Health & safety

We will operate all business activities in a manner which aims to ensure the health and safety of employees, contractors, visitors, customers and any other person affected by these activities.

Vesuvius health and safety policy


Image: Safety Internal Communications Campaign



Vesuvius is undertaking an ongoing global safety initiative, SafetyBreakthrough, across all businesses and all activities, including those undertaken at customer locations. It is driven by top management, cascaded and engaging all employees throughout global work activities.

The current phase of this programme, Turbo.S features:

  • The implementation and sharing of best practices through Vesuvius standards and other tools.
  • A commitment to become a true Learning Organization, avoiding repeat accidents and sharing lessons learned.
  • Total employee involvement, with the need for safety improvement being driven by the shared learning of our management teams, who are leading by example.

We set ourselves demanding but achievable improvement targets in the area of safety, realised by promoting standardised safe working procedures based upon thorough and detailed risk assessments.

We make use of auditing to support the need for ongoing safety improvements in all areas in which our people work. All executives are committed to undertake executive safety tours as part of their regular responsibilities, leading by example and demonstrating ongoing management commitment to safety in all parts of the business.

We continuously work in partnership with our customers and suppliers to deliver improved safety standards in all our workplaces.

Our Beliefs:

  • Good Health and Safety is good business
  • Safety is everybody's responsibility
  • Working safely is a condition of employment
  • All work-related injuries and work-related ill — health are preventable

Our Aims:

  • No Accidents
  • No Repeat Injuries
  • No Harm to People

Our Health and Safety Policy clearly defines our commitments and responsibilities, applying to all stakeholders in all aspects of our business. The Group's Health & Safety policy and related information can be found on the Group's website —

Safety performance

Image: Peter Strengers —
Borken Germany

Image: Shande Wang —
Suzhou China

Image: Berthold Scheipers — Borken Germany

Vesuvius' ultimate goal is zero work-related injuries and illnesses. To achieve this, a number of annual objectives have been agreed for the Lost-Time Injury Frequency Rate ("LTIFR") — the number of work-related illnesses or injuries which resulted in an employee being absent from work for at least one day, per million hours worked. Vesuvius operations worldwide report the LTIFR and we also track the "recordable" incident rate — the number of work-related injuries and illnesses which resulted in medical treatment beyond first aid, per million hours worked.

Whether our employees and contractors are working in manufacturing, research and development, offices or customer locations, we recognise and respect the need to ensure that their safety remains our first priority. To ensure that risks and dangers are fully controlled, pragmatic systems and processes must be supported by appropriate behaviours which respect the risks present. Maintaining high levels of safety and risk awareness remains essential to the effective reduction and elimination of workplace accidents, whatever the workplace.

Additional key drivers which we adopt to achieve our reduction in workplace accidents include:

  • High levels of employee participation in all work-related safety and improvement opportunities, including participation in safety audits and identifying Safety Improvement Opportunities which focus upon eliminating the workplace risks that could contribute towards an accident happening.
  • Taking a consistent risk-based approach in all that we do which clearly defines significant risks associated with any work-related activities our people, contractors or visitors are expected to undertake safely.
  • A global commitment to development and implementation of world-class health and safety standards across high-risk business areas and activities.
  • Introducing clear and concise visual Standardised Work instructions, which optimise the safest and most efficient way for repetitive tasks to be completed.
  • Introducing a Permit to Work system based upon a risk identification carried out prior to work commencing for all non-standard work activities that involves all affected employees and contractors in the process.

Vesuvius' "days away" injury and illness rate has fallen from 9.9 in 2007 to 1.8 in 2012. Clear targets exist with the intention of the LTIFR target for 2014 being 1.0 per million hours worked or less.

Since the launch of SafetyBreakthrough, the level of lost time injuries has declined substantially (as shown below) year on year.

A reporting system is in place to collect details and investigate all H&S-related incidents on a timely basis throughout the Group and to produce routine management reports including the KPI covering work-related injury and illness rates, along with lead indicators covering safety audit engagement and safety improvement opportunities. These reports and related performance improvement plans are regularly reviewed by the Chief Executive with divisional management as part of the normal business review cycle.

The Chief Executive's regular report to the Board includes an overview of Group H&S performance as the first agenda item. All significant incidents are reported to the Chief Executive and the Board as they occur.

Where local business management teams feel it is appropriate, a number of sites have already achieved accreditation to OHSAS 18001 (Occupational Health and Safety Management System), further reflecting the strong systems we have developed in these areas.

Safety audits per 20 employees per month

Vesuvius lost time injury frequency rate (per 1 million hours worked)