Roadmap for a healthier and safer future in global cement industry is created in Turkey


Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI) of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) 9th Forum took place on 13 – 14 October in Cappadocia, Turkey.

Çimsa Cement, joining the initiative in 2013, and one of the leading companies in Turkish cement and construction industry, hosted this year’s meeting.

Theme of this year’s CSI Forum was ‘Achieving Zero Harm for your Workforce, Contractors and Communities’. The platform presented the opportunity of discussing how to incorporate the established thoughts about safety for shifting employee behavior, revising the managerial system, improving the communication with external shareholders into the DNA of the company culture.

Presentations at the Forum tackled the best practices in occupational health and safety, changing conditions and technological developments. Member companies of the Cement Sustainability Initiative were able to review the industry and the solutions of development areas together.

The Forum was attended by top management of the member companies of CSI, representatives from non-governmental organizations, academics from various countries, experts working on occupational health and safety, leaders of industry and commerce, and public officers. Dr.Serhat Ayrım Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security also participated in the Forum. Cement Sustainability Initiative Managing Director Philippe Fonta commented on the event, “The CSI Forum is a unique platform to foster collaboration within the cement sector and beyond. This year’s event was superbly organised in Cappadocia by CIMSA and gathered experts of the Health and Safety domain from various parts of the world, acknowledging that sharing is a crucial step to improving health and safety performance. Together with its members and stakeholders, the CSI had honest and open discussions to identify high risk areas in cement operations and develop subsequent effective solutions.”

Çimsa Cement General Director Nevra Özhatay delivered a speech in opening ceremony. She said, “The purpose of the occupational health and safety measures is to create a healthy and safe work place by eliminating the possible risks which may harm the physical and mental integrity of employees. But this approach is never limited to the employees and the walls of the said work place. It covers, and it should cover our affiliates, their employees and our business partners going beyond beyond these walls.”

Özhatay described occupational health and safety as ‘team work’ and continued, “The success is inevitable if all the team players aim to achieve the same goal. This is made possible by creating and extending an effective occupational health and safety culture within the company and across business partners.”

Emphasizing on the importance of employee health and safety in cement industry, as in all industries, Özhatay said that Çimsa paid special attention to this matter. Özhatay continued, “We believe that there are two important elements in achieving the goal of zero accident in occupational health and safety: the necessary measures in our working environment, it means, removing all unsafe conditions; and working on enabling our employees to internalize and consider the Occupational Health and Safety approach, it means preventing unsafe actions.”

Focusing on ‘Achieving Zero Harm for your Workforce, Contractors and Communities’, more than 30 speakers shared their know-how and experiences regarding sustainability, occupational health and safety in 6 sessions and 2 panels carried out in the two-day Forum. During technical site visit to Çimsa Cement Kayseri Plant, which was awarded as “the Cleanest Industrial Plant in Turkey” in 2012 and deemed worthy of many “Occupational Health and Safety Performance Award” by the Association of Cement Industry Employers, Çimsa described its manufacturing process and occupational health applications.

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