Keller celebrated International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) this month, focusing on the theme ‘make safety seen’.

Keller employee wearing hard hat with the words Think Safe

INWED is an important event that we recognise every year. It’s a chance to shine a spotlight on our talented female engineers, and reflect on how our industry is evolving and what we can do to improve the experience of our female employees.

Keller’s proud to have a diverse workforce and works hard to make sure everyone feels safe, valued and respected regardless of gender, abilities, culture, religion or stage of life. Not only is this the right attitude to have from a moral standpoint, but we also know that those who feel included and listened to perform better, creating a more productive and safer workplace for all.

The right PPE

One way Keller is looking to better support the growing number of women working on our sites is to make sure personal protective equipment (PPE) is suitable for everyone.

“PPE is still largely designed with men in mind,” explains John Raine, Group HSEQ Director. “But oversized garments can snag, headgear such as eye or hearing protection may not perform correctly, and boots, harnesses and other items that don’t fit properly can increase the risk of injury.

“Sourcing appropriate PPE can be challenging, but Keller is determined to drive change. A pan-global PPE project team, including representatives from Keller Women in Construction committees, has been set up, and encouragingly progress is being made in many areas of the Keller world.”

It’s not just physical safety…

As well as feeling physically safe, everyone working on our sites should feel psychologically safe too.

“Psychological safety is where everyone feels comfortable to share ideas, contribute and speak up against behaviours that don’t align with our values,” says John. “It gives people the power to call out bullying, harassment and discrimination without fear of being victimised or penalised."

Keller already encourages employees to speak up – whether that’s using the ‘Stop work authority’ policy, which tells all employees they have the right to stop work if anything looks or feels unsafe; contacting the impartial whistleblowing service to voice concerns confidentially; or reaching out to someone they trust. We also have a growing number of mental health first aiders trained to provide support. 

To ensure everyone feels safe, welcome and respected, Keller is now developing guidance on how to build an inclusive site, embedding the topic into inductions and site orientations, and sharing real-life examples.

John concludes: “We know actioning some of these changes will take time, but we’re making progress. Ensuring that every colleague has the right to feel safe, valued and respected is the very least we can do as a leading company.”

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