As the national grid operator, Swissgrid is responsible for the operation, safety and expansion of the Swiss transmission grid. As the operator of a critical infrastructure, Swissgrid insists on a high level of safety and reliability. Safety is therefore rooted in Swissgrid's strategic objectives. The claim is to ensure safety first in everything we do. Ensuring the safety of people, equipment and the environment is a top priority.
Ensuring the safety of people, equipment and the environment is a top priority.
Safety culture at Swissgrid
Swissgrid defines safety culture as a common understanding and awareness of the topic of safety. This includes, for example, clearly defined responsibilities, regular training and further education as well as a constructive error culture. What does this require? A positive safety culture requires active questioning, open communication and safety-driven behaviour from everyone. Safety culture is an integral part of the corporate culture.
Safety is a continuous process rather than a state, because you can never be safe enough. What does it mean? Safety culture must be developed systematically and sustainably. In order to root safety even more firmly in the awareness and behaviour of employees and service providers, Swissgrid is introducing the certifiable Safety Culture Ladder (SCL) method.
Safety Culture Ladder
The SCL is a method for assessing and developing safety culture. What does it focus on? It aims to continuously foster the safety-related conduct of all managers, employees and service providers. Although the SCL was primarily designed for occupational safety, the principle can be applied to all safety areas in an organisation.
Implementation in practice
How is the SCL implemented? Introducing the SCL can be divided into the following steps:
- Self-assessment to determine the current maturity level of the safety culture
- Analysis of gaps between the prevailing maturity level and the targeted maturity level of the safety culture
- Action plan containing specific measures aimed at further developing the safety culture and attaining the targeted level
- Certification of the organisation
- Ongoing culture development via further implementation of the medium- and long-term measures from the action plan
How is the process designed to ensure sustainability? The safety culture development process is regularly reflected upon within the organisation, reviewed and adjusted as necessary. This external view of an independent certification body is also valuable in this regard.
Evaluation of the safety culture
What aspects does the SCL evaluate? The safety culture is assessed according to a five-level maturity model. The more pronounced the safety culture of an organisation, the higher the level. An organisation's performance is assessed against six corporate aspects. These focus on people and their security behaviour.
SCL fosters safety awareness
Why is Swissgrid implementing the SCL? Introducing the SCL enables managers, employees and service providers to continuously develop and expand their knowledge and understanding of safety. This in turn will make them ambassadors of the vision of a safe working world. Swissgrid is setting a good example and successfully passed a step-3 certification audit in the first quarter of 2022.
The role of service providers
Swissgrid aims to involve employees and service providers in the value creation process and thus strengthen common safety awareness for all involved. Service providers play an important role here, because it is only possible to provide a safe and reliable supply of electricity in close cooperation with them.
The road to a common understanding of safety
What does SCL change for external service providers? From 2022, Swissgrid will add SCL as a requirement for service providers whose activities on behalf of Swissgrid require a high level of occupational safety. This will make an important contribution to promoting a common understanding of safety.
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