CSR in Practice: Health and Safety – Top priority for Devro

Health and Safety Policy:

Devro believes in strong health and safety principles. One of our core beliefs is that all accidents are preventable and we promote health and safety to work towards a target of zero accidents of employees, contractors, visitors and the public.

We ensure that robust incident investigations are carried out to determine the root cause, prevent recurrence and continually improve day-to-day safety behaviours and performance. We share the findings from the investigations amongst the regions to ensure we learn from them.

The Chief Executive meets personally with every colleague who has been involved in an LWDI. Each of the regions communicates the policy to the employees and uses the policy when setting objectives. In addition, the policy is used during the visitor and contractor induction process.

Policies are reviewed annually in conjunction with teams in each of the regions and the latest versions were fully updated and endorsed by the Board at the end of 2015. They are available to read on our website.

Board Commitment:

The Health and Safety is a Committee of the Board of the Company. The primary purpose of the Committee is to assist the Board to fulfill its responsibilities in relation to Health and Safety matters, including Occupational Health, arising out of the activities of the Company.

The Board Health and Safety Committee reviews and monitors safety performance in each of the regions. The Committee convened five times in 2015 and on four of these occasions met (either by video, telephone or in person) with representatives of the safety committee of one of the group’s main manufacturing facilities. The terms of reference can be found on our website here.

Safety Management:

Safety underpins all our operational procedures with accountability for safety at every level of the organisation. We focus on three main aspects of safety:

  • Process safety: ensuring safe equipment and processes
  • Procedural safety: ensuring that we have adequate procedures for the safe operation and maintenance of our equipment
  • Behavioural safety: helping our employees to act in a safe way

Each of the regions has a comprehensive risk assessment programme in place for both new and existing operations. We assess this during the internal auditing programme to ensure compliance with our company Golden Rules.

Our sites all have a safety management system that conforms to their country requirements. In addition, our sites in the Czech Republic has OSHAS 18001 accreditation. The sites are all subject to both internal and external audits by regulatory bodies and our company insurers to ensure compliance.

All sites have an annual safety and training plan in place. These are submitted to the Board Safety Committee at the start of the year for review.

Safety Committees and Employee Consultation:

The best way to make our workplaces safe is to encourage everyone to take ownership of safe practice. Within Devro, the approach varies from country to country to fit in with the local culture but the principle is the same: safety is a matter of behaviour and behaviour can be changed.

Behavioural auditing is becoming more and more popular amongst manufacturing organisations. It differs from traditional safety inspections that look for unsafe conditions, and focuses instead on the way people approach their tasks and interact with the working environment. The goal is to encourage people to take personal responsibility for creating a safer workplace.

There were 1,709 behavioural audits conducted in 2015, lasting over 600 hours. These identified and prompted action to eliminate over 1,000 unsafe acts and conditions.

Each of the regions has a safety committee with representatives from across the business, including Trade Union representatives. The committees meet monthly and minutes are shared with the workforce.

The Board Health and Safety Committee meet with the regional committees on a regular basis.

Performance Monitoring:

Devro monitors performance using a number of leading and lagging indicators and we bench mark our performance against other sector peers. We share our performance statistics internally and capture them in our annual and corporate social responsibility reports that are available on the website.

In 2015, we introduced a set of twelve mandatory safety rules (D rules) alongside a mascot called NINA (No Incidents No Accidents). Each month we select one of the D rules and cascade to all employees.