Since the foundation stone was laid in February 2012, TIRU has gone through all the steps to make Exeter's energy recovery unit in Great Britain a model site. Not only by the operation of its facilities, which handle 60,000 tons of household waste, but also by the exemplary safety conditions put in place by Rod Jakeman, director of the operating team (Cyclerval UK, a TIRU subsidiary), in partnership with construction expert Jean-Brice Falcot. Focus on a rallying project, completed in July 2017 with a "Final Certificate".
How did you make safety a priority at Exeter?
I was fortunate enough to take over the operation of the plant in 2014, when it had just opened its doors. The whole team was new and some of the candidates discovered the world of waste treatment and recycling. We have therefore built a safety training program based on the expectations and perspective of employees in the recruitment phase, who very quickly adopted the requirements of TIRU. Thus, from the outset, safety has truly been part of the company's culture and has never been seen as a constraint.
What training courses did you set up?
All employees received basic training in health and safety issues, with an emphasis on specific topics such as working at heights or in confined spaces. All of them also received first aid training. Some operators also requested training in the operation of forklifts, front loaders and mobile personnel lifting platforms (PEMPs), which are updated every three years.
Throughout the entire process, the French TIRU team represented by Jean-Brice Falcot (Technical and Engineering Department) enabled us to identify the specific risks associated with this type of installation as well as the cultural differences that affect our conceptions of security. For example, wearing personal protective equipment, which is very important in French culture, has become a reflex for Exeter.
How is this project continuing over time?
First of all through annual evaluations organised with each employee, as well as meetings with the entire team four times a year. During these meetings, we discuss all health and safety issues, often in a fun way through quizzes. I also use a booklet to keep the risk assessment up to date, and the VHS system created by TIRU is also a very good tool for verifying everyone's commitment to safety, whatever the job. In conclusion, the most important thing is to communicate regularly on these subjects, through posters or memo sheets, in order to remain vigilant. Dialogue and exchange are the best guarantee of security!