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Health and safety was identified as Eurocell’s most material issue by our stakeholders and the health, safety and wellbeing of our employees is our number one priority. We have a groupwide Safety, Health and Environmental (SHE) Policy, which is available on our website and which is reviewed and updated regularly. We firmly believe that effective health and safety management is critical to the delivery of good business performance. We work constantly with our employees to identify improvement opportunities and eliminate unsafe acts.

SHE strategy

In 2023 our SHE strategy included the rollout of 13 initiatives, with the most significant highlighted in Safety First as follows. We will continue this work in 2024, with several additional initiatives centred around changing behaviours. We believe that our SHE strategy helped drive a significant improvement in safety performance in 2023.

An example of one of these initiatives from 2023 is the implementation of our Cardinal Rules. Each rule revolves around a different topic which, if not complied with, could place our people at risk of serious injury, such as fire safety. Our workforce are trained on our expectations through a series of Toolbox Talks, and their understanding is checked through a multiple choice test. Those who do not meet the minimum threshold are required to retake the session. Following successful deployment of the Cardinal Rules in 2023, our focus for 2024 is on their enforcement and refresher training.

Safety firstplus

Our Chief Executive, Darren Waters, has overall responsibility for health and safety. Oversight is provided through our Chief Operating Officer, who is informed on performance and initiatives by our Head of SHE and supported by senior management from different areas of the business.

Following improvements made in 2023, we believe we now have a culture of continual improvement in safety standards.

We are committed to ensuring that all of our employees and contractors are aware of hazards in the workplace, the risks they present, and have the necessary tools to manage them. Throughout the year, we rolled out a number of initiatives, including the following:

  • IOSH and NEBOSH training – over 300 employees attended the IOSH Working Safety and IOSH Managing Safely courses, which were delivered in partnership with our insurance brokers and insurer. This greatly improved safety awareness and knowledge and ensured that employees understood their roles and responsibilities
  • Volunteer Safety Reps within Operations and SHE Champions for the offices were appointed and trained to function as a conduit between employees and the management team to drive continual improvement in safety standards
  • Revised health surveillance programmes were introduced throughout Operations and the Branch Network to ensure employees’ ongoing fitness to undertake their work safely and in good health
  • Our Cardinal Rules (critical to life safety) were trained out, displayed throughout the sites and their compliance monitored
  • Standard operating procedures and risk assessments were reviewed to ensure their adequacy and relevant Cardinal Rules incorporated within them
  • Regular observation walks and visible-felt leadership tours took place to engage with employees and monitor safety compliance and standards.

We are confident that our 2024 Safety Strategy will continue to deliver improved safety performance and will again focus on changing behaviours and improving our safety culture.

We have a dedicated capital expenditure plan to support improvements in our safety performance. In 2024 this includes the introduction of an electronic near-miss reporting system to improve our understanding of where incidents are happening.

Certification to ISO 45001 was maintained for our four main manufacturing sites in Alfreton and Liverpool (representing 50% of our operational facilities), with only minor non-conformances and opportunities for improvement identified. ISO 45001 gap analysis was conducted at three of our other operational facilities, which all achieved compliance scores ranging from 83% to 85%.

We aim to achieve certification to the standard across all eight Eurocell operational facilities by the end of 2025.

There were several visits by the Health and Safety Executive during the year to our recycling facilities, resulting in two Improvement Notices regarding dust and machine guarding. The latter was addressed immediately, and significant investment has since been made to improve dust control and management to the satisfaction of the HSE.


Safety targetsplus

As an overall ambition, we are targeting the elimination of RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013) injuries by the end of 2027. To assist with tracking our progress we have set interim targets, and for 2024 we are aiming to achieve a 15% improvement in our injury frequency rate (IFR), lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR), severity rate and RIDDOR rate compared to 2023.

Safety performance

During 2023, supported by the rollout of our SHE strategy, we delivered a significant improvement in safety performance, reducing our LTIFR by 43% compared to 2022 and our RIDDOR rate by 52%.

The IFR increased during 2023 by 21%. However, this was as a direct result of increased employee awareness of the need to report even the most minor injuries, reflecting the investment we made in training our colleagues to IOSH and NEBOSH standards. We have further improved the reporting of near misses and unsafe acts and conditions and monitor their reporting and closure very closely. In 2024 we will also focus on leading performance indicators.

  2023 2022 2021 2020 2019
Lost time injuries 27 48 36 24 36
RIDDOR 5.7 10.0 7.6 7.4 8.9
Near misses 11 23 28 19 17
Number of employee fatalities 146 102 29 n/a n/a
Number of contractor fatalities - - - - -
Number of cases of silicosis - - - - -
Number of staff trained on health and safety standards 322 - - - -
Number of health and safety training hours 3,456 - - - -

1 Injuries per 1 million hours worked.