and tolerance, OEL and DNEL. Illustrated by examples, the participants were introduced to the measures that had already been implemented and those to be implemented in the future. Maintaining tolerance values is connected with technical, analytical and operational challenges. 

In group work, wearing of chemical protection suits was discussed. The participants were given the opportunity to put on and take off personal protective equipment and experience the difficulties involved. They were given tips on how to wear the equipment.

The “big bang” came at the end of the seminar. Two colleagues from the site fire brigade lectured on the topic of fire and explosion protection illustrated by many examples and impressive experiments. 

The seminar concluded on the afternoon of the third day. Immediately thereafter we started processing the deficiencies we had recognized. As early as the following week, some of the departments communicated positive feedback concerning the communication of insecure situations to staff members which had improved considerably. 

Based on the successful and supportive outcome of this internal seminar, a follow-up is being planned. Our thanks go to all participants for their open minds and great cooperation.

 

Abbreviations: 
AGW values = Occupational Limit Value 
MAK values = Maximum Allowable Concentration
OEL values = Drug Substance Threshold 
DNEL values = Derived No-Effect Level