Safety & Health
Insuring safety and health is one of Imerys top priorities. The Group’s strong commitment to developing a proactive safety and health culture through partnerships among management, employees, contractors, visitors and communities, is outlined by its Health and Safety Charter. An EHS Umbrella Policy further clarifies the organization and responsibilities for safety & health within the Group.
The Group’s programs for safety improvement are organized under the framework of the Imerys Safety System (ISS). The ISS consists of three pillars: compliance, continuous improvement and communication/training.
The purpose of this integrated approach is to communicate the Group’s safety culture and ensure compliance with safety standards and rules among all of its activities worldwide. It presents the main continuous improvement levers for safety, and provides site managers with constantly updated training and communication tools. The rollout of the Imerys Safety System has helped to reduce the lost-time accident rate (including subcontractors) significantly over several years.
- Compliance: Safety compliance requirements include local laws and regulations, but also the Group’s EHS policies, procedures and safety audit protocols. To ensure compliance, audits are conducted by the Group EHS Audit Team.
- Continuous Improvement: Continuous improvement tools include events to help “Most Help Needed” facilities, gap analyses and improvement plans, sharing root causes and lessons learned on incidents and “Behavior-Based Safety” programs to improve safety culture.
- Communication and Training: The Group’s safety communication and training tools include training seminars to enhance safety leadership, web seminars and a computer-based learning path on key initiatives to facilitate the onboard training of new site managers, and Welcome Sessions to raise awareness among new comers.
In addition, the “Take 5” program, a pre-task risk assessment program helps drive safety awareness to all employees. Take 5 consists of evaluating risks in the work area before beginning the job, taking corrective actions to reduce any risk before initiating the work, and doing the job safely.
Imerys has a strong commitment to workplace health because the Group’s employees are potentially exposed to mineral dust, noise, vibrations. Some jobs may also involve lifting or repetitive tasks with potential ergonomic challenges.
To avoid those issues, the Group’s Health and Safety Team has defined 5 protocols and systematically checks on compliance with both the protocols and applicable regulations through the EHS Audit program.
Good practices are shared with the operations by our “Industrial Hygiene (IH) club” coordinated by the Health & Safety function. Web seminars are provided on good management practices for noise, dust, ergonomics and chemical exposure. At the divisional level, health programs are integrated into wellness initiatives and supported with engagement and communication campaign.
- Product Stewardship
Imerys is committed to providing high-quality products to its customers, and indirectly, to end-users. Each business is responsible for insuring that its products comply with regulatory requirements and to prevent potential physical and health hazards.
For products manufactured in (or imported into) Europe, the Group complies with the European Directive on “Regulation, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals” (REACH). Under REACH, “naturally occurring minerals” are exempt from registration, and this exemption significantly reduces the effects of these regulations on Imerys and its customers.
As part of a new initiative on Corporate Social Responsibility, the Group intends to develop the infrastructure of product stewardship management.