Annual Report

Work management

Workplace safety

Viscofan considers that accidents may be prevented, and that is why not only does the Group work to have safer facilities but to make all staff aware of the importance of attitude in relation to safety.

Corporate workplace safety policies are the responsibility of the Environment Health and Safety (EHS) department, working in close partnership with the corporate and local Human Resource departments. In this regard, measures and investments continue to be implemented to improve working conditions. In addition, the Viscofan Group works to obtain reliable and consistent indicators to measure and compare performance in the various countries in which the Group operates, in this way extending best health and safety practices to its production centres.

Viscofan considers that accidents may be prevented, and that is why not only does the Group work to have safer facilities but to make all staff aware of the importance of attitude in relation to safety. For Viscofan, the material aspects that affect safety are essentially based on the characteristics of the position and the activities that are required..

Viscofan still makes huge efforts to standardize its procedures while also communicating its policies throughout the companies using specific courses and informational materials, available to employees at their areas of work.

In order to carry out these initiatives, the Group has the EHS policy, approved by the Board of Directors, pointing out the following relevant guidelines with regard to workplace safety:

  • Provide employees with a safe and healthy workplace.
  • Identify and comply with applicable legislation and regulation in terms of Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) in each of the locations where the Group does business, and any other voluntarily-acquired commitments of Viscofan to improve these areas.
  • Ensure that management, employees and all staff working for the organisation (or on its behalf) are aware of this policy and are trained, according to their responsibilities, to comply with it.

Alongside this, certain specifications are determined within the collective bargaining agreements of the different locations in which the Viscofan Group is present in matters related to health and safety. 

In 2019, a worker died in an occupational accident at the Cáseda facility in Spain. This is the first fatal accident in the history of the plant. An investigation into the causes of the accident has been carried out and a report has been generated with proposals for improvements and recommendations on which work is ongoing. As a result of this accident, the safety protocols have been reviewed and the facilities have been checked.

The indicator of hours lost due to accident or illness of own staff has been re-linked to management's variable remuneration, and a reduction in the severity of accidents at work has also been set as an objective within the long-term variable remuneration plan for Viscofan's senior management and key personnel, reflecting the number of hours lost due to accidents among the total number of hours worked.   

The performance of the health and safety indicators of the Viscofan Group is as follows:

  2019 2018 2017
Hour lost per accident 20.682 32.864 31.228
  2019 2018
  Men  Women Total Hombre  Women Total
Number of accidents 129 23 152 121 40 161
Number of professional diseases 2 2 4      
  2019 2018
  Men  Women Total Men  Women Total
Number of accidents 129 23 152 121 40 161
Work-related accidents. Frecuency * 19,7 9,5 16,9     18,4
*Number of accidents occurred per million hours worked
  2019 2018
Men Women Total Men Women Total
Absenteeism index* 3,3% 5,2% 3,8% 3,9% 3,9% 3,9%
*Number of hours lost due to sick leave divided by the thotal number ofnhours worked
  2019 2018
  Men  Women Total Hombre  Women Total
Accident rate* 0,23% 0,23% 0,23% 0,37% 0,40% 0,38%
*Number of hours lost divided by the total number of hours of work
  2019 2018
  Men Women Total Men Women Total
Severity index* 0,29 0,29 0,29 0,46 0,50 0,47
*Number of equivalent day lost per accident per thousand hours worked
In 2018, overtime by gender was not registered in the corporate systems, having being weighted in line with those made in 2019 to facilitate the comparison of the data.

Training in accident prevention and about the importance of safe behaviour patterns is one of the cornerstones of health protection of our employees. This training includes basic prevention measures that have to be adopted in the workplace, or the importance of day-to-day heart-healthy habits, the role of middle-level management and the improvement of its leadership in safety. 

  2019   2018
Health and Safety Training Men Women Total   Men Women Total
Number of hours 19.871 4.939 24.810   23.261 5.104 28.366
Average hours per employee 6,0 3,7 5,4   7,1 3,8 6,1
% of employees who have received training 75% 67% 73%   87% 87% 87%

Notable improvements in the area of occupational health and safety include: improvement of the machines in Montgomery, US fire-fighting facilities in Weinheim, Germany, Zacapu and San Luis Potosi Mexico, and ergonomic adaptations in the new plant 4 in Caseda, Spain.

 At the same time, inclusion of the OHSAS 18001 certification in all the production plants is one of the objectives to be achieved in the "MORE TO BE 2016-2020" period. It is an internationally accepted specification that defines the requirements for the establishment, implementation and operation of an effective Occupational Health and Safety Management System. ISO 45001 is the new safety standard that replaces OHSAS and in Viscofan we already have some plants certified according to this new regulation: Cáseda and Urdiain (Spain), Hasselt (Belgium) and Kentland (USA). Currently, the rest of the plants are in the process of migrating to the new certification, a process that will culminate in the first months of 2021.

The breakdown of the Group's plants that now have these certificates is the following:

Country Plant Certification  
Spain Cáseda ISO 45001
Urdiain ISO 45001
Czech Republic Ceske Budejovice OHSAS 18001
Germany Weinheim OHSAS 18001
Serbia Novi Sad OHSAS 18001
Belgium Hasselt ISO 45001
China Suzhou OHSAS 18001
USA Danville OHSAS 18001 *
Montgomery OHSAS 18001 *
Kentland ISO 45001
Mexico San Luis OHSAS 18001
Zacapu OHSAS 18001
Uruguay Pando OHSAS 18001
Brazil Itu OHSAS 18001
Ermelino OHSAS 18001
* Audit due in March 2020

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