“The construction industry is undeniably a fulfilling yet dangerous one. It is the duty of both the private and the public sector to create a ‘culture of safety,’ not just within our own companies, but all over the country. Safety is a domain wherein we should work together, instead of compete.”
These are the strong statements of Republic Cement CEO and President Nabil Francis during the Future Cities Forum & Innovation in Infrastructure Congress organized by The European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) in partnership with the EU-Philippines Business Network (EPBN) at the Solaire Resort Hotel recently.
In 2013, data from the International Labor Organization (ILO) show that the Philippines lost as much as 66,000 operational days due to cases of occupational injury which resulted to temporary incapacity for work.
“This leaves individuals and families economically vulnerable, creating a double burden of injury and loss of livelihood. If we are to help the Philippine set up quality infrastructure, we need to demonstrate our expertise in creating a safe, secure work environment,” added Francis.
“In my 20 years of experience in the global construction industry, excellent safety practices are immediately followed by good business results. Our safety compliance undeniably reflects how we run our business. Progress is anchored on safety,” added the CEO.
In 2017, Republic Cement achieved a zero fatality rate with only two lost-time injuries in all aspects of its operations, representing a frequency rate of work-related accidents equivalent to .11 per million manhours, a highly satisfactory performance compared to national data.
According to Francis, creating a culture of safety goes beyond punishing those who fail to comply with safety protocols. It is to create an encouraging ecosystem that fosters safety in and out of the company. This affects all employees across the board.
Republic Cement recognizes the importance of three areas to create a culture of safety within the company: education, recognition, and sharing.
Republic’s education on safety begins in the Philippines’ first safety induction center that was established to train external conductors and suppliers.