The Redwitz site introduces a behavioural safety programme with the aim of reducing employee accidents and incidents by increasing awareness of risks and enhancing employee understanding of health and safety

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A strong safety culture is key to industrial site safety. Analysis of accidents and incidents at the Johnson Matthey site at Redwitz in Germany showed that behaviour played a significant role and a behavioural safety programme was set up to improve the safety culture.

In 2010/11, there were four 'greater than three day accidents' on the site when the employees involved had to take more than three days off. So in the summer of 2011 the site initiated a behavioural safety programme with the aim of reducing employee accidents and incidents by increasing awareness of the risks and enhancing understanding of health and safety. In the majority of recent cases behaviour had played a part so the programme aimed to embed a more positive attitude towards safety while at the same time accelerating improvements across the site.

This programme was facilitated by a specialist industrial psychologist. In the first phase, 98 employees participated as managers, supervisors and operators met to assess the site's safety performance in ten key areas. The areas included safety communication, health and safety resources, competency and management commitment. The site operators were particularly helpful in highlighting areas in need of improvement and assisted the site in conducting a gap analysis to identify where safety procedures and awareness were falling short.

In the second phase of the programme, managers and supervisors developed safety behaviour standards in four key areas; involvement, risk management, communication and standards. The standards define the behaviour that is expected of everyone, from operator to supervisor and manager. The behaviour standards are being communicated to all employees and integrated into induction and staff training programmes.

All employees were involved in the programme and a collective ownership of safety has emerged. Results to date have been very promising; all lost time accidents have been reduced by more than 40% and greater than three day accidents have been reduced to zero. However, even this is not enough. In order to make further improvements, the site is continuing its behavioural safety programme and plans are in place to roll it out to other sites.

Employee safety and wellbeing is a priority at Johnson Matthey, and improvements like these help to realise its Sustainability 2017 Vision.