Annual Report 2021

Health and safety

We seek to promote the health and well-being of our employees and sustain their ability to perform over the long term, which necessitates a safe workplace. We are therefore constantly working to take our health and safety culture to the next level.

The lost time injury rate (LTIR) is the indicator used to gauge the success of our occupational safety efforts. This figure is a global measure of the number of accidents resulting in at least one day of missed work per one million hours worked. We track the LTIR globally for both employees and supervised temporary staff. In 2021, we set a new workplace accident reduction target, specifically to bring our LTIR below 1.0 by 2025.

Before starting any activity worldwide, we perform a hazard assessment to identify risks and do everything possible to eliminate them before commencing the activity or commissioning a plant. If this is not feasible, we put measures in place to minimize the chances of problems arising and their potential impacts. Such hazard assessments are the responsibility of our individual sites and are therefore conducted by them.

We have developed a performance indicator system based on data, such as the health-related responses from our annual anonymous Employee Engagement Survey. We use this survey to calculate our work-balance index and our healthiness index, which should reflect the general state of health of our workforce worldwide and their ability to manage the demands of their professional and personal lives. These indices allow us to assess the data at team level (groups of at least ten), a minimum threshold that enables us to protect people’s anonymity. In 2021, we introduced an overarching health question to the survey to document and track our company’s health culture and its development in the coming years.

Roles and responsibilities

Our Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) management system is the responsibility of Corporate Sustainability, Quality, and Trade Compliance, which reports to the Chair of the Executive Board. This Group function sets objectives, globally oversees the respective initiatives, and conducts internal EHS audits, while local EHS managers and their teams see to it that our individual sites comply with all occupational health and safety laws and regulations. They are also responsible for local projects, campaigns and programs.

Employees worried about their health or safety are permitted to temporarily step back from their work until the issue has been resolved. Across the Group, they are encouraged to report such concerns via our compliance hotline.

Our commitment: Policies and company agreements

Defining our principles and strategies for Environment, Health and Safety (EHS), our Corporate EHS Policy is an integral part of our EHS management system, which undergoes an external ISO 45001 audit every year. As part of a group certificate, our occupational health and safety management system was ISO 45001-certified at 46 sites at the end of 2021.

Our Group Health Policy details our approach to ensuring workplace safety for our employees while also promoting their health and well-being. This document sets out our Group-wide approach to health and safety management, which is aimed at preventing workplace accidents and occupational illnesses.

To complement this policy, our Contractor EHS Management standard helps us ensure that our contractors adhere to environment, health, and safety requirements throughout the entire process, from starting a job to completion.

Accident rates

Our employees are required to immediately report any relevant occupational accidents to Corporate Sustainability, Quality and Trade Compliance, where the incidents are assessed. If necessary, we then implement additional safety measures at our sites. This procedure is an integral practice across all of our production facilities around the world.

We track the following occupational safety data across our sites worldwide:

  • The LTIR measures the accidents resulting in at least one day of missed work per one million hours worked. In 2021, our LTIR was 1.2, an improvement over 2020 (1.3). The majority of incidents resulting in lost time were slips, trips and falls, along with contusions and lacerations from the operation of machinery and equipment. In 2021, we once more recorded no fatal accidents.
  • We use our Environment, Health and Safety Incident Rate (EHS IR) to track accidents.
  • Alongside this indicator, we also use the Occupational Illness Rate in the United States to monitor work-related illnesses and their long-term effects.

Clear rules of conduct

Group-wide, all new EHS managers must complete a three-day EHS onboarding that covers topics such as occupational health and safety as well as our BeSafe! safety culture program. Through this initiative, we raise employee awareness of workplace dangers and teach them rules for safe behavior. Despite the ongoing pandemic, in 2021 we managed to integrate four legacy Versum sites into BeSafe! and conducted the training online. In addition, we regularly provide occupational safety training at our sites covering both legal requirements as well as the specific local risks.

Share this page: