Occupational health and safety – Rising to the challenge
Occupational health and safety is Holcim’s number one priority. Holcim aims to be an employer of choice that reports with integrity and transparency, and shows a genuine commitment to the health and safety of the people that work for it. This is why the Group has spent years focusing on its reporting culture, meanwhile building trust throughout the Group, and the figures have started to reflect this change. Since Holcim introduced reporting of critical incidents, the number of reported incidents has increased from tens to hundreds per year. Holcim believes it is not experiencing more incidents today than before; the Group simply ascertains more, and this advancement in culture is reflected in the safety key performance indicators. These include Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate, LTIFR, and Total Injury Frequency Rate, TIFR, in particular, at 1.6 and 4.8 respectively in 2014. In the year under review 25 individuals lost their lives while working for Holcim, of whom 20 were indirectly employed through contractors or service providers. Seven out of these 25 were involved in road accidents outside of plants. A further 16 individuals not connected to Holcim lost their lives mainly as a result of traffic accidents with vehicles carrying Holcim products. The Group is sincerely saddened by each loss of life. Although the 2014 safety figures are disappointing, Holcim takes reassurance in knowing that today, more than at any other time in its history, it has a good understanding of what the actual situation is. This represents a great opportunity to make comprehensive analyses of risk exposure and target resources, and this is what Holcim is focusing on now.
The Group’s programs and initiatives allow it to provide targeted support for cases in which specific and individual improvements are required in Group companies. The Directives Assessments Program assesses each Group company’s capability and understanding in relation to hazard identification and risk management. The Design Safety and Construction Quality Program also allows Holcim to target support based on the risks associated with major hazards such as fires, explosions, and geotechnical and structural integrity, tackling issues at their source during the design, construction, and operation of quarries and facilities.
As a broader measure, Holcim continues to stress the importance of line managers demonstrating visible leadership to bring about positive behavior changes at all levels of the organization and continue working hard to strengthen the competence of the Health and Safety function itself. The Group also continued to roll out the Road Safety Improvement Program to strengthen performance in areas such as vehicle management, leadership and commitment, driver management, contractor management, journey management, and road and traffic conditions on its own sites.
The annual safety awards initiative continued to foster a culture in which safety excellence is recognized and shared for the benefit of everybody. The Group is in its third cycle of rewarding best practices at regional and global levels and is seeing these initiatives being replicated elsewhere in the Group.
Everything Holcim does in occupational health and safety is to move the Group toward being a zero-harm organization. Holcim believes this is not simply an aspirational target designed to drive better performance but an achievable one, and the Group will not cease in its endeavors to achieve it.