We work safely or we don’t work at all

Suiker Unie’s motto is, We work safely or we don’t work at all. It expresses our comprehensive sense of safety awareness. Building on TPM’s SHE pillar (Safety, Health, Environment), Suiker Unie is putting a lot of effort into safety on the shop floor. 

To give just a few examples, we are maximising the safety around our machines and equipment, placing machine guards around moving parts and fitting safety railings and handholds to stairs and loading platforms. We are also taking many measures to increase safe behaviour. They include safety posters, strict procedures, safety coaching and risk recognition, SOS forms to report safety issues, safety rounds, tool box meetings with safety presentations, safety awards and accident counters.

All staff, including external workers, take a VCA safety course. Safety must become first nature in the staff’s working patterns. We must also hold each other to account for unsafe behaviour, in the knowledge that safe working practices not only increase our safety but also improve our results.

 

'I’m really happy when an audit has gone well'

Kristel Joosten, Quality supervisor in Vierverlaten

'I’ve been monitoring the quality of our sugar here since 1 May 2017. The sugar needs to satisfy all kinds of product specifications and customer requirements. Needless to say, it must adhere to food safety standards and may not contain any contaminants not inherent in the product, for example.'
 
'I regularly perform hygiene inspections and supervise internal and external audits. During those audits, we check whether our processes are in compliance with the standards, such as ISO and BRC. If I find any problems, I make sure they’re solved. I’m really happy when an audit has gone well.' 
 
'Sometimes we receive a complaint. It could be about anything, such as lumps in the product or some foreign substance that may have got into the sugar. We then try and identify the possible cause and share our findings.'
 
'I like the fact that I can work a three-day week in this job. It means I have enough time for my children who are three and four years old. However, working three days a week does put a little pressure on me, but it’s not a stressful job. We sometimes have to readjust schedules at home, but it always works out in the end.'
 
'My husband and I like to make wine with grapes that we grow ourselves. We recently bottled twenty bottles of rosé. We do our bottling in the bathroom. So from that perspective, we may need to take more hygiene measures.'