4.4 People well-being and occupational health and safety

UCB creates a positive and creative environment where both the individual and company objectives are met and people are encouraged to express their talents and acquire new skills.

The Well-being program, based on five key drivers:

  1. information,
  2. prevention,
  3. physical health,
  4. mental health; and
  5. having a great day at work, continued in the different UCB sites.

In Belgium, one of many highlights was the Virgin Pulse project in Belgium, which during 100 days stimulated more than 100 teams of seven to literally walk, run, bike, swim,… their daily extra mile(s).

Relating to Health & Safety, a number of specific social and people policies and processes have been implemented at UCB. These include:

  • implementation of certified Health & Safety management systems at industrial sites, to help manage risks appropriately;
  • periodic emergency exercises, also involving external intervention teams, undertaken to ensure the readiness and suitability of our Health & Safety program; and
  • performance of regular internal and external inspections, reviews and consultations of UCB sites and key contract manufacturing organizations resulting in appropriate actions for improvements in the Health and Safety program where and whenever necessary.

In addition, minimum global Health & Safety requirements are being defined to ensure consistent application across the Group. Health & Safety criteria are also being included in global engineering standards (for awareness and overall consistent application of standards).

Due to the inherent nature of any industrial safety program (e.g., potential non-compliance or human error despite rigorous safety measures), there is a potential risk of endangering people, assets, or the general public (surrounding communities) leading to potential loss of life and/or increased legal and regulatory exposure, potentially resulting in a negative impact on UCB’s reputation.

Even though the installations and high-technology equipment are by design increasingly safe and Health & Safety management systems and procedures are applied, safe behavior is actively promoted. At the Bulle (Switzerland), Slough (U.K.) and Zhuhai (China) sites, these systems are 0HSAS18001 certified. The targeted outcome is an increased safety awareness and a reduction of number and severity of potential accidents involving UCB people or other stakeholders present at or living near UCB operations.

Building further upon the behavioral campaign Take a Second. Safety First initiated in 2015 (aimed at raising awareness about key causes of accidents), UCB launched this year the Accident Alert campaign. The campaign aimed on the reporting and analysis of events potentially having a life changing impact, so UCB can focus on the most significant events. This campaign Accident Alert facilitated the reporting of any such event, increased awareness and opportunities to share lessons learned.

Next steps include:

  • the roll-out of a global Wellbeing strategy aiming at an increased H&S awareness and ownership at all UCB operations;
  • the assessment of the cultural maturity of the H&S programs at all industrial sites; and
  • the launch of behavioral safety programs at all industrial sites (building upon the abovementioned campaigns previously launched).

Performance-wise, the Lost Time Incident Rate (GRI – 403-2) for 2018 was calculated at 1.99 incidents with more than one day of absence per million hours worked. The Lost Time Severity Rate (GRI – 403-2) was calculated at 0.039 days lost per 1 000 hours worked.1

In 2018, no fatalities occurred as a result of work-related incidents. UCB has no operations whereby workers show high incidence or are exposed to high risk of occupational diseases.

1 Scope of Reporting: Occupational, Health and Safety data relate to 99% of people working at UCB.

Inspace is a key initiative associated with UCB’s Patient Value Strategy, helping the company to think about its ways of working and living together. At UCB the aim is to be more innovative and collaborative.

Inspace Inauguration at Chez Paul & John, UCB HQ

The new workspace created by the Inspace project allows colleagues to interact smoothly with each other, to be inspired by peers to try new approaches, to work in an environment that fits a variety of needs, to be spontaneous, and to feel stimulated to co-create and share knowledge.

On the building side, Inspace ensures a right balance of spaces between silence, energy, engagement and exploration, with different levels of interaction, noise, light, materials and furniture. The refurbishing of the building also enables to improve the consumption efficiency of heating, air-conditioning and electricity.

In order to define the Inspace concept, all colleagues were invited to workshops, during which the following questions were discussed:

  • which changes in the ways of working will the new workplace bring?
  • what’s expected on the mental, physical and virtual level?
  • how will colleagues best collaborate with each other?
  • which work environments will most likely give or take energy?
  • how will the concept of team cohesion need to evolve?

The workshops were run in a participative approach, where open discussion and feedback were key elements of success – in line with UCB’s culture.

Inspace started initially at the Beijing office (China) and thereafter at UCB’s headquarters in Brussels (Belgium). The first teams moved to their bright new working environment in June 2018 and January 2019. The feedback is very positive and the space concept unlocks barriers, inspires formal and informal discussions and reaches the goals. The concept, created together during the participative workshops is working. These enthusiastic reactions reinforce the vision that Inspace accelerates innovation and team spirit.