We have no higher priority than safety, not only for our employees but for everyone who comes to our sites. Our ultimate goal is no accidents or injuries.
Our Executive Safety Committee, chaired by our Chief Executive, meets throughout the year to review our safety performance and improvement programmes. Our senior executives are personally involved in safety management and undertake annual executive audits at the majority of our sites around the world.
Our ultimate goal is to have no accidents and no injuries. We have undertaken a thorough review of our safety management programme during the year, including the introduction of external auditors to review safety management and control at our major manufacturing sites. As a result, we have overhauled our safety programme and accident prevention arrangements at Group and site level.
Here we report our safety results as set out in our 2015 Annual Report. The figures are for calendar year 2014.
As reported in last year’s Annual Report, three contractor employees working at our Singapore facility were severely burned when performing a steam line break procedure in April 2014: two of them later died. Then, in June 2014, the site manager of one of our grain elevators died when a farm utility tractor he was driving overturned. We very deeply regret these tragic accidents. They have been thoroughly investigated, both internally and externally. Actions, based on findings, have been taken to prevent these types of accidents
1 One employee and two contractors.
2 One employee and one external truck driver.
The safety performance indicators of recordable incident rate and lost-work
case rate – for employees and contractors combined – saw an increase of 47% and 146% respectively during calendar year 2014: both the number and severity of incidents increased compared with calendar year 2013, when we had our lowest levels ever recorded. The more severe incidents (ie those that require more time off work) were predominantly ergonomic/manual handling issues; therefore we are currently reviewing and reinforcing our ergonomics
and manual handling programme.
In 2014, two of our US plants won four US Corn Refiners Association (CRA) Safety Awards between them. Our annual global safety week saw many employees and their families, alongside contractors, taking part in
activities across our sites worldwide. We also conduct regular ‘contractor safety summits’, to discuss expectations and share best practice with contractors, and to support our plant-level contractor safety programme.
To put our safety performance in context and because many of our employees are located in the US, we compare our results with US industry averages, as shown below.
Taking action to prevent accidents
Early in 2014 we analysed 10 years of safety data. This analysis indicated that 47% of our serious incidents were related to working at height. Therefore, we implemented a fall prevention/protection campaign across
all sites, using external experts on the ‘hierarchy of safety controls’ to address hazards and prevent incidents, and installed new equipment to make it safer to work at height. For example, we replaced barrier chains with self-closing gates; installed platforms instead of using ladders and
scaffolding; and installed pedestrian barricades/anchorage points near potential floor and wall openings.
During the year, we appointed external auditors to carry out a thorough review of our safety systems and procedures at our major manufacturing sites. This has been very helpful in identifying improvements both at global and site level. Overall, the auditors concluded that Tate & Lyle does have a good safety management programme, and that people generally know what is expected of them; whilst key areas on which to focus for ongoing improvement were identified as eliminating and engineering out hazards,
ensuring the safe design of process equipment and improving behavioural
safety. Below we report on some of the actions we have taken so far in these areas.
Eliminating and engineering out hazards
Looking for ways to eliminate and engineer out hazards – so preventing accidents before they occur – is a key area of activity, and we used external experts to improve our understanding of ‘prevention through design’ – for example, by removing hazards before new equipment is installed. We reviewed and updated our minimum standards on equipment safety and communicated these to all sites, and launched a ‘Lifesaver’ campaign to eliminate hazards of severe injury. We also looked at vehicle safety, and
have implemented an on-site vehicle safety programme globally, including with our contractors, based on the US Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) standard for powered industrial trucks.
Ensuring the safe condition and design of process equipment
We work hard to ensure that all equipment is checked thoroughly through preventative maintenance programmes and periodic risk assessments. We carry out internal risk assessments on driers and storage systems, and integrity checks on concrete silos, tall structures and other process equipment. We also brought in external trainers to help us with mechanical integrity, combustible dust, flammable liquids and vapours, static electricity hazards, hazardous area classifications, and process safety management.
Behavioural safety and safety culture
How people behave each and every day is at the heart of staying safe. Many of our plants had previously been trained on the 'SafeStart’ (www.safestart.com) behavioural safety programme, and we have been holding refresher training and also introducing the programme at those sites not previously covered. We also developed a ‘PAR’ campaign, communicating that everyone has the ‘permission, ability and responsibility’ to act by stopping operations and processes if they see an unsafe act or
condition. Using these two programmes, we reinforced the importance of conducting thorough pre-job hazard assessments.