The Group recognises its clear responsibilities for the health and safety of its employees and to the communities in which the Group operates. By managing and controlling health and safety, and reducing accidents and injuries, the Group benefits from increased productivity, lower absenteeism, reduced insurance and healthcare premiums and ultimately a safety record which holds the Group in good stead for securing future projects.
Health and safety responsibility is delegated to senior managers within each business. These officers perform regular reviews and inspect the conditions in which the Group’s employees work. Discretionary health and safety benefits for employees include the availability of gyms and onsite nursing and counselling staff at certain operations. The Group’s regular reporting procedures include a review by the Board of accidents in the workplace.
The Group’s insurers and insurance brokers carry out a rolling programme of reviews of the Group’s operations as part of their risk assessments and the recommendations of the consultants are generally implemented in full.
Progress against our objectives in 2015
Health and safety progress in the year has included:
- Porvair Filtration Group completed an IOSH (Institution of Occupational Safety and Health) accredited training programme in December 2014 with a mix of 46 managers and supervisors awarded IOSH Certificates. The new health and safety skills attained on the training course are now being deployed and used across all UK locations and operations.
- Annual health surveillance has been established for all Porvair Filtration Group staff at risk from welding and soldering processes.
- Equipment in the Porvair Filtration Group machining centre has been subjected to a health and safety review. Dust extraction and gas ventilation has been improved, pressure testing equipment has been upgraded and additional safety devices fitted.
- In the Metals Filtration business, we opened our new plant in 2014 in Xiaogan, which improved the environment for the employees. Compared with the former plant, the new plant has improved dust extraction providing a cleaner and safer working environment; better lay out of equipment and materials, reducing safety hazards; and provided the employees with kitchen, social room and dormitory facilities. In 2015, the plant was expanded and further improvements were made to the working environment. The plant now has sealed flooring to reduce dust further and working practices have been greatly improved.
- Staff now have to adhere to strict safety practices including:
- Rules for safety glasses, safety shoes and safety gloves;
- Mandated use of dust masks;
- Requirements for harnesses and hard hats to be worn for above ground operations. A man-lift and safety ladders were introduced to improve above ground access.
- These improvements are reinforced at morning meetings and at regular safety training sessions.
- The Metals Filtration division has begun a programme to achieve Carolina Star status in Hendersonville. This programme is a ISO style programme run by the North Carolina Department of Labor and emphasises and recognises a good safety culture. Once awarded it will reduce the requirement for OSHA inspections of the plant. Hendersonville has reorganised its safety leadership team and established a safety steering team and introduced regular training on job safety analysis, accident investigation, and emergency response activities.