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Vassiliko Cement Works Public Company Ltd.

Vassiliko Cement Works Public Company Ltd.

Member: Gold
Since: 06.07.2006

1A Kyriakos Matsis Avenue, P.O. Box 22281, CY - 1519 Nicosia, Cyprus
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Andreas Demetriou: Cultivating a safety culture in the cement factory

19.07.2017 Share

CULTIVATING A SAFETY CULTURE IN THE CEMENT FACTORY

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Cultivating a safety culture in the cement factory





















Andreas has health and safety at heart. He is managing the Health & Safety Department at Vassiliko Cement Works and engages his colleagues in the creation of their workplace safety procedures.

Apart from training Vassiliko’s customers to adhere to the loading procedures, his Department is also involved in training students at schools and raising the safety awareness in the local communities. 

Muriel: “You are involved in Vassiliko’s Health and Safety strategy, among your other responsibilities. How do you steer your job around the vision, mission and values of your Organization?”

Andreas: “Occupational H&S deals with Safety and Health and wellbeing of employees. Therefore, you can easily recognize its value in such a heavy industry like Vassiliko Cement Works, and in an organization in general. Vassiliko Cement Works’ vision is to become a successful company, based on principles which at their core encompass Respect and Contribution: Respect and Contribution towards our employees, our customers, local communities and societies in general.

In order to navigate the Company’s vision, my Department ensures a transparent and an open communication with our employees through daily safety inspections in the workplace, safety meetings, face-to-face dialogue, etc. 

Moreover, we created the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and Job Safety Analysis (JSA) which are documents that accompany the Risk Assessment Document, and have as a purpose to minimize the possible hazards that employees are exposed to. Beside these, our colleagues participate in the procedure that needs to be done in order to create these documents. It is important to mention that Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) was created for the customers who visit Vassiliko Cement Works in order to load cement. We ensured that both, our people and our customers, were trained enough, so that they will be capable to understand and implement the proposed measures.

Furthermore, the Health & Safety Department visits once a year the local communities’ schools and prepares either a short presentation or a game with the students, regarding the hazards and proactive measures that should be taken in the school and in their daily routine.

All the above is done to make sure that Vassiliko Cement Works will be successful over the years with basic cores of respect and contribution towards all the stakeholders.”

Muriel: “Well done! In line with Respect and Contribution towards your employees, how do you inspire your team members and develop their technical and soft skills?”

Andreas: “The association between a leader and his/her employees is one of the most essential relationships in the organization, since it ensures the well-being of people. I devote time to find out why they are working at my Department, what they expect to gain from their time there and what they hope to be able to achieve in the next year.

This helped me to identify their expectations and goals, in order to give my best and help my team to achieve them. I strongly believe that my people appreciate that, and this has enabled me to build a good relationship based on honesty. It is a constant nonstop procedure of connecting with the rest of the team, and connecting the team.

Honesty is the core value for building the trust between my people. In case an issue might come up, I communicate the matter with them, explain my way of thinking and give them the opportunity to share with me their perception regarding the issue. By cooperating with them, we end up with a common solution for every matter we encounter.”

Muriel: “How do you provide your colleagues with an effective Health and Safety training and what are the specific courses you design for that purpose?”

Andreas: “Training the workers to be involved and participate is significant in the development, operation and valuation of Health and Safety. People should be trained about the hazards they may be exposed to at work, in order to know how to protect themselves.

Apart from training Vassiliko’s customers to adhere to the loading procedures, his Department is also involved in training students at schools and raising the safety awareness in the local communities. 

Newcomers need a general orientation to comply with safety and health policies and emergency procedures. Beside this, training should also be done, when equipment or processes change, when employees change jobs or return from long absences, and as needed to ensure employees’ know how, to perform their jobs safely.

By training employees in H&S issues, we help them realize the value of Health & Safety and they cultivate a safety culture. There are many courses with which we train our employees and all of them are equally important for their awareness.

On a regular basis, we created the Safety Talk which takes place once a month between the Departments’ Manager and its people. To be more specific, my Department communicates via email a Safety Talk, which should be discussed in all Departments of the Company. During the discussion, a member of my Department is always present to help resolve or answer questions that might arise. At the end of the discussion, an attendance list with proposed ideas will be sent to me, in order to take into consideration employees’ suggestions for improvement.”

Muriel: “That is a good engagement procedure. And when you have to deal with failure or adversity, how do you bounce back and keep your focus on what matters most?”

Andreas:  “Well, all of us should be prepared for any disappointments that might happen to us. It is vital to know that any lost chance might have set you up to take advantage of the next one.

Therefore, a failure or adversity could be a change that will make me stronger to make the difference. By understanding my mistakes, I learn from them. So, instead of focusing on the mistakes, I acknowledge them and gain knowledge in order to become better and better.

Health and Safety is a science which in case of failure, might lead to the injury of a human being.”

♦♦♦♦

Andreas Demetriou began his studies in 1986 at the National Technical University of Athens in Mining and Metallurgy Engineering.

Between ‎1993 – 1995 he worked as a Building Materials’ quality lab assistant. Then, from 1995 -1996 he was Supervisor in a Concrete Lab. In 1996 – 2000 he was hired as a Quarries Manager. Since 2000 he has been working for Vassiliko Cement Works, for the first five years as a Quarries Manager, and since then as a Health & Safety, ISO Systems, Facilities Manager.

He is a registered member of the Scientific and Technical Chamber of Cyprus – ETEK, a member of the Association of Health & Safety in Cyprus and a certified Health & Safety Officer.

Andreas can contacted via email: a.demetriou@vassiliko.com

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Muriel Matta (BSc, MSc, MPhil, Cert CTT Practitioner) is the Founder of Maravilhosa. She is a multilingual Human Resources Management expert, with extensive cross-cultural experience, spanning 25 years in MENA, Europe and CIS.

Through her work, she helps solve Organizations and Individuals’ toughest HR challenges by customizing unique solutions to inspire change, positive thinking and transformation.Muriel can be contacted via email: Muriel@maravilhosa.net

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