It’s everyone’s responsibility to work safely, not just for ourselves, but for the safety and wellbeing of our colleagues. Working in an unsafe manner can also impact clients and members of the public. Beyond statutory responsibilities, it is our moral responsibility to make health and safety part of our ethos to ensure everyone goes home safely each night. This sense of responsibility was heightened during COVID-19, as it was imperative to make employees feel safe coming into the office or onto job sites. We foster a proactive culture of actively caring through reporting near misses, sharing best practices and lessons learned and working towards continuous improvement.
What are some key lessons learned from 2020 that you expect will influence WSP’s medium and long-term approach to HSW?
Having a plan to manage a crisis is critical and effective communication is essential. The pandemic elevated the importance of support functions such as HSW, HR, Workplace Strategy and IT, which often don’t get recognized. These services are essential to enabling employees to work from anywhere and start to return safely to the office when the time is right. The pandemic also highlighted that the status quo wasn’t entirely healthy. We need to be mindful of employee mental health and wellbeing and check in with each other. While we are all eager to meet again in person, we realized how much we can effectively accomplish remotely without the need to travel, and recognize the positive impacts of less travel not only on global carbon emissions, but employee stress and general wellbeing. We need to focus on working smarter going forward.