“We feel that we count.”

Maar van Oord and Ben Bel
In the months ahead, all former MNO professionals in concrete, earthwork and asphalt, will receive NINA training. Engineer Ben Bel and director Maar van Oord took part in the February 9 session. Both described the training as valuable, and for the same reason: openness.

MAAR: “I asked the group, what do you consider the greatest dangers? The answer surprised me: not the traffic racing past, but the work area itself.”
BEN: “That’s right. The greatest dangers are third parties at work and time pressure. As a team we know exactly what we can expect from each other; we know the dangers and we point out the risks to each other. But third parties are unpredictable. When I sit at the controls I count the number of heads. If third parties arrive at work I suddenly have to count more heads. Heads who might be standing in the wrong place, because they don’t know the dangers. The second risk is time pressure. During the last hour, when we’re under pressure to meet a deadline, it’s all ‘hurry, hurry, hurry’, because we don’t want to incur a penalty.”
MAAR: “These are risks that you have to keep discussing in the toolboxes. It comes down to good instruction and communication. But I also know that practices are stubbornly entrenched. There’ll always be tense situations.”
BEN: “So what do we do then? Because we still have to bring in a bit of cash.”
MAAR: “Of course we have to make money, but not at the expense of safety. Safety comes first.”
BEN: “I like the fact that we discuss this in the training. You are listened to. Whether you’re a manager or road worker, you feel that you count. If necessary, it makes it easier to say as a team ‘stop, this isn’t safe’.”
MAAR: “If we recognize together that a situation is dangerous, something gets done about it. However, we do need to be aware of it. That’s why it’s important that everyone keeps talking. That’s also what we’ve come to expect. Nothing is more deadly for safety than an attitude like ‘I’ve said it so many times and yet nothing ever changes’.”