Health and safety

During 2017, UCB continued managing risk areas identified during regular health and safety reviews, also performed at key contract manufacturing organizations.

A three-year program to create intrinsically safe installations and to improve employee training launched in 2015, was continued in 2017.

A number of specific social and employee policies and processes, relating to Health & Safety, 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;
  • performance of regular internal and external inspections, reviews and consultations resulting in appropriate actions for improvements where 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). A first three-year roadmap for strengthening the occupational hygiene program yielded the necessary positive results.

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 employees, 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, Slough and Zhuhai sites, the systems are 0HSAS18001 certified. The targeted outcome is an increased safety awareness and a reduction of number and severity of potential accidents involving UCB employees or other stakeholders present at or living near UCB operations.

Building upon the Take a Second. Safety First behavioral safety campaign (aimed at raising awareness about key causes of accidents) that was launched in 2015, UCB launched the You can change the Story campaign this year, inviting all employees to proactively report on and act upon any dangerous situations they might observe at UCB.

UCB Poster (poster)

Next steps include (1) the roll-out of a global Wellbeing strategy aiming i.e., at an increased H&S awareness and ownership at all UCB operations, (2) the assessment of the cultural maturity of the H&S programs at all industrial sites, and (3) the launch of behavioral safety programs at all industrial sites (building upon the abovementioned campaigns launched in 2015 and 2017).

Performance-wise, the Lost Time Incident Rate (GRI-G4 LA06) for 2017 was calculated at 1.48 incidents with more than one day of absence per million hours worked. The Lost Time Severity Rate (GRI-G4 LA06) was calculated at 0.04 days lost per 1 000 hours worked. In 2017, 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.