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Ares - France

Developing a safety program at Ares, a job placement organization in France

The Air Liquide Foundation is supporting Ares in their work to improve workplace safety, aiming for Zero Workplace Accidents for 2022. As the leading job placement organization in the Ile de France region, Ares helps marginalized populations - young people without diplomas, refugees, people with disabilities - find stable employment. The company is active in many fields: logistics, construction, the circular economy, digital services, etc. and has been growing rapidly over the past few years, serving over 1,300 people in 2022. The safety program that Ares is developing will serve as the model for other job placement organizations who wish to make safety a key component of job training.

The Cause: Workplace Safety

The leadership team for the Ares job placement organization adopted the “Zero Accident” goal as part of their three-year strategic plan. They had noticed that accidents were too common and wished to quickly address this issue. 

The causes come down to several factors:

  • The populations Ares works with have no experience with a safety culture, and it has been difficult to share safety knowledge internally
  • The entry-level jobs that are the organization's main focus are particularly prone to physical accidents, in the fields of construction or logistics, for instance
  • There is little or no capitalization on the institutional safety knowledge of employees given the short placements (between 12 and 18 months)

1,300 Employees in job placement in 2022

66% success rate

The 2020-2023 Zero Accident Program: a cultural shift in a growing community

The Zero Workplace Accident 2020-2023 program has been rolled out at 15 Ares job placement facilities. The goals of the Zero Accident program are:

  • Develop a safety culture
  • Institute the program in all placement facilities in France: action plan and tools developed using open access methods
  • Improve the employability of job placement employees

In three years we aim to go from a place where safety rules are nonexistent or largely ignored, to “I’m doing this because it’s the rule”, then to “I’m doing this because it’s good for me”, and finally reach “I take pride in helping others improve their safety performance”.

© Thibaut DELIGEY Autan Blanc 

The Work

Ares identified three priorities for their action plan:

Creating a Health and Safety database

  • Writing a guide for the teams that manage and support operational workers
  • Implementing a risk prevention approach by creating reference materials that the operational teams can easily understand and access
  • Managing and measuring the performance of the prevention system by creating indicators and setting up a team


Facilitating prevention on the ground

  • Developing prevention on the ground: training in implementation techniques, monitoring actions, and mobilizing dedicated internal resources in order to protect employees from accidents, musculoskeletal disorders, and occupational disorders
  • Improving onboarding and training in safety practices for employees in job placement


Measuring and monitoring the performance of the safety management system

  • Tracking actions and performance indicators for continuous improvement
  • Sharing results to expand the project


The program benefited from the expertise of an Air Liquide group employee, a former site director and director of safety for industrial activities at the Air Liquide Group in France. He was in full-time senior sponsorship for 18 months.


"After working for Air Liquide for thirty years, I wanted to work on a social project in a professional capacity. The Air Liquide group offered me a senior skills-based sponsorship mission at Ares, an organization supported by the Air Liquide Foundation. Ares is the first group for professional integration in Ile de France for people facing social exclusion. I am seconded on a full-time basis for an 18-month assignment at Ares, where I am building a strong safety culture within the organization modelled after the Air Liquide “Zero Accident Goal” program. What made me even more excited about the project was the opportunity to meet people who have faced difficulties in their lives and contribute to their professional integration: formerly incarcerated or homeless individuals, people struggling with addiction and more. Through Ares support, nearly two-thirds of the people it accompanies are able to find long-term stable employment. For me this is an incredibly rewarding interpersonal experience. It is something that motivates me in my daily life: sharing my expertise and helping change people’s lives for good."

Joël André, Air Liquide employee on temporary assignment at ARES (2020-2021)

Project review 2020-2023

This 3-year project has enabled the Ares Group to become more professional, by structuring its prevention organization and prioritizing its key processes: accident management, analysis of occupational risks and coordination of prevention. The roles of operational staff in Safety have been clarified and new positions in the organization have been created, including the employment of 4 prevention support positions.

From 2021, Ares launched its new Security1 policy and implemented new actions:

  • monthly safety quarter-hour animation (achievement rate from 25% in 2021 to 92% in 2023),
  • daily warm-up on risky activities gestures and postures (at 7 handling sites since June 2022),
  • creation of 3 bodies necessary for steering the approach in 2022 (quarterly Strategic Committee, monthly COPIL Prevention, monthly Accidentology Review),
  • monthly report to all staff on results and prevention efforts,
  • behavioral safety visit made by management (more than 900 recurring prevention actions in the field)

The implementation of the "zero accident" program was disrupted by the Covid-19 crisis and a context of growth in Ares' activity in high-loss activities (loading of bulk parcels, construction site logistics, logistics in warehouse). The accidentology record can still be improved2 but the safety culture, qualified as embryonic at the start of support, has definitely grown.

Over the past three years, under the benevolent and demanding advice of the Air Liquide teams, the Ares Group has built solid foundations for its Health and Safety approach, with the definition of an ambition and a trajectory.

1 Drawing inspiration from the Air Liquide Culture, in particular during visits to the “Home care” logistics platforms (Nantes, Bobigny).

2 Stabilization of the Frequency Rate indicator around 45 in 2023 vs 57 in 2019 / Uneven evolution of results depending on the type of activity and the associated challenges.