At Axione, safety is a daily concern for everyone. To mark the International Labour Organization’s World Day for Safety and Health at Work (28 April), this year’s theme is “Working together to create a positive safety and health culture”. Five Safety Captains are speaking on behalf of our 120 Safety Captains and their vital role.

The “Safety Captain” initiative was launched in 2021 to strengthen the safety culture in the field and to limit the number of accidents through risk prevention. Volunteering for a year, the Safety Captain acts as a link between the General Management and the field team by being the spokesperson for good practices in terms of safety, by being watchful for potential risks and by raising the alarm if necessary.

Franck, Raphaël, Florian, Ricardo and Madjid give us their take on the role.

My idea of a Safety Captain is to be a watchman on site. I am here to provide a link, to convey and help understand messages and information on the subject of safety. I also help to point out/warn of risky situations and correct them. Lastly, with the help of other staff, I look for new everyday tools that combine safety, manageability and efficiency. What has changed for me since I became a Safety Captain is that I am now informed about news, accidents and/or tools that have been introduced in other agencies for example. This allows me to better understand and pass on the safety culture to others.

Franck COIGNOUX
Site supervisor – UP RFFO, IDF region

This approach has won me over because I have always been aware of safety issues through the nature of my work. I always felt it was important to brief the teams well and to give frequent reminders to avoid accidents. By becoming Safety Captain, I’ve simply become a bit more involved. For example, I do a quarter of an hour of safety every week, whereas before it was more like every month.

Florian USCLADE
Assistant site manager – UP Portes les Valence, Centre-Alpes region

My most important role is to ensure the staff’s safety, aiming for zero accidents. Becoming a Safety Captain was simply a way of making a role I already had official! I have always tried to safeguard the team’s wellbeing as much as possible by sharing good practices during safety briefings, for example. I take my role seriously.

Ricardo METELLA
Team leader – UP Vierzon, West region

For me, being a Safety Captain mainly means being a driving force for safety within the company and our teams by:
•  systematically setting an example;
•  using safe practices;
• providing feedback in case of dangerous situations;
• proposing ideas to improve our practices;
• not hesitating to shut down a site if the circumstances require it.

As Safety Captain, it is also important to support newcomers to our teams to pass on our safety culture. The safety aspect has always been of prime importance in our agency and the introduction of the Safety Captains has allowed me to discuss situations more widely with other teams. Sharing experiences is helpful because it brings a different perspective and often leads to new solutions to problems that we all face on the ground.

Raphaël AUDRAS
Site supervisor – UP FTTH de Blyes, Centre-Alpes region

My main task is to ensure staff safety. To do this, I keep a watchful eye out for any problems, such as inadequate roadside markings. The aim is to have good reflexes and for them to be shared by everyone because each person’s actions can have an impact on the safety of all. Since I became Safety Captain, I have been talking more about the subject with the teams, raising their awareness of practical cases that are shared by the other Safety Captains. I feel I have a duty and even more responsible for the safety of the teams and subcontractors around me. This is also reflected in the teams, who have become more engaged and have better reflexes. I also feel more entitled to give reminders, such as the correct use of all PPE for example. I enjoy working proactively to improve safety and sharing experiences with other Safety Captains. We mutually benefit from practical discussions on shared problems and solutions in the field.

Madjid BERRAH
Team Leader – UP Neufchâtel-en-Bray, North East Region
🛡️ (Re)discover the Safety Captain initiative at Axione through the testimonies of 5 employees involved