In the immediate future, we’ll continue to focus primarily on workplace risks, and on the safety and health of our employees and on-site contractors. In tune with our philosophy of caring, we intend to broaden our approach to include wellness and off-the-job safety, and the safety and health of others throughout our value chain.
Safety and Health Roadmap towards Excellence
Our ’Roadmap towards Excellence’ was endorsed by the Executive Board in January 2012. The Roadmap sets out five long-term strategic priorities:
- Personal ownership and engagement: winning hearts and minds; and embedding the safety & health agenda into parts of Nestlé other than operations – for example in sales, marketing, finance and procurement – through training and other development activities.
- Managing key risks: implementing global best practices to manage the risks of serious or fatal injury, for example in vehicles and driving, material handling equipment, machinery, process safety and construction.
- Health management: strengthening our occupational health programmes, with a focus on ergonomics, finding the causes of work-related illness and enhancing team and personal resilience (see Workplace wellness for more details).
- Management processes: going beyond OHSAS 18001certification by strengthening internal audit, communication and training programmes; and developing more consistent approaches for key processes, such as ‘permit-to-work’.
- Functional capability and leadership: making the safety and health function an ’admired function’ by promoting professional qualifications, ongoing personal development and training, and more effective cross-functional working.
How we are meeting the aims of our new Roadmap
Personal ownership and engagement
In 2012, we worked with the training provider TACK International to develop a new workshop for Nestlé managers, called ‘Leaders Taking Ownership of Safety and Health’. It’s offered in different languages to Nestlé managers around the world. The first attendees outside Switzerland, the management team in Egypt gave very positive feedback. In 2013, we’ll use this training to supplement existing safety leadership workshops in different parts of the world.
Managing key risks
In 2011, we developed a new corporate standard for the management of onsite material handling equipment, including forklift trucks. This standard, which we arrived at after extensive benchmarking with other companies, includes a new process for assessing the risks of collisions with pedestrians. In 2012, we implemented this process in over 500 factories and distribution centres, generating over 11,000 improvement actions.
In 2012, we created standard audit tools for the 15 ’foundational’ safety and health topics that we apply in our factories and R&D centers. We explained the use and benefits of these new tools in 13 two-day workshops for safety and engineering staff from every region we operate in. From 2013, every factory and R&D center in Nestlé will be assessed annually using these new tools.
Health management – ergonomics
In 2012, we launched a new corporate programme called ErgoPro. It improves our ability to assess and manage ergonomic risks within our factories, with an emphasis on manual handling in manufacturing, and on repetitive tasks in filling and packaging. Building on an existing partnership between our UK & Ireland business and the UK’s Health & Safety Laboratory (HSL), we organised a training session in Buxton, UK. This was attended by 14 participants from different countries, who are now cascading and implementing what they’ve learnt in their own regions. Two more training sessions have been planned for 2013.
Functional capability and leadership
In 2012, a global workshop was organised for our regional Safety, Health and Environmental Sustainability (SH&E) functional leaders.
Our safety performance has improved in recent years and we are currently among the top performers in the food and beverage industry. Nevertheless, our performance still lags behind that of some multinational companies. We regularly benchmark with organisations in different industries to gain insights into how we can improve further.
In 2012, we achieved a 5% improvement in Total Recordable Injury & Illness Frequency rate (TRIFr). However, our Lost Time Injury and Illness Frequency rate (LTIFr) deteriorated and was 6% higher than in 2011.
We believe that improved reporting is to a certain extent responsible for this levelling off, thanks to better recognition of occupational illnesses, greater awareness of reporting requirements and more accurate and consistent classification of incidents. But the fact remains that, to achieve our ultimate goal of zero injuries and illness, we must continue to drive real and sustained reductions in the years to come.
Reducing risks of serious injuries and fatalities remains a key priority. Our Safety and Health Roadmap commits us to improve our management of key risks, especially in driving, contractors and construction, machinery, forklifts, electricity and process safety. To do so, we are introducing new programmes based on extensive benchmarking and industry best practice.
The need for further improvements was reinforced by the fact that five people lost their lives while working for us in 2012. Of these five fatalities, one was a Nestlé employee and four were contractors. The employee was a member of the sales staff and they died in a road traffic accident. The four contractors were involved in different construction and maintenance activities: three of the contractor deaths resulted from falls from a height, while the fourth was from a collision with a mobile elevated work platform.
Statistically, this compares with 18 fatalities in 2011, 11 in 2010, and four in 2009. We deeply regret these fatalities and are striving to prevent similar incidents in the future – in particular through improvements to our Capital Project Management process and our Safe Driving programme.
Lost day rate
In 2012, our Lost Day Rate was estimated to be 66 lost days per million working hours (2011: 72). It’s an estimate because some countries reported lost work days while others report lost calendar days. From 1 January 2013, we will harmonise our approach across the Group and report lost calendar days.
In 2012, our overall sickness absence rate was estimated to be 2.5% (2011: 2.1%). This percentage continues to be an estimate because we still have some variations in measurement methods between different countries, and because we have not yet been able to collate this information within the USA.