Empower employees to have health and safety at the forefront of their thinking

This was formally a Health, Safety & Wellbeing Material Are. Our approach to wellbeing now sits within Our People, the focus here is occupational health and safety, because no one should expect to be injured when working at one of our operations and we have a responsibility to take care of all our employees across our global operations; our aspirational goal is zero harm. However, for us health and safety goes further than legal requirements to encompass the total wellbeing of our people and we are continuing to invest in initiatives with this in mind.

We provide a safe working environment where our people can safeguard themselves and their colleagues from harm and are actively encouraged to adopt healthy lifestyles. First and foremost this is the right thing to do, but it also makes good business sense; when employees and contractors are safe and healthy, absence is reduced and potential loss of reputation due to serious breaches in policy and regulation is eliminated.

Highlights include:

  • 0.21 per 100,000 hours worked was our lost time injury rate, a reduction from 0.31 in 2013

  • New corporate standard for incident investigation was launched across the Group

Safety First for Contractors

During a shutdown at our Chocques manufacturing site in France, a safety awareness programme was organised for contractors. Over three weeks, an average of 80 people were involved in a daily challenge, representing 27 different contractor companies. Activities covered area such as compliance with safety standards, active participation in safety training, quality of risk analysis and general behaviour on site. As a result, there were no recordable injuries during the shutdown period, which is a time when new hazards are presented by the non-routine work being carried out.

Working Together on Safety in Gouda

Our Gouda manufacturing site in the Netherlands conducted a summer campaign, ‘Working Together on Safety,’ as part of a wider programme to communicate the importance of safety at the site to employees. The summer campaign took place in July as, according to statistics from the chemical industry, there is more chance of incidents happening in summer than at other times of the year.

To reinforce the safety in summer message, the Gouda management team handed out water bottles to employees, contractors and visitors. The water bottles carried a label saying ‘H2O in plaats van EHBO’, which in English broadly means ‘H2O instead of First Aid’. The water served the purpose of keeping workers hydrated in the summer conditions, and thus more alert, but the management team also used the exercise as an opportunity to talk about the need for risk awareness and good job preparation, and the importance of looking out for  their own welfare and that of their colleagues.

Legionella Awareness

After a HSE Legionella audit at our Ditton site in the UK, we identified the need to raise employee understanding of this bacterium, which can cause Legionnaire’s disease in any employee at the site, regardless of whether or not they are involved in the operation of the water systems. We produced a short booklet that was issued to everyone on site and required everyone to take a test to confirm that they had read and understood the issue.

Making Light of Heavy Work

Our distribution centre in Germany has invested in a new piece of machinery called a tube-lifter. By creating a vacuum, this lifts cans, boxes and sacks to prevent physical stresses and strains to employees.

To read more about how Health, Safety & Wellbeing is at the forefront of our thinking, please read our Sustainability Report.