Ramora are a leader in petrol station forecourt cleaning services, working with many of the leading petrol retail companies in the UK. Having developed a strong working relationship with Shell, we were honoured to hold their annual Health and Safety Day. The focus for 2019’s event was to promote Shell’s ‘Goal Zero’ initiative.
Goal Zero focuses on personal, process and transport safety standards, which apply to all aspects of Shell’s activities, employees, contractors and any joint ventures where they have accountability. The purpose of the Goal Zero initiative is to strengthen Shell’s safety culture, with a strong focus on caring for people and leadership commitment to encourage a competent workforce. To achieve Goal Zero, shell ensure that all people responsible for tasks with safety hazards are trained to the appropriate level.
Goal Zero is also about raising safety standards and performance throughout the energy industry and across industrial sectors, by sharing Shell’s safety standards, knowledge and experience.
At Shell Health and Safety Day 2019, the Ramora team were tasked with delivering a health and safety presentation to two representatives from construction company VINCI, along with eight more delegates from different sectors.
In our presentation, we spoke about:
“The gradual process through which unacceptable practice or standards become acceptable.”
Risk normalisation is dangerous. When risky practices or procedures are repeated time and again without catastrophic results, this can become the norm for an organisation, as the risk seems low. However, just because a disastrous event hasn’t occurred yet, it’s wrong to assume that it can’t occur in the future.
We promoted the importance of acting on unacceptable practices and risky behaviour to prevent future incidents and make a safer workplace. It’s important for all employees to take responsibility to raise the problem.
Things we do at Ramora
In our industry, we are very much on top of Health and Safety to make sure risks are minimal within our company. We regularly carry out tool box talks, and although the questions that we ask our operatives maybe “normal routine” questions on making sure equipment is working correctly, these questions still prompt our operatives to stop and think about what is being said.
Before our vehicles drive anywhere, they are first paraded, and all equipment is checked. To ensure safety of all Ramora operatives, audits are conducted before work starts to ensure that the correct PPE is worn.
Dilemmas we face when at work
We spoke about the range of dilemmas that our operatives may face when carrying out forecourt cleaning services, whether from members of the public, colleagues or management. We discussed how any potential dilemmas could be tackled in order to ensure that health and safety practices were adhered to and work was carried out to a high standard.
We also discussed examples of when colleagues may be put under pressure by managers to carry out work within certain restraints, and how our operatives can deal with the dilemmas posed to then and ensure that they are doing the right thing to ensure that all work continues to be safe.
How do we show people we care?
Kelly Bicknell, [insert position] at Ramora, talked about respect and care for others, drawing on her experiences from her previous career in the armed forces.
Kelly said “Believe it or not, in my former life and before I joined Ramora, I spent 14 years in the Army, and one of the Army’s six values and standards is ‘Respect and Care for others’.
“There are many similarities between going onto a forecourt and being on the front line in Iraq or Afghanistan (apart from the risk factor.
“I was out on patrol once in Iraq with the Coldstream Guards, and one of our colleagues got injured, we (the team) all huddled together as one, apart from three that were in position to protect us from incoming fire. This was so we could care for and carry the injured soldier the 2 miles back to safety.
“If we didn’t look after ourselves physically, having to wear 25kg of weight, a helmet, body armour and carrying a weapon, how could we have the strength to look after him?”
Much like in the armed forces, physical health is also very important for our operatives. By caring for themselves and staying physically fit, they are able to effectively move and operate specialist steam cleaning machinery and work the hours required to complete large projects within time constraints and without putting themselves in danger.
In addition to the importance of caring for yourself physically, we also discussed showing how you care for colleagues, relating this to Kelly’s experience in her army career.
“After the incident had happened, the adrenaline passed, and upset and shock kicked in. Some people are natural talkers and will talk about how they are feeling, while others will keep it to themselves, but how can you perform to your best if you are carrying such a weight on your shoulders?”
We talked about creating an open enough environment for our colleagues to tell us how they are feeling, and how we can show them how we care enough to listen with interest and empathy.
Our presentation was very well received, and the Safety Day was a resounding success. We are proud to work with Shell and look forward to continuing our partnership.
To discuss your forecourt cleaning, or any other industrial cleaning needs, please feel free to call our experienced team on 0844 800 2428.