Canteen’s Safety Culture Interview with Director of Safety, Carl Foden

It’s no secret that our people and their safety is a top priority here at Canteen. From driving trucks to hustling around in kitchens to working in warehouses, our associates are our greatest asset, ­­and creating a culture around safety is important for everyone. Today we are speaking to Carl Foden, Director of Safety, to learn more about safety at Canteen and programs we have in place.

Canteen: Hi Carl! Thank you for sitting down with us to answer questions about the safety culture at Canteen. Can you tell us about your journey with Canteen/Compass Group?

Carl: I’ve been fortunate to be a part of the Compass Group Risk Management and Safety Team for almost 19 years. For the last 10 years, I’ve been charged with supporting Canteen nationally and it’s been a very positive journey. The Canteen team has made several changes over the years that have dramatically improved our safety operations and culture.

Canteen: We are always grateful to have you on our team. Why is safety such a huge part of Canteen’s culture?

Carl: Our people face inherent risks and hazards every day on the job. We have a moral obligation to develop a culture that helps our people get home safe. Our leadership has set this tone since day one and has continued to invest in our safety. We’ve demonstrated that by building a culture with moral obligation as the foundation where we can personally engage our associates with care and work together to implement systems that actively prevent injuries and accidents. Over the years, Canteen has built this culture around our mantra that “Safety Brings You Home”. We’re all proud that this culture continues to grow and evolve.

Canteen: Very proud indeed. A tool that has been introduced recently called Mobileye has been a great asset. Can you explain more about what it is and how it has helped our drivers?

Carl: Our CEO, Peter Fetherston, has been a champion of supporting emerging safety technology.  The Mobileye program is part of our overall fleet safety strategy to introduce driver assistance technology into our vehicles that can prevent accidents in real-time. Mobileye is a forward-facing sensor that acts as, what our drivers describe as, a “third eye” or a “great backseat driver”. Mobileye scans the road and warns drivers if there is a potential collision with vehicles, bicycles, or pedestrians that they may not see.

Canteen: That’s great to hear! Speaking of initiative and programs, what are some ways our branches have made sure safety is a top priority?

Carl: We purposely try to keep our company safety program simple, applicable, and involve all our people so we can solve real-world problems. Programs like our Safety Brings You Home branding, slip-resistant shoes, high visibility vests, and more all serve as our minimum company standards. However, there are so many great stories where our managers take it to the next level to engage our people.

For example, Canteen Phoenix gives out Canteen “Safety Brings You Home” branded poker chips to every driver that gets a perfect telematics driving score in a month. Those chips can be redeemed for things our people really enjoy. We actively encourage local and divisional leaders to be creative so we can all learn and evolve our culture.

Canteen: It’s fun to see how creative our associates can be! Do you ever hear about our associates using these safety practices in real life?

Carl: Our Mobileye program continuously generates a lot of buzz. When I visit branches, drivers mention that the device helped their driving habits not only on the job but also when they’re in their personal vehicles. We also focus on other safety initiatives like our AED and CPR training programs. With our training, we’ve had instances over the years where Canteen associates were able to help others save legitimate lives off the clock!

Canteen: Thanks for joining us today, Carl.

Like we said before, our safety culture is beneficial to everyone, not just Canteen associates but to those around us. We’re proud to have people who care about each other, their safety, and helping each other. As Canteen continues to grow and develop, so will our safety programs to make sure we’re providing the best care for our people.