To celebrate the Safety at Work Week, the Minister for Employment and Social Affairs, Patricia Francourt, accompanied by a delegation from her ministry visited the Seychelles Breweries Ltd (SBL) yesterday afternoon.

The governance and risk manager, Lawraine Morel, gave a thorough explanation on the Business Management System of SBL, the Journey to Zero Harm, the monitoring processes and the performance evaluation.

“The current Occupational Health and Safety Policy statement aligns with SBL’s strategic direction and business needs. Our stated aim as part of our Health, Safety and Wellbeing Policy is to ensure that “everyone goes home safe every day, everywhere”, no matter whether that person works on a site, in an office or is on the road. The latest incident that happened within the company dates more than five years ago and we keep doing our best towards the journey to Zero harm,” explained Ms Morel.

She further noted that the company’s aim is “to create a proactive safety culture in which all Diageo employees believe that all injuries and occupational illnesses are foreseeable and preventable and act in a manner that demonstrates their personal commitment to this aim. To achieve Zero harm, Zero injury and Zero fatality, all staff should follow 11 lifesaving rules.”

In order to maintain such safety procedures, SBL uses the following monitoring and measurement process: site walkabout by exec team monthly; site walkabout by EHS daily; internal audit; self-assessment against standards; inspection - e.g. fire extinguishers, eye wash, fire exit doors, PPE compliance, equipment safety guards, forklift checks; fire drills monthly and emergency response exercises annually.

Managing director Conor Neiland, HR director Shirley Louise, supply chain director Jan Brestovansky, corporate relation manager Mary Anne Ernesta and environment, health and safety coordinator Lana Valmont accompanied the delegation through the visit.

Minister Francourt was accompanied by the principal secretary for employment, Jules Baker and other senior management staff on the visit to the different sections of SBL.

Speaking to the press after the visit, the minister said that “the purpose of this visit today was for us to see at the employment department what it entails in terms of safety. This is the Safety at Work Week so it was important for me to actually see first hand what safety at work means. The day before I had the opportunity to meet the occupational safety board whereby they illustrated what aspects of safety is in the work place and for me I was able to see from SBL perspective, that they pay very good attention right at the beginning when the staff join. They empower their staff to become very responsible. This is something that is being created right at the beginning. Safety is very important at work and the ownership is both on the employer and the employee. At SBL we could see all the procedures they talked about; we could see them put in practice. Everybody wore their gear set and the whole aspect of safety was in place”.

The minister remarked that seeing this example of how safety is being implemented at SBL gave her courage.

“I also got the opportunity to see how far they can go to make it better, particularly when I see young Seychellois youth adhering to all the safety rules. They comply as they understood the demands of the job and also the importance of keeping themselves safe,” Minister Francourt said.

During her visit, Minister Francourt had the opportunity to interact with the young Seychellois and she remarked that they are happy in their job.

“What made me think they are happy is that they know they have to work hard but there are also good incentives for them. This is something that the company keeps pushing for their staff to be productive. There need to a very fine balance between the rewards that they get and SBL explained to us that whenever the company does well, there is a way to share the bonuses.”

The accompanying photos show Minister Francourt and her delegation during the visit.


Vidya Gappy

Photos: Thomas Meriton