Safety at work is an essential prerequisite to any activity that ERAMET undertakes. The Group therefore endeavors to implement a prevention policy in all of its sites to avoid accidents, to reduce their severity if they do occur, and to learn about the circumstances of accidents to prevent their recurrence. Sharing best practices, through awareness activities and training of teams and sub-contractors, is a part of this approach. The Group also naturally ensures compliance with regulations, which progress along with the constant evolution of the tools and techniques. The protection of employees and facilities and information relating to potential threats is also central to ERAMET's concerns through its safety policy.
Tools for assessing the safety policy
Indicators to measure changes in accident numbers on the sites
The frequency rate (number of accidents reported per million hours worked, as defined by the International Labor Organization) and the severity rate (number of days lost per 1000 working hours) are among the indicators used by ERAMET to measure progress in the number of accidents that have occurred on its sites. The analysis of these this data is used to measure the real impact of prevention activities that the Group has implemented and therefore to adjust them if necessary.
Audits to assess the safety policy
A systematic policy of safety audits is also used to measure the points on which the Group has made progress and those that still need improving. All the sites worldwide are audited on average once every two years by the Hygiene, Health & Safety Department according to customized guidelines that are based on the International Safety Rating System (ISRS) and ERAMET’s own requirements. The latter comply at least with the OHSAS 18001 guidelines.
Some of the results of these audits are used to prepare an action plan for each site over the following two years as well as for a general ERAMET action plan. These audits are combined with complementary approaches (specific support, sharing of best practices, training, etc.) to optimize the assistance and value-added benefits provided to the sites.
Analysis of workplace risks
- listed all the jobs on the site;
- performed an analysis and assessment of risks that exist for these jobs.
Begun in 2010, this analysis and risk assessment has already categorized more than 70% of jobs. The process is still continuing.
Safety at work: training and awareness
In addition to the standard training (handling of fire extinguishers, driving of lifting machinery, first aid at work, etc.), over the years ERAMET has developed specific training for the members of the management and the operators. The terminology used in the Group’s safety policy, each person’s roles and responsibilities, the circumstances of the occurrence of accidents and statistical analysis tools are among the topics addressed in these modules.
Other types of training have also been provided for people in charge of managing subcontractors.
Finally, training courses have been designed for the Hygiene, Health & Safety representatives (facilitators and trainers) on the Group’s sites.
Annual training and awareness campaigns
For the last two years, ERAMET has conducted an annual campaign on safety standards and risk prevention. Lasting two to three weeks on average, this campaign involves both ERAMET employees and subcontractors, promoting awareness of a specific topic, as well as training in that theme. It is deployed simultaneously on all sites using:
- multiple media (posters, videos, etc.), translated into the languages of the main countries in which the Group operates, presenting best practices to adopt in a simple way;
- meetings on the sites;
- activities on the sites sometimes including subcontractors and partners.
For its second edition, the campaign is focusing on the theme of working at height, a general subject that concerns all Group employees. It explores:
- the importance of getting employees to express their concerns or difficulties;
- the attention that management must pay to the personal well-being of staff and to the application of the rules.
In 2011, the campaign addressed risk prevention in the handling of loads (cranes, forklift trucks, etc.).
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Performance is very important to ERAMET, who, in partnership with a distributor, made a thorough study in order to procure the most effective PPE for protection of the following:
- the head;
- feet and hands.
Depending on their jobs, employees use standard or customized PPE, including:
- ventilated respirator masks;
- molded earplugs;
- safety goggles;
- helmets with visors;
- safety shoes;
- gloves of different categories depending on use.
A safety kit can also be provided to visitors to ERAMET industrial sites. It includes a protective coat, disposable gloves and socks, goggles, a helmet and safety shoes.
Safety experienced at all levels
Management is responsible for the essential task of guaranteeing the safety of its employees. It fulfills this mission in organizing its work teams. It is assisted by the safety coordinators network which has been set up for the sites, divisions and Group. The network has a key role in the deployment of the Group's safety standards, ensuring compliance with these standards and organizing the safety committees and training. The global network of safety coordinators meets annually to share best practices.
The Group's security policy
In parallel to its Hygiene, Health & Safety Department, the ERAMET group has created the role of Security Director. The director’s mission is to assist the Executive Committee and operational managers in implementing the protective measures needed in the following three areas:
- the protection of individuals, including those working abroad;
- the protection of facilities;
- the protection of information.
In this role, they must:
- specify the nature of the threats and measure the risks to the Group's activities and personnel;
- help assess and implement the human resources and technical means required for prevention and protection;
- inform and educate the Group’s employees about the reality of the risks, the means implemented to deal with them and the practices to adopt.