4 Offering support for health and well-being, promoting safe behaviors

4 Offering support for health and well-being, promoting safe behaviors

The dedication and engagement of our employees enable us to deliver value to patients and our stakeholders. Over the last couple of years, we have taken further steps to create a working environment which is fulfilling, healthy and safe for all at UCB.

Health and well-being

Health and well-being initiatives across sites include health screening campaigns, burn-out awareness, healthy food options, flexible working arrangements, employee support programs, and core employee benefits such as medical insurance.

Digital platforms were launched to equip our colleagues with the knowledge, tools and support they need to build healthy habits. “Virgin Pulse” was launched in the U.S. in 2017 and “Pulso–Balance tool” this year in Belgium. Several countries have created a well-being advocate network, organized health seminars, and developed programs for leaders to support health and well-being. In 2019, colleagues across the globe leveraged existing platforms to count their steps and raise awareness for osteoporosis while staying active.

Our employees benefit from Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) that support mental, physical and social resilience through counseling and psychological support. In addition, we have taken steps to provide preventive care programs as part of our healthcare plans.

Occupational health and safety

Due to the inherent nature of any industrial 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 and safety management systems and procedures are applied, safe behavior is actively promoted. At our industrial sites (Bulle, Slough, Saitama and Zhuhai), these systems are 0HSAS18001 or ISO 45001 certified. The targeted outcome is increased safety awareness and a reduction in the number and severity of potential accidents involving UCB people or other stakeholders present at, or living near, UCB operations.

Occupational health and safety policies and processes include:

Health and safety policies and processes – Health and Safety Management Systems (icon)
  • Implementation of certified Health and Safety Management Systems (OHSAS 18001 or ISO 45001) at 80% of our industrial sites, to help manage risks appropriately,
Health and safety policies and processes – Operational and engineering requirements (icon)
  • Operational and engineering minimum health and safety requirements globally defined at group level to ensure consistent application across all sites,
Health and safety policies and processes – Periodic emergency exercises (icon)
  • Periodic emergency exercises, also involving external intervention teams, undertaken to ensure the readiness and suitability of our health and safety program and
Operations indirectly controlled by UCB – Regular internal and external inspections (icon)
  • Regular internal and external inspections, reviews and consultations of UCB sites and key contract manufacturing organizations, resulting in appropriate action where necessary, throughout our value chain.
Adrien, UCB (photo)

Adrien, UCB

In 2019, UCB strengthened its ‘Accident Alert’ campaign. The campaign aims at identifying, analyzing and reporting events which might have resulted in a life-changing impact for those involved.

Operational and engineering standards related to several high-risk or potentially life-changing activities have been carefully reviewed and strengthened, in preparation for a systematic, in-depth (re)training which will be organized at all relevant levels in the organization in 2020. These include working at height, exposure to hazardous energies, entry to confined spaces, mechanical lifting of heavy loads, and storage and handling of chemicals.

On UCB’s global safety day (celebrated on September 5th) global safety golden rules were discussed at operational team level.

The five safety golden rules
The five safety golden rules (graphic)

The next steps include

  • the roll-out of a global “Safety Beyond Zero” program 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 above-mentioned campaigns).

Performance-wise, the Lost Time Incident Rate (GRI – G4 LA06) for 2019 was calculated at 2.61 incidents with more than one day of absence per million hours worked1. The Lost Time Severity Rate (GRI-G4 LA06) was calculated at 0.024 days lost per 1 000 hours worked.

In 2019 (for the sixth consecutive year), no fatalities occurred because of work-related incidents. UCB has no operations where workers show high incidence or are exposed to high risk of occupational diseases.

1 Scope of reporting: Occupational, Health and Safety data relate to 99.5% of people working at UCB.