top of page

“Putting safety first starts
with MT ownership” 

Van Nieuwpoortgroep
Veiligheid vanaf de start


The Van Nieuwpoort Group consists of a chain of companies that supply raw materials and products for construction. That structure touches immediately on the challenge: how do you create a joint security policy in an organisation made up of merged companies and thus merged cultures? In 2020, the Van Nieuwpoort Group decided to explore how safety could become more firmly embedded in their corporate culture. Based on the company’s ambition to climb a rung higher on the safety ladder, the focus was on attitudes and behaviour. A steering committee took the lead in this task and asked De Federatie to support them in that. Once the committee had been convinced that developing the whole workforce necessarily depends on the MT’s assuming ownership of the safety culture, we started together from the beginning.  


To approach this challenge, we began with anchoring as part of the Development Scan. The MT came together for multiple “anchoring sessions” to form a shared vision of identity. In this first step, it proved challenging to slow things down and start by forming a common view on urgency and ambition, a basis that would benefit the further going forward. During these anchoring sessions, MT members asked themselves the question: “What is my personal contribution to our security?” From that reflection, they shared personal images and stories to arrive at a common sense of urgency and ambition: a vision of identity. In doing so, it turned out that the focal point was not the safety ladder, but rather a collective sense of responsibility for everyone’s well-being. 


The common ambitions were then translated into five safety principles. These were reviewed with a wider representation of the organisation, after which a safety statement was created (see below). The step-by-step creating and testing of a vision and direction produced ownership and a basis of support. That was the basis for taking the ambition further with the entire organisation.   


To form a basis of support for the ambition regarding safety, we facilitated dialogue sessions with all 500 employees. Groups of 6 to 15 employees discussed safety together with a facilitator and a board member or ambassador from Van Nieuwpoort. The focus during the dialogue sessions was on creating safety awareness. Using interactive working formats we covered each safety principle to ensure that the safety statement would be more meaningful to everyone than just a poster on the wall. We also activated people to think for themselves about what was needed to take the next step together. First, by considering what they themselves could do to contribute to all safety principles: How can I take responsibility for our safety myself? And second, by indicating what if anything they needed from the organisation to be able to contribute to the safety principles. Their answers to this second question also gave us input to be able to give a concrete follow-up to the safety track. We collected all input received during the dialogue sessions and summarised it in a document providing feedback and recommendations for the steering committee.   

Schermafbeelding 2022-05-17 om 08.31.20.png
Kampen 17-2-22.JPG
WhatsApp Image 2022-02-22 at 5.40.51 PM.jpeg
Venlo 22-2-22.jpg


Thanks to the workshops, an important dialogue on security has been started and continues to provide a lot of information about the current development needs. As a result, the subsequent training courses and workshops will be even better matched to those needs.  

Does your organisation also need help to strengthen the safety within the corporate culture? Contact Frans at 

bottom of page