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Health and Safety

At DS Smith, the safety of our people is our number one priority. We take great pride in oursafety record, and are pleased with the progress we have made in reducing our accident frequency rate once more. Nonetheless, we remain focused on a zero accident culture, whilst increasingly working to protect the broader health and wellbeing of our people.

The safety of all people – employees, agency workers, contractors and visitors, is a cornerstone of our business. We set high standards and make exacting demands for continuous improvement in our safety performance, and as a Group we strive to ensure that everyone who comes into contact with our operations is kept safe.

On Saturday, 12 November 2016 a tragic accident happened at the DS Smith site in Fulda, Germany. During work on the perimeter of the factory premises an employee fell down from one of the building roofs and was injured fatally. This accident was fully investigated and all appropriate remedial measures have been taken.

Our key performance indicators of safety have both continued to improve. Total number of employee LTA’s was 113 and the number of sites with zero LTA’s was 207. Our performance against our KPIs for the year is shown in the table below:

Health and Safety indicators

KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS  2016/172015/162014/152013/14Variance

Lost Time Accident (LTA)1

113  120  146 171 (5.8%)
Accident Frequency rate (AFR)2 2.6 3.2   4.2 4.8 (19%)

1number of LTAs resulting in lost of time of one shift or more
2number of LTAs per million hours worked

The figures in the table show the absolute number of LTAs incurred by employees of the Group during 2016/17. It should be noted that the number of operations has increased substantially during the reporting year, and the figures for 2016/17 include accidents at a number of acquisitions that had been newly integrated to the business. There is a clear correlation between the length of time that a site has been under DS Smith ownership and a consistently reducing AFR; this is mainly due to the high degree of management scrutiny and the investment in safer equipment, processes and systems that is a hallmark of DS Smith’s management approach. There is, however, a lag between making these improvements, and the ensuing reduction in accident rates. We remain committed to achieving a zero accident culture, and we recognise that more work still needs to be done to improve our sites, reduce exposure to hazards and to raise the safety awareness of our employees. We continue to believe that this target, whilst challenging, is achievable.

A Health, Safety and Environment Leadership Team coordinates Group policy and ensures that best practice and learnings from across the organisation are shared and disseminated throughout the business. This team meets quarterly to review major LTAs/high potential severity incidents, and to coordinate audit activity and accident investigation.

Celebrating Safety in DS Smith

We have a brilliant culture of pride surrounding our excellent health & safety standards within the company. Some excellent achievements in LTA free days include:

  • Our Recycling Division celebrated a year without any LTA’s.
  • Our Kuopio site holding the record for LTA free days