We had a brief conversation with Luc Marivoet, Internal Prevention Advisor and SHE Officer at Pauwels Consulting and Jan Fyens, Director Engineering, about the purpose and benefits of SCC.
Dear Luc, dear Jan, what is SCC exactly?
Luc: SCC – VCA in Dutch – stands for ‘Safety Checklist Contractors’, but over the years the ‘Safety’ aspect has gained an ever broader meaning. The letter ‘S’ now stands for the abbreviation ‘SHE’ – ‘Safety, Health and Environment’. The SCC checklist is a checklist with questions to determine whether the SHE management system of service companies is optimally organized. This way service companies can increase safety, health and environmental awareness in the workplace.
What is the purpose of SCC?
Luc: Ultimately, the goal of SCC is to provide both employers and employees with knowledge and understanding about Safety, Health and Environment at work. This way, all parties are aware of the dangers that surround them. The SCC checklist contains rules and methods to determine when certain risks are irresponsible and at what point the right measures need to be taken in order to make the workplace safer, healthier and more environmentally conscious.
Thanks to SCC, companies can implement a structured policy to continually improve their SHE management system and to limit accidents, incidents, material damage and environmental damage.
What are the benefits of SCC?
Jan: Our management team has a clear vision about working safely. A SCC certificate offers us the opportunity and the advantage to develop a sustainable ‘safety framework’. Thanks to this framework, we not only think, talk and act in terms of security, but we also deeply integrate all these matters into a system that is uniform, clear and sustainable in the long run. After all, our business processes must always be aligned with this framework. The first welcome result of this initiative is, of course, the VCA certificate for our engineering department.
But it does not stop there! We continue to aim higher and further: a low incidence of incidents, efficient management of protective equipment, a firm and clear risk analysis of the projects and the specific tasks that our employees perform and so on. The framework itself is, of course, a very positive aspect of the SCC, but there are many other advantages.
“A client who outsources work to someone with a SCC certificate can rest assured that these activities will be carried out without risks for Safety, Health and Environment.”
Luc: Indeed. The integration of this ‘safety framework’ also means that the Engineering Department and their partners no longer have to take any action to guarantee a SHE management system, for example, because all this has already been arranged in advance. Furthermore, a SCC certificate is valid for 3 years and is guaranteed through interim audits. This allows us to perform work with an increased risk for various clients.
In addition, all employees of the Business Unit Engineering must take a SCC course and take an exam. A distinction is made between basic safety for operational staff and safety for operational managers. The purpose of this SCC training is to make operational staff and managers aware of the risks – hidden or not – while working on a construction site or working in an area with potentially dangerous situations.
Why did Pauwels Consulting certify its Business Unit Engineering?
Jan: Many of our clients require a SCC certification as a condition for carrying out work for them. This is easy and it offers them the assurance that our Engineering department is conducting safe and reliable business management. After all, a client who outsources work to someone with a SCC certificate can rest assured that these activities are carried out without risks for Safety, Health and Environment, as confirmed during an independent and objective investigation by a recognized certification institution.
Luc: Another important feature of the SCC certificate is that we check annually whether we still comply with all SCC requirements. The Business Unit Engineering of Pauwels Consulting is therefore, as it were, ‘under supervision’ of the institution that issued the SCC certificate.
How did the SCC certification process go?
Jan: First, we set up a SCC project team with Mélodie Rogiers as HR Manager, Luc Marivoet as Prevention Adviser and SHE Officer and myself as Director Engineering. We also called on an external SCC Consultant. The team met on a monthly basis for consultation. We ran by the SCC checklist with priority questions and additional questions per chapter. After each meeting, the necessary actions were taken.
Why did Pauwels Consulting also deploy an external SCC consultant?
Jan: We are growing very fast as an organization and we want to monitor the decisions and actions we take externally. We must continue to challenge and question ourselves. An external specialist keeps us sharp.
What does Pauwels Consulting want to achieve with this SCC certification?
Luc: Safety, health and the environment … these are matters that are increasingly taken into account, and rightly so. SCC is an increasingly important factor in risky work environments, even though it’s not compulsory. With this SCC certificate, we are responding to a market situation in which more and more clients require a SCC certification for service companies.
Jan: In the end, everything revolves around fewer injuries, less absenteeism due to accidents at work, less disabled people, less chance of calamities, more attention for the environment. In short: a safer and healthier working environment.
Thanks for the interview, Luc and Jan, and good luck with your SCC projects and safety framework!