We are absolutely committed to providing a safe working environment for anyone working for Olam, whether a full time employee, seasonal worker or contractor. Every Olam site has dedicated Health and Safety staff and we have a publicly committed goal of Zero Harm.
This is sometimes more challenging in emerging markets than in developed nations where there is a strong prevalent safety culture in the workplace and outside. So, for example, where countries do not enforce road safety procedures such as seat belts, we have to constantly reinforce that seat belts must be buckled and that drivers must not go over the speed limit.
Other challenges revolve around the use of Personal Protective Equipment, for example the wearing of protective boots. We have encountered situations where the new boots provided for workers are considered ‘too good’ for work and they wish to wear their old shoes. In other cases, large numbers of gum boots are not returned to the clothing stations, as they are being sold in the community.
However, the ‘A Safe Olam’ modular training approach that we highlighted in our 2014 report, continues to be cascaded and repeated. By the end of 2015, 80% of employees had been trained on Behavioural Safety.
It is based on the elimination of unsafe acts and unsafe behaviours, focusing on leading safety indicators (e.g. audits, rather than lagging indicators (e.g. incidents), with a focus on driving a safety culture within all our operations.
During 2015 we rolled out new software across the business that has ensured consistent reporting of all incidents, and also gives managers supervising numerous sites a faster comparative oversight.
In terms of goals to achieve a zero harm workplace, we are pleased to have achieved:
- A 50% reduction in Lost Time Injury Frequency Rates (LTIFR), from our 2014 baseline, bringing LTIs to 0.6 in Olam processing operations. Our 2015 target had been 25% from a 2014 baseline of 1.2
- All locations including plantations and farms, and warehouses have been included in Safety training, including incident reporting, so baseline safety metrics will be available in 2016.
You can read more about our Health and Safety governance and policies, codes and standards in the ‘How We Do It Section’ of this Report.
Images: cotton operations in Australia.
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