Reinforcing Sodexo Canada's Commitment to Health and Safety

Published on : 4/28/23
  • Marked annually in Canada on April 28, the National Day of Mourning is dedicated to remembering those who have lost their lives, or suffered injury, or illness on the job.  

    At Sodexo, we take this day as an opportunity to reinforce our commitment to nurturing a positive health and safety culture, improving the well-being of our employees, and achieving our zero-harm ambition of 0.3 by 2025. 


    Embracing the Zero-Harm Mindset 

    The statistics on occupational accidents and work-related illnesses worldwide are staggering, with around 340 million accidents and 160 million victims annually.  

    At Sodexo, we believe that incidents are preventable, and we are committed to creating a culture of safety where injuries and ill health are avoided, and everyone is personally responsible for health and safety.  

    Our Zero Harm Mindset program is an enabler to changing culture beyond safety. We all play a key role in valuing the right to a safe and healthy working environment, and the program is about understanding and influencing our personal and collective behaviours, actions, and beliefs.  


    The 4Rs: A Zero-Harm Pledge 

    To support health, safety, and well-being at Sodexo, we have implemented the 4Rs:  

    • Reach Out: Collaborating with managers, clients and guests. 
    • Recognize the Hazards: Identify what may prevent you from seeing risks and hazards such as physical, psychological, biological, chemical, ergonomic, etc. 
    • Raise Your Voice: Feeling empowered to speak up when they see something. See something, say something! 
    • Do It Right: Making safe choices every day. 


    Accountability and Empowerment 

    Sodexo's focus on the zero-harm pledge has enabled the company to create a culture of safety where employees feel safe, valued, and supported. 

    We believe every employee has three basic rights - the right to know, the right to participate, and the right to refuse unsafe work. The company has an unrelenting focus on driving accountability for safety at every level of the organization, supported by training and tools to empower its teams. 

    We have put in place steps to make sure that leaders set a good example, talk to their teams about safety, and recognize good health, safety, and wellness practices. Leaders are responsible for keeping track of health and safety performance and are encouraged to praise, promote, and reward good practices while working with their teams to find ways to improve health, safety, and wellbeing. 


    Health and Safety Champion: Chigozie (Sam) Ileka 

    In 2021, Chigozie joined Sodexo in Canada as an Energy and Resources Health and Safety Coordinator after several years as a Marine Safety Advisor and Workplace Health & Safety Lead in Nigeria. He was promoted to Health and Safety Manager at one of our largest remote camps and uses his previous experience to uphold the highest safety standards. 

    As a safety professional, Chigozie stresses the importance of prioritizing safety in the workplace and recognizing its impact on all aspects of business operations, no matter how small or insignificant the event may seem.

    Chigozie Ileka, Environmental, Health and Safety Manager, Energy and Resources, says: 

    Safety is a value. People usually see safety as a nice to have so I try to stress the importance of considering safety as a must-have because ultimately, it has a way of affecting everything that we do.

    He constantly reminds the team at his unit to stay vigilant and not become complacent. It's important to demonstrate due diligence by having effective safety programs in place, which can prevent incidents from happening. 

    The Safe Start initiative introduced by Chigozie entails a comprehensive approach to safety measures by setting targets and laying out Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for leadings and lagging indicators. Leading includes but is not limited to hazard identification and control (workplace observation and intervention aka SOS program), Safety Saturday meetings, inspections, employee engagement, micro drills and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) reviews. 

    Additionally, Chigozie introduced the Monthly Safety Awards at his unit. It’s an opportunity to celebrate our safety performance and commitment for the past month, with the client and stakeholders in attendance and fostering a good business relationship. This initiative also encourages workers to participate in discussions to identify potential safety improvements, while day-to-day tasks and behaviour-based safety observations are also conducted. 

    Drawing from his previous experience, Chigozie implemented these initiatives at his unit to ensure ongoing safety, and adequate risk management and to eliminate and mitigate potential hazards.


    Committing to Continuous Improvement 

    The National Day of Mourning serves as a reminder that workplace health and safety should always come first. By promoting accountability, training, and team empowerment, companies like Sodexo have successfully established a culture that values health, safety, and well-being. We believe that continuous improvement is an essential element of our zero-harm mindset so we can ensure that every employee returns home safely every day. 

    Learn more about Sodexo's commitment to responsible practices.