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Great place to work

In 2013 our health and safety performance improved further and recognition of Umicore as a preferred employer continued to grow.

Zero accidents

An increasing number of sites and business units have defined indicators to measure the effectiveness of their accident prevention efforts, such as the number of action items finalised following safety audits, remediation measures following near miss reports, safety training hours or preventive measures suggested by staff. These measures are being used as leading indicators of safety in sites to provide site management with an improved ability to diagnose the level of risk and take the necessary action.  A range of other safety initiatives are being implemented in the business units, involving both in-house developed initiatives as well as external programmes such as SafeStart®. More details on some of these initiatives can be found in the business group reviews.

We held the third edition of our Safety Award in 2013 with the winner, the Maintenance Team of the Automotive Catalysts site in Tulsa, being chosen by a jury from a field of 62 submissions covering more than 500 people. The jury was most impressed by the way the nine-person team integrates safety in all aspects of their work and by the way they combine careful risk evaluation with a strong customer focus. Their attitude was also a factor in influencing safety performance in the Tulsa plant as a whole, which has not had lost time accident for staff in 5 years. The award is designed to encourage all employees to take ownership of safety in their own workplace and to encourage the sharing of best practices throughout Umicore. In addition to individual awards we recognize sites that have achieved the benchmark of three years or five years with no lost time accidents or recordable injuries to Umicore staff and no lost time accidents involving contractors. At the end of 2013, 11 sites had achieved the three year benchmark and five of these sites had also achieved the five year benchmark.

In January 2014 an accident at the Olen plant in Belgium cost the lives of two Umicore employees. Preliminary findings indicated that the accident was due to an unexpected accumulation of hydrogen in the storage tank on which the two employees were carrying out maintenance work. A preliminary report was submitted to the Health and Safety Inspectorate and a process was launched to share the learning from the accident through the Group.