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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 2016

During 2016 our over seven day lost-time accident rate was relatively unchanged at 3.4 accidents per 1,000 employees (2015: 3.3). We benchmarked our performance against RIDDOR’s “Over 7-day, rate of reported non-fatal injury per 100,000 employees, 2013/14-2015/16” in the UK manufacturing sector, which was 360. Our H&S performance was therefore slightly better than the industry average. Our total number of accidents resulting in over three days of lost time, which includes over seven day accidents, stayed the same at 24 accidents for 2016. While we were disappointed not to have reduced our accident rate, we were pleased to maintain the significantly improved performance that we achieved in 2015.

We increased the number of H&S training units delivered to 14,958 (2015: 10,566). We have encouraged reporting of employee concerns through a “Don’t walk by” campaign; 7,845 concerns were raised during 2016 (2015: 1,644). We view this increase as a positive outcome, reflecting the success of the campaign and the embedding of behavioural based safety (BBS) within our supply sites. A total of 250 near misses were reported during the year, these were investigated and corrective action taken (2015: 213). We employ 32 full time, qualified H&S professionals and additional part-time EHS employees (2015: 25). During 2016 we completed over 489 internal continuous improvement EHS inspections across our supply sites (2015: 400).

At the end of the year, 11 of our 19 manufacturing sites held OHSAS 18001 certification and a number of companies are working towards achieving it. All of the Spirax Sarco Steam Specialties manufacturing sites have now established a BBS programme, to be fully embedded in 2017 (2015: four). During 2016 we completed the construction and opening of our new manufacturing, office, warehouse and training facility in India, without any lost-time accidents; MasoSine, a Watson-Marlow company, achieved 17 years without a lost-time incident; and our Spirax Sarco Steam Specialties business manufacturing site in the USA recorded three years (1.86 million man hours) without a lost time accident.​