Worker Safety is Key at APR
Preventing workplace accidents and injuries daily may seem like a high-pressure job to many people, but Ajis Ismail is already enjoying his 26th year in the role, and counting.
Ajis is currently the Acting OHS (Occupational Health and Safety) Superintendent at Asia Pacific Rayon (APR) in Pangkalan Kerinci, Riau, Indonesia.
“I really love my job of using our skills and knowledge to responsibly reduce accidents and injuries and prevent health problems in the workplace. It is a very important role as your actions could potentially save the lives of your co-workers,” Ajis said.
For Ajis, a typical day on the job starts with a morning meeting with several department heads (HODs) about any safety concerns in their areas. Following this, Ajis conducts supervision checks to ensure safe work procedures are being followed throughout the company.
Any violations in fire safety risk, hazard prevention, upkeep of OHS system maintenance or workplace safety equipment is immediately looked into and rectified, he said.
“APR implements a ‘Safety Discipline Ticket’ system – anyone who breaks safety rules will get this ticket with impact, regardless of whether you are a supervisor, HOD or manager. Violation accumulation will result in severe penalties, so people do their best to avoid this,” Ajis explained.
Ajis’ career in OHS began in April 1994, when he became a Fire Safety Officer. Eight years later, he was promoted as OHS Coordinator, and worked in this position for several years, undergoing multiple rotations within the RGE group.
Throughout the years, Ajis has achieved several health and safety certifications, and is certified in areas such as basic safety training, scaffolding inspecting, incident investigation, first aid and chemical hazard handling.
“I’ve received a lot of soft skills and technical skills training, and the knowledge I gained from the job transfers was helpful with each new assignment. Working in the OHS Department for over 20 years also meant that I had the chance to experience different leadership changes – all the leaders had varying working styles and personalities.
“Of course, the experience gained from each of the leaders was invaluable, and has only proven helpful to my own career,” he said.
Ajis said that in principle, those in OHS would agree and believe that accidents at work can be prevented.
“But in practice, unsafe actions or conditions are still encountered at work. Sometimes some people do realize that what is being done is dangerous, but they still do it because of complacency or by simply ignoring the potential dangers.
“We all have responsibilities towards OHS so anyone who witnesses unsafe actions must immediately intervene directly so that our colleagues and our friends avoid accidents at work. Making employees more aware about the dangers and risks in the workplace are what we continue to do everyday,” he said.
Ajis hopes that all APR employees and contractors will remain vigilant about hazard and risk, and work in line with safe work procedures.
“If we consistently do this, APR will get a ‘Zero Incident Award’, the highest award in OHS. I also hope that one day, someone tells me ‘Thank you for reminding me, as I would not have been able to see my children or family otherwise’.”
Ajis adds that APR’s OHS team is also currently emphasising on the crucial need for employees to practice social distancing during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
“We’re also doing our best to ensure that everyone is using masks and keeping their hands clean – from admin officers to contractors to truck drivers,” he said.