Suez Electrabel health and safety and outsourced services

Recently a number of fatal accidents took place involving sub-contractors which work for Suez Electrabel in Belgium, Italy and Chile. In one case the health and safety procedures were violated. A comprehensive health and safety plan was missing, coordination of activities on the construction site were poor and dangerous working methods and conditions were applied that do not meet Electrabel's standards. Management of Electrabel underlines to its managers that the outsourcing of activities does not relieve the company of its health and safety responsibility including coordination of the different contractors with the company. The monitoring of the contractual obligations concerning health and safety remains the companies responsibility. Contracts will have to include guarantees for a safe and secure execution of the projects. Management underlines “programmes to optimalise the costs should never endanger the security of the company's workers, partners or subcontractors...” Local management is charged to review its organisation and take corrective measures.

Suez has a health and safety charter negotiated with the EWC and trade unions. A committee exists of representatives of the EWC and management to monitor developments. The EWC representatives have on several occasions pointed out the problems existing with subcontracted (outsourced) services.