Skills development

Arran McDowell, Safety Director : ”In 2019, more than 50,000 employees took at least one training course on health and safety”

Arran McDowell
Ensuring the health, safety and well-being of employees is key for the catering group. Elior is committed to providing its employees with optimal working conditions and considers that preserving their health and safety is an absolute priority.

What are your main priorities?

Arran McDowell I joined Elior in 2007. Until September 2018, I was the HR Director for the UK where my job was to make sure that our colleagues were committed to providing the best possible service to our customers, and that they felt personally fulfilled. 

In my role as Elior Group HR Operational Efficiency & Safety Director, one of my priorities is security. I have to ensure that our employees leave work in the same condition as when they arrived; that is to say without encountering any accidents. 

One of the keys to making this happen is to communicate more with employees by alerting them to potential risks at work. In addition, we analyze the causes of accidents. By constantly monitoring all data related to employee health and safety (frequency and severity rates, etc.) we are able to deploy the means necessary to put suitable preventive measures in place. As such, we can provide all employees with the safety equipment that is appropriate to their function in order to guarantee them the best possible protection (safety shoes, anti-cut and heat gloves, and appropriate training). 

My priority is to ensure the safety of all our employees, so that they leave work in the same condition as when they arrived; that is to say without encountering any accidents.

Arran McDowell, Elior Group Safety Director

How do you raise awareness to safety challenges?

AM Health and safety at work are among the Group’s most popular training programs.  In 2019, more than 50,000 employees took at least one training course on this topic. 

Group entities in each country developed programs specifically adapted to their particular markets and needs. For example, in the UK, Elior has developed a training program for its drivers in order to improve their driving and thus reduce the risk of accidents when making professional trips. In France, all central-kitchen employees participate in warm-up and stretching-exercise classes designed to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injuries. In addition, work was carried out in conjunction with the Group’s supply teams to reduce the size of the products delivered and the weight of the loads handled by the teams. 

We are also in the process of deploying a safety cross to provide a visual record of how safe our sites are. The safety cross allows the site to record any potential accidents (near miss), accidents and accident free days by colour coding the cross. The objective is to have an all green cross to represent an accident free site. 

What are Elior's strengths in terms of safety?

AM Our main asset really is our people. In my role, I have had the opportunity to visit all of the countries where the Group operates. One of the things that always sticks with me is how amazing the people are. We have fantastic teams, great managers. This is so encouraging because it supports my safety missions and ensures me that we are taking care of our people. If our employees take care of each other and work well together, it helps to make our workplaces safe. 

We also have dedicated safety teams in each country who are passionate about sharing best practice and keeping us safe. 


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