Learning from a first-time entrant
Achievement: In 2023, achieved 14 RoSPA Health and Safety Awards (eight Gold Awards, three Silver Awards, and three Bronze Awards) representing eight different countries.
Background: Xylem is a leading global water technology company committed to solving critical water and infrastructure challenges with innovation. The company’s 17,000 employees aim to create a more sustainable world by enabling customers to optimise water and resource management and helping communities in more than 150 countries become water secure.
Dr. Jay R. Harf, Vice President of Global Environment, Health, Safety, and Sustainability at Xylem, discusses the company’s RoSPA Awards journey so far.
Why did you decide to enter the Awards?
“It is a fundamental human right to work in a safe workplace. Safety leaders must create impact and value on a transversal scale through robust and straightforward execution. At Xylem, Accept Only Zero is our safety motto. It emphasises our commitment to an incident-free workplace and has resulted in an engaging safety and continuous improvement culture.
“With this mindset, we continually drive a culture of care and wellbeing. We obsess about achieving our vision of zero harm to our colleagues. Our work with RoSPA is a natural extension of this safety culture. The qualitative reviews reinforce our safety processes and engagement toward better performance.
“Leadership is the ultimate injury prevention element needed to drive continuous improvement. Together, our organisations use words that have meaning, like values, care, enablement, support, role modelling, and people first. We aspire to create a safety and wellbeing culture as part of our ongoing strategic framework.”
How did you first hear about the Awards? Were you previously aware of RoSPA?
“I am familiar with RoSPA from my experience at L’Oréal USA. I see great value in the process, the community, the spirit, and the excitement of being recognised by this prestigious organisation and the support and research that is additive to our improvement opportunities.”
What have the benefits of entering the Awards been?
“First and foremost, belonging to a global community of practice and care is the hallmark of our relationship with RoSPA. In addition, the feedback on our submissions and the risk recommendations that RoSPA provides are essential items of advice that help us continually learn and improve our process. Additionally, third-party viewpoints and interventions provide data, ideas, and skills to address our system weaknesses, which in turn reduce our risk and protect our people.
“We have also been utilising the resources RoSPA provides with membership, such as newsletters, training, and other materials. We share this knowledge across the business to continue improving our learning culture.”
How are you measuring the success of your work with RoSPA?
“The awards system reflects our evaluation of ourselves frozen in time and indicates our effort to respect our colleagues through safety. 2023 was our first year so our litmus test for success will be steady improvements yearly with more award winners and improving our risk reduction strategies, employee engagement, safety culture, safety climate, and overall company performance.”
“I see great value in the process, the community, the spirit, and the excitement of being recognised by this prestigious organisation and the support and research that is additive to our improvement opportunities.” - Dr Jay R. Harf, Xylem
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