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Health and safety

Health and safety
We recognise our responsibility to ensure the well-being and safety of our employees and to maintain a safe environment for visitors and contractors.

Health and safety

​Looking after the health and wellbeing of our people is a key priority for the Group. Our Group H&S objective is to: achieve health and safety (H&S) excellence through engagement, empowerment and fostering good behaviours, while targeting zero accidents.

H&S culture

We embed a H&S culture across the Group through providing our employees with the training and tools needed to recognise and understand both the importance of H&S practices and how to proactively mitigate risk.
 
We are currently rolling out a Behavioural Based Safety (BBS) programme across our manufacturing sites. BBS was first implemented in our Spirax Sarco operating company in the USA during 2011 to engage all employees in H&S, enabling them to better identify and eliminate risks; to drive cultural change; and to incentivise staff to live a healthier lifestyle.
 
Core components of the programme include:​
  1. A "start with safety" culture
  2. Regular and formal reviews of all accidents, near misses, risks and risk behaviours
  3. On-going H&S training for all employees
  4. The identification of job specific "safe behaviours"
  5. A combination of both leading and lagging key performance indicators.

Managing H&S

We have a well-defined H&S management and governance structure. The Group Chief Executive and Board of Directors have overall responsibility for H&S performance, and H&S is a standing agenda item at Board meetings. We have a Group Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) Executive who has responsibility for the day-to-day management of EHS matters across the Group, facilitates the sharing of best practice and ensures that appropriate processes are in place for collecting and reporting H&S data. At a local level, H&S officers and committees record and report data and review H&S performance, while General Managers have responsibility for ensuring the implementation of H&S policies and procedures within their operating companies.
 
All our operating companies are expected to adhere to the Group H&S Policy and to have a local H&S Policy in place. Each of our operating companies has an occupational H&S management system, which generally follows the requirements of OHSAS 18001. By the end of 2016, 11 of our 19 manufacturing sites were certified to OHSAS 18001.
 
All H&S accidents, near misses and incidents of occupational diseases are recorded locally and reported monthly, with RIDDOR reportable accidents and incidents being reported immediately to the Group EHS Executive.
 
We have embedded a leading indicator programme across our manufacturing facilities and established bi-weekly H&S meetings, attended by H&S personnel from all manufacturing sites. All accidents are investigated using a “5 why” approach and a “strengths of defences” template, identifying root causes and enabling strong corrective actions to be put in place.
 
Regular H&S assessments take place across our global operations and appropriate H&S due diligence surveys are completed during corporate acquisitions.

Performance in 2017

During 2017, our over seven day lost-time accident rate fell to 3.0 accidents per 1,000 employees (2016: 3.4). We benchmarked our performance against RIDDOR’s “Over 7-Day Rate of Reported Non-Fatal Injury Per 100,000 Employees, 2012/13-2016/17” in the UK manufacturing sector, which was 365 (3.65 per 1,000 employees). Our H&S performance in 2017 was therefore better than the industry average. Excluding businesses acquired in 2017, the number of accidents resulting in over three days of lost time, which includes over seven day accidents, fell to 20 in 2017. Four over three day accidents occurred post-acquisition in businesses that joined the Group in 2017, taking the total number of over three day accidents to 24. During the year, 14 of our 26 manufacturing sites did not have any over three day accidents and Watson-Marlow MasoSine maintained their world-class safety performance, this year achieving 18 years without a lost time accident.

We significantly increased the number of H&S training units delivered to 24,747 (2016: 14,958). As part of our Behavioural Based Safety programme we have focused on reporting of employee concerns and near misses. 5,485 employee concerns were raised during 2017 (2016: 7,845). Each concern was reviewed and corrective actions taken. A total of 562 near misses were reported during the year (2016: 250). Each near miss was thoroughly investigated, corrective action taken, and learning shared across the Group. The high number of concerns raised and near misses reported demonstrates the success of our awareness campaigns and the embedding of a H&S culture across the Group, which empowers employees to raise concerns and take action to report near misses.

We employ 39 full-time, qualified H&S professionals and additional part-time EHS employees (2016: 32). As part of our due diligence process to ensure compliance with Group policies and procedures, during 2017 we completed 787 internal continuous improvement EHS inspections across our supply sites (2016: 489).

At the end of the year, 15 of our 26 manufacturing sites held OHSAS 18001 certification and a number of companies were working towards achieving it (2016: 11 of 19). All Watson-Marlow manufacturing sites established Behavioural Based Safety programmes during 2017.

During 2017, we opened a new Distribution Centre in Singapore. During the extensive refurbishment of the building we followed our internal Management of Change procedure to ensure the highest standards of H&S were met. The Centre was opened without any lost-time accidents.