Celsa Steel Services UK (CSS UK) wanted to improve communications on all health and safety matters and develop the safety culture within the company. With 16 manufacturing sites spread across the UK and a wide demographic spread of employees, it was recognised that the traditional means of communication were not fully effective. The use of social media was considered but discounted due to the issues of information control outside of the company and user acceptance. It was decided to use the forum product available through the company’s SAP based IT systems to create an internal safety forum.
Initially, the forum was seen as a free format for the general discussion of health and safety issues and the sharing of safety ideas. After some months, it was developed to also provide a more structured way to deliver information such as safety alerts, a way of organising safety working groups and to share safety reports. Unlike e-mails, the information on the system was visible to all and was not lost in the time based structure of the email log.
Whilst the initial use was by the senior management and the safety team, once the forum was bedded in and seeded with content, others were encouraged to join. The target is to increase membership of the forum to at least 100 and to use the task management facilities more extensively.
- Membership rapidly expanding
- Supervisors and other safety representatives can easily interact with directors
- Directors able to respond rapidly to queries wherever they are
- Broke down traditional hierarchical structure for communication
- Participants can highlight their initiatives increasing their self-worth
- Good ideas or safety lessons effectively shared throughout the organisation
- Significant increase in the number of documents being added
- Significant increase in the addition of comments
- Drafts of documents can be shared providing wider and speedier consultation
- Greater buy-in to changes as there has been wider input and involvement
- Ability to demonstrate to third parties consultation process
- More openness and trust in the information being provided
- Ability to track what issues are being viewed and generating interest
- Ability to identify who and at what intensity individuals are engaging
- Greatly enhanced sharing of all types of safety information
- A dynamic tool that can be easily developed over time
- A safer environment for all.