An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cureVincent Evers – QHSE Coordinator

Safety and sustainability are high-priority topics in every construction sector. These themes increasingly determine the choices made by clients. Anyone that demonstrably works more safely or reduces its environmental burden therefore has an edge. Vincent Evers is responsible for this at Hendriks stalen bekistingtechniek. We spoke with Vincent about what motivates him.


In his role as QHSE (Quality, Health & Safety and Environment) Coordinator, Vincent not only works for Hendriks stalen bekistingtechniek, he also works for Hendrik Precon and Hendriks plaatbewerking and as such his work is varied. For that matter, the work in and of itself is also varied. Vincent: ‘When people think of a QHSE Coordinator, they often think of someone who has a controlling function and who likes to think up new procedures and forms. At times, procedures and forms are of course necessary, but my emphasis primarily is on prevention. How to best organise our work and processes, such that high quality can be achieved in combination with excellent working conditions and consideration for the environment.’

A satisfied client starts with quality

When we ask Vincent to zoom in on the various aspects of his work, he enthusiastically answers: ‘My profession starts with the Q of quality. If this were to be missing, you wouldn’t have any satisfied clients. But ultimately you need satisfied clients to keep the ship afloat. This is why you need to safeguard quality and why it must be demonstrably present. A good example of this is the Quality Assurance Act that will go into effect in the near future. Moreover, if as company you are also aiming for growth – and that is one of our goals – you must also control quality. Only by checking quality do you know what to improve as a company and which processes can be optimised. The presence of a QHSE Coordinator confirms that a company takes such topics seriously and that you are continuously working on improvement.’

Excellent working conditions for satisfied employees

The H&S in Vincent’s role stands for health and safety, or working conditions. Vincent: ‘In my view safety is an integral part of working conditions. The company has major responsibility in this. When there is an improvement in working conditions, and consequently safety, this has an immediate long-term effect. It increases employee job satisfaction and well-being and consequently results in more highly motivated employees. Moreover a motivated staff member is likely to also perform better. This way employee and company performance are inextricably linked together. This is a good enough reason to give it a lot of attention. A good example of this is the new air conditioning system installed in the plant and the office. Clean air is crucial in a work environment, and that equally applies to an office worker or a welder in the workshop. Effective exhaust and ventilation prevents long-term ailments caused by polluted air and creates an optimal working climate!’

When the conversation turns to safety, it appears that Vincent has a clear view of this topic. ‘Hendriks is certified at level 2 of the Safety Ladder. We are surveying the current safety culture and employee motivations within the company in order to make improvements where possible. By observing and discussing behaviour we are attempting to make employees aware of the risks and we respond to their safety-related questions. Safety is a topic that you need to tackle together. This also means that everyone is a role model and that as a company we must constantly devote efforts to improving safety conditions. A good example of this is the use of the Hendriks app, which we will also be using in the near future for QHSE matters such as incident reporting, alerts, standard forms and QHSE news. This makes it easier for employees and you make the QHSE concept more meaningful.’

For today and tomorrow

Companies are increasingly more aware of the fact that their environmental activities not only play a key role in determining their turnover today but tomorrow as well. The E for environment is Vincent’s third area of responsibility. ‘We cannot live without a healthy environment. As employer and as company you have a duty to take care of your surroundings and the environment. Reuse, circularity and reducing CO2 emissions are consequently topics that are becoming increasingly more important in the client-contractor relationship. As far as I am concerned these topics are not a point for discussion, but a major as well as enjoyable challenge. Our environmental efforts consist of a continuous improvement process. Although we are going to take major steps over the coming years, we have also accomplished a great deal already. For example, all of our steel is directly or indirectly recycled and we are trying to stimulate more sustainability within the chain. Furthermore, the total energy consumption of our laser cutting machines in our production facility has been reduced to 2/3 of its original level. We increased the efficiency of the cutting machines, which has resulted in significant material savings and reduced waste. All lighting has been replaced with LED lighting and we are no longer leasing any diesel-driven passenger cars. We are paying better attention to waste separation in our production halls and have increased the recyclability of our formwork. Moreover, we are using fewer harmful and other raw materials, and we are producing less waste. In short, a lot has been accomplished, but a lot still remains to be done!’

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