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Health and Safety

Our policy and practices

The Board recognises that the highest levels of safety are required in order to protect our employees, product end users and the general public. The Board believes that all incidents and injuries are preventable, and that all employees have the right to return home safely at the end of every working day. The long term strategies we have adopted are designed to ensure that we continually improve our performance and reduce risk.

The Chief Executive has overall responsibility for health, safety and environmental matters across the Group. The Group Director of Safety reports directly to the Chief Executive, and is responsible for the effective administration and implementation of the Group’s health, safety and environment strategy. The Group Director of Safety is a member of the Group Executive Committee and reports on the performance of all businesses against agreed targets and objectives. The Chief Executive reports monthly to the Board on all key health and safety issues.

The Board requires that all businesses systematically manage their health and safety hazards, set objectives, monitor progress by regular measurement, audit and review, and take additional action where necessary. Each Managing Director is responsible for the management of health and safety within their business, and for providing adequate resources to satisfy the Board’s requirements. All Managing Directors have health and safety related objectives incorporated within their annual bonus plan. Managers in our businesses are required to enforce procedures, and to provide leadership and commitment to promote and embrace a positive health and safety culture. We emphasise the importance of individual responsibility for health and safety at all levels of the organisation, and expect employees to report potential hazards, to be involved in implementing solutions, and to adhere to rules and procedures.

A key element in the continual improvement of health and safety management is sharing best practice and lessons learnt from incidents across all of the Group’s companies. Accidents, incidents and near misses are investigated, with actions generated to prevent recurrence. Compliance audits are conducted and all findings are subject to corrective action reviews to ensure closure.

With the exception of Mecar, all of our businesses are certified to the international health and safety management system OHSAS18001.

Culture and behaviour

In the last few years the Group has made substantial investments in its manufacturing facilities that reduce the levels of risk and we continue to focus on ensuring that our buildings, processes and products are as safe as reasonably practicable for our employees and product users by driving improvements in our process safety management systems, by investing in automation, remote operations and infrastructure, and also by improving our risk control systems and asset integrity.

In 2013 we developed a new culture and behaviour improvement programme based on the industry best practice. This Safety Leadership Programme will be delivered to all senior leaders and they will be challenged to develop individual business improvement programmes. We believe that our leaders foster the culture by setting expectations, building structure, teaching others and stewarding results.

It is expected that this additional focus on culture and behaviour will drive further improvements in our overall safety performance.

Our performance

Energetic events

Whilst we take all incidents seriously, we pay particular attention to those where employees sustain injury due to an energetic event and we had one incident in the year that resulted in three days of lost time when an operator received minor burns at our Kilgore facility in Toone, Tennessee.

We had no energetic events during the year that caused significant damage to buildings or equipment.       

Other lost time events

We collect and report lost time incident rates using the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rules, and we were disappointed to see a reduction in performance from a rate of 0.80 lost time incidents per 100 employees last year to 0.98 this year.

Our historical lost time incident rate performance per 100 employees is shown below:


Our most common lost time injury types continue to be slips, trips and falls; strains and sprains.

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