Yara HESQ – Safe by Choice

In the ever-evolving landscape of health, environmental, and safety regulations, it has never been more important for businesses to implement a strategy that will ensure compliance and engagement.

Health, environment, safety, and quality are the cornerstones of Yara’s operations. Yara believes that every accident can be prevented, working towards the goal of zero accidents. By fostering an inclusive and engaging work environment, each employee develops a personal connection to Yara’s HESQ initiative (Health, Environment, Safety, and Quality).

Yara is a Norwegian company specialising in the production of fertilisers and industrial chemical products. They are one of the world’s largest fertiliser companies, playing a significant role in global agricultural. The company is recognized for its commitment to sustainable and environmentally responsible practices in the agricultural sector, emphasising the importance of responsible fertiliser usage and environmental protection. Yara’s primary objective is to assist farmers in increasing agricultural productivity while reducing environmental impact.

Since 2016, Specifique has supported Yara with a global training program for health, environment, safety, and quality called TwL (Together We Learn).

The training targets both employees and leaders, consisting of a combination of Dialoge Mats™ and digital tools. The content had to be adaptable to cater to the specific needs of the target audience. Facility or production staff should be able to undertake training with simple tools. At the same time, it was important to collect data from the management level. Thus, the solution was as follows: a reusable Dialoge Mat™ that allows participants to relate each topic to their work situation and tasks, and a digital add-on module as an alternative to the Dialoge Mat™.

Yara's objective is zero harm to people and the planet. This goal is the main driver of the HESQ initiative.

Within Yara, HESQ encompasses occupational health and safety, process safety, product responsibility (product quality, safety, and security), environment, safety, crisis management, and quality control. HESQ objectives align with the company’s strategy, aiming for the utmost risk reduction, showcasing the company’s commitment to continuous improvement. They also support Yara’s contribution to the global transition to sustainable food systems.

The Dialog Mat consists of multiple modules revolving around 12 central HESQ themes, and designed for participants to conclude through a guided discussion on how each topic operationalises in employees’ working lives situation and professional tasks.

The digital solution, Diggle, is tailored for leaders, providing essential data capture and flexibility in the training. Responses and feedback can be displayed live and aggregated for large groups, serving as an effective tool in plenary discussions and experience sharing. This user-friendly learning tool offers the capability to craft interactive and engaging training modules that inform and involve employees in the HESQ topics. By integrating HSE initiatives with Yara’s business strategy, promoting engagement and interactivity, and effectively utilising Diggle, we ensure the company’s staff are equipped with the knowledge and tools essential to ensure safety in all aspects of their work.

The goal of the approach is to foster even greater engagement and accountability for all employees on the topics of health, environment, safety, and quality. With Specifique's assistance, Yara is well on its way to achieving its zero-harm objective.

In 2023, an enhancement of the HESQ initiative commenced, with the addition of 3 new modules: Safety, Stress, and Mental Health. The latter focus on the working environment and how stress factors, both work-related and personal, affect employees’ mental health – and how one can contribute to a better work environment. In the module, employees explore both factors leading to stress and deteriorating mental health, while also discussing behaviours that can positively influence a stressful working climate.

The updated version of Yara’s HESQ initiative will be launched at the beginning of 2024, and we look forward to continue following the company’s journey towards its overarching objective: zero harm to people and the planet.