Our Greatest Priority

The health and safety of our employees is our greatest priority. With dedicated health and safety programs already in place at the site level, we have recently increased our focus on developing, implementing, and continuously improving our approach at the Corporate level. This approach includes a robust improvement process to update the Environmental Health and Safety Management System, including policies and global standards, training, and culture.

In 2020, our global Injury and Illness Incident Rate (measured to align with U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration [OSHA] criteria), was 0.53, and our Lost Workday Case Incidence Rate (also measured in accordance with OSHA criteria) was 0.36 – a 37% and 32% improvement on last year respectively. We remain committed to protecting the health, safety, and well-being of our people and to preserving this positive trend.

We have implemented environmental, health, and safety programs at site level and engaged in the process of updating our Corporate EHS Standards aligned with recognized management system frameworks. At present, 2 of our 35 manufacturing plants, major distribution centers, and major office facilities hold current OHSAS 18001, ISO 45001, or equivalent certifications.

Beginning in 2021 and moving forward, EHS Front Line Leadership training will be implemented globally to develop and support EHS as a core value and important part of our culture.

EHS Processes and Training at Our Global Facilities

Globally, the key focus around EHS in 2020 was preventing the spread of COVID-19. As a result of our robust COVID-19 risk management processes there was no spread of the virus identified within our facilities. Particularly effective initiatives took place at the following sites:

We also focused on several other EHS initiatives throughout our sites, including at Hasselt, Belgium. Our focus on safety was highlighted at the end of 2020 by the facility achieving 1,460 days without a single reported accident. We achieved this by providing equipment for our employees, such as mats for those in the shipping department to improve ergonomics, and tables with adjustable heights to help our employees’ posture and reduce back pain. 

Despite the pandemic, we still managed to drive several exciting, non-COVID-19-related EHS initiatives at our Ballaigues site, which limited accidents during 2020 to just three:

  • We piloted an EHS e-learning module for about 750 of our employees in Ballaigues via our global learning management system. By the end of 2020, we had trained 541 employees on this EHS module. We also trained 468 employees for GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice).
  • We ran several classroom trainings for electrical basics (~16-hour training); 56 people for chemical products (about 20 hours); and 103 people for LOTO training (about 10 hours)
  • We organized about 200 technical trainings with dedicated, expert trainers to ensure product quality.
  • We implemented a “near miss” process to catch potential accidents before they happen – an initiative that was previously rolled out at our Johnson City site. As employees at our facility improved their understanding of the importance of reporting near misses rather than waiting to report injuries after they occur, we observed a positive culture shift. Now the safety committee conducts daily reviews and monthly walk-throughs in each department, where they proactively identify potential risk areas. 

Our focus on safety was highlighted at the end of 2020 by the facility achieving 1,460 days without a single reported accident. This was helped by providing equipment for our employees, such as mats for those in the shipping department to improve ergonomics, and tables with adjustable heights to help our employees’ posture and reduce back pain.

As employees at our facility built their understanding of the importance of reporting “near misses” rather than waiting to report injuries after they occur, we observed a positive culture shift. Now, the safety committee conducts daily reviews and monthly walk-throughs in each department, where they proactively identify potential risk areas. 

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