Health and safety

Sofidel believes in the promotion of health and safety as one of the critical factors for the sustainable development of its staff and business and also as a significant contribution to raising the level of health of society as a whole. Sofidel has drawn up a specific policy in which it recognises health and safety at work as a primary value without which it is not possible to plan sustainable, effective and lasting developments. To achieve this objective, Sofidel has adopted a health and safety management system in accordance with the BS OHSAS 18001 standard, through which it undertakes to guarantee the safety of its employees and all other stakeholders who interact with the company. In 2018, the Sofidel UK Lancaster plant obtained BS OHSAS 18001 certification of its management system.

The protection of workers, contract workers and visitors is ensured by constant monitoring of working environments, with implementation of the best safety standards for machines and equipment and by conducting training programmes and providing information. To this end, careful attention is paid to the choice of personal protection equipment (PPE) in order to constantly check its efficiency and continually improve its effectiveness so as to ensure ever better levels of protection and comfort.

The health and safety culture is disseminated through communication activities, participation and consultation within the workplace.

In 2018, audits were carried out by the corporate Health & Safety unit to disseminate the culture of safety from a technical and procedural viewpoint and to further assist the spread of Health and Safety at Work Management Systems.

Every year, the Group offers training plans in all its companies: in 2018, 21,562.76 hours of training were delivered on health and safety topics. The training sessions mainly concerned, for both new recruits and existing employees, aspects required by national legislation, such as job-related risks and the resulting sector-specific prevention and protection measures and procedures, use of work equipment, management of emergencies and fires, first aid, organisation of company prevention and the rights and duties of the different company figures.

In addition to compulsory training, specific training sessions were provided on issues related to the adoption of active and healthy lifestyles, such as proper nutrition, physical activity, combating harmful alcohol consumption and other addictions.

In addition, on-the-job training and safety awareness programmes are defined at plant level for each category of worker.

Sofidel’s partnership with the European Agency for Health and Safety at Work (EU-OSHA) continues, with membership of the new two-year campaign (2018-2019) focused on hazardous substances, with the aim of raising public awareness and promoting a culture of prevention in the workplace throughout the EU, as well as being addressed to specific categories of workers.

72% of the Group’s employees are represented by Health and Safety Committees, made up of management representatives and workers’ representatives at plant level, so that workers are aware of and involved in the dissemination of the relevant policies.

Measurement indices for the trend in accidents

Sofidel monitors the trend in accidents in the different plants through a series of indices, the most important of which are the Frequency Rate15 (FR) and the Severity Rate16 (SR). Measurement of this data is not broken down by male-female gender as most of the female staff work in the offices and the division therefore has little significance for statistical purposes.


15. Frequency Rate (FR): number of accidents/hours worked x 1,000,000.
16. Severity Rate (SR): days of absence due to accidents/hours worked x 1,000.

FREQUENCY RATE (FR) AND SEVERITY RATE (SR) FOR GROUP COMPANIES BY COUNTRY (accidents with absences of 3 or more days)
Country FR SR
2018 2017 2016 2018 2017 2016
Belgium 4.07 8.22 0.00 0.07 1.49 0.00
France 17.07 22.64 17.03 0.51 0.42 0.53
Germany 37.23 33.42 26.11 1.29 1.36 0.54
Greece* 10.32 0.00 18.90 0.08 0.00 0.64
Italy 13.00 10.09 11.62 0.22 0.27 0.28
Poland 20.54 29.67 12.84 0.31 1.30 0.47
Romania 0.00 0.00 2.07 0.00 0.00 0.06
Spain 32.49 37.37 27.58 0.66 0.81 0.42
Sweden 17.26 17.34 10.68 0.16 1.13 0.40
Turkey 9.30 13.82 0.00 0.06 0.06 0.00
UK 3.80 6.00 3.28 0.50 0.11 0.25
Hungary 16.78 30.32 n.a.** 0.61 1.90 n.a.**
USA 3.42 n.a.** 2.42 0.17 n.a.** 0.15
TOTAL SOFIDEL GROUP 12.90 16.26 11.37 0.40 0.60 0.33
* FATALITY: A fatal accident occurred at the Sofidel Greece plant in the paper mill department, and the Group’s Safety Alert process was immediately activated.
** n.a. = data not available. For Sofidel Hungary the data for 2016 are not available because it is a recent acquisition. For Sofidel USA the 2017 data are not available because the hours worked have not been received from the USA HR Department.

For completeness of reporting, the following are the total values for accidents with absences of three days or less and commuting accidents.

These data are reported as a whole because, given the small number of people, they would otherwise be insignificant.

Frequency Rate (FR) and Severity Rate (SR) of Group companies for accidents with absences of less than 3 days* FR SR
2018 2017 2016 2018 2017 2016
TOTAL SOFIDEL GROUP 1.17 0.57 0.28 0.002 0.001 0.001
Frequency Rate (FR) and Severity Rate (SR) of Group companies for commuting accidents* FR SR
2018 2017 2016 2018 2017 2016
TOTAL SOFIDEL GROUP 1.52 0.45 0.56 0.036 0.003 0.008
* Excludes US data.

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