Health and Safety performance

Occupational safety

The human factor remains an essential element in safety management. In 2006, we set an ambitious target to improve safety performance by a factor of four by 2010, reducing the Total Reportable Rate (TRR) for employee injuries to 2.0 per million hours worked. Since 2009, we have reported the safety performance of employees together with our supervised contractors. Quarterly reports on business safety improvement programs and agreed targets are reviewed by the Executive Committee, together with the quarterly financial performance indicators.

Employee and supervised contractors total reportable injuries injury rate

Employees & supervised contractors total reportable injuries injury rate (bar chart)

2007 and 2008 data includes employees only.

The total reportable rate is the number of injuries, including fatalities, resulting in a lost time case, restricted work or requiring medical treatment by a competent medical practitioner per million hours worked.

Independent contractors total reportable injuries injury rate

Independent contractors total reportable injuries injury rate (bar chart)

2008 data includes supervised and independent contractors. The total reportable rate is the number of injuries, including fatalities, resulting in a lost time case, restricted work or requiring medical treatment by a competent medical practitioner per million hours worked.

There had been a steady reduction in TRR since 2005, with good progress towards the 2010 milestone rate of 2.0. However, in 2010, this trend stagnated. The TRR for employees and supervised contractors improved slightly to 3.6 injuries per million hours worked (2009: 3.7). The rate for independent contractors is 3.0 injuries per million hours (2009: 2.8). In total, in 2010, 66 percent of our units performed at or better than the milestone, representing approximately 50 percent of the hours worked by our employees and supervised contractors. We have not achieved the ambitious target, however senior managers have focused significant attention on re-establishing the improvement trend – with success towards the end of the year. In October, we organized a global AkzoNobel Safety Day, when more than 14,000 employees made their personal pledge towards safety in both their working and private lives.

We continue to focus improvement actions on behavior-based safety (BBS) training and continuous raising of awareness. In 2010, BBS improvement processes – which involve employees and focus on reducing unsafe situations and unsafe behaviors – were in place at more than 60 percent of our sites worldwide. We believe that full implementation of BBS and management leadership training is essential to meet the challenge. Five of our businesses were operating at safety levels below the 2015 ambition level during the year. This sets an excellent example for the other businesses to follow. In 2010, we developed a generic AkzoNobel safety induction package for our new and existing employees, to complement site specific training. Currently available in four main languages, the package will be extended in 2011 to cover all ten major countries where we operate.

Our ambition for 2015 remains to be in the top quartile of our peer group in TRR performance – the milestone we have set is 2.0 for both employees and supervised contractors.

Safe driving

This is a priority area, based on the many incidents we have had over two years of monitoring. During 2010, there were 34 incidents involving injury, as well as the fatalities of one employee and four members of the public. An analysis of the serious motor vehicle incidents revealed that the major cause was distraction from the main task – driving the car safely – which was attributed to fatigue, mobile phone use, intense discussions with passengers, etc.

We have signed a global contract for defensive driving through e-learning programs and have developed a company-wide approach for training those who drive on company business. The program and good practice guidance will be rolled out across our businesses in 2011. Drivers at risk (covering more than 20,000 business miles) will also be advised to take regular hands-on safe driver training.

Employee health

As well as ensuring a safe working environment, we also focus on employee health and managing illness absence. Businesses continued to implement a health management standard during the year. The Total Illness Absence Rate has improved to 1.9 percent (2009: 2.0 percent). We will keep monitoring this indicator for the whole company, aiming to stay at a level around 2 percent, but will not set new long-term targets.

The Occupational Illness Rate for employees and supervised contractors stands at 0.3 illnesses per million hours worked (2009: 0.4).

With our expansion in high growth countries, we recognize that there are challenges associated with cultural aspects – health beliefs and the emphasis on group importance rather than the individual – as well as differences in healthcare. During 2010, we strengthened our occupational health provision in China and Vietnam. They have made important contributions by visiting sites and supporting local management to identify improvement opportunities.

Process safety

Drawing on the learning from the process safety audits carried out after the Baker Report, and best practices from the former ICI, we updated our process safety/asset integrity standard and management practices in 2009. Businesses are now implementing the requirements – the management system and revised standards for management of change (including organizational change), contractor safety and hazard studies.

The global process safety network has developed additional guidance and training materials to support roll-out. We are using “loss of containment” as the main indicator for asset integrity management – four categories indicate the severity of the loss, from small on-site spill (Level 1) to a major emission of toxic/hazardous materials (Level 4). There was no serious loss of containment (Level 4) during 2010.

Loss of containment incidents

Loss of containment incidents (graphic)
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