Bien Hecho Working on Fire Chile
Working on Fire (WoF) Chile, has become synonymous with excellent safety standards. Their dedication to health and safety is confirmed by their impressive accumulation of injury free working hours. Their success, within such a high risk industry as Wildland Firefighting, is admirable, and serves as an inspiration to countless others.
Since 2011, WoF has grown into a reputable supplier of Integrated Fire Management (IFM) in Chile. They offer IFM products and services to the Chilean government and a number of private companies. Their footprint stretches over 1.3 million ha of pine and eucalyptus plantations and indigenous forests. Their operations help limit the devastating effects of unwanted forest fires.
From the the get-go, WoF Chile has strived towards making safety a lifestyle. “Our most important resource, as an implementing agency in a very high risk industry, is our human capital,” explains Fritz Lubbe, Managing Director of WoF Chile. “We have the responsibility to ensure that all our personnel are capable of identifying risk, and considering the possible consequences of each of their actions.”
This proactive attitude towards safety, has earned WoF Chile 1,05 million man hours without any Lost Time Injury (LTI). They started their current audit on 12 January 2016, after losing only three days on their previous count, which had passed the 1,2 million mark. According to Lubbe, their current target is 1,5 million hours.
A low LTI score serves as an indication of how responsible a company is in terms of building credibility and trust in its brand. A LTI is recorded when an employee is injured while carrying out a work-related task for the employers, leading to a loss in productivity or even absenteeism.
WoF Chile employs between 600 and 1,500 people, depending on the time of year. Such a large workforce leaves a lot of room for error.
“Our biggest challenge is to maintain momentum of safety all year around,” says Lubbe, “but we try to uphold it by communicating positive reinforcement messages and by following a meticulous long-term OHS (Occupational Health and Safety) plan.”
Fritz also emphasised the fact that safety is dependent on the full participation and cooperation of all involved and it is essential that this is communicated continuously. As Lubbe explains, “Safety at the workplace is the first building block for any world class company.”