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Great place to work

By 2015 we had met most of our Vision 2015 goals with safety performance being the sole exception.

Zero accidents

Umicore defined an objective of becoming a zero accident workplace by 2015.Overall the safety results for the period 2011 to 2015 show a notable improvement compared to 2010 and any prior year although falling short of the ultimate objective. Safety performance has deteriorated somewhat in the past two years following a strong improvement from 2011 to 2013.

In terms of year-on-year safety performance, the number of lost-time accidents was higher in 2015 (47) compared to 2014 (37) and the accident frequency rate therefore increased from 2.16 to 2.66.  The accident severity rate was 0.12. The business group that recorded the highest number of lost time accidents is Recycling.

While the overall evolution is not satisfactory, there have been some encouraging signs that show that a zero accident workplace is an achievable target. The percentage of sites that were able to operate with no lost-time accidents remained high at 85% (compared to 84% in 2014). Six business units were able to operate for the full year with no lost-time accidents and for the first time a site reported 10 years with no lost time accident or recordable injuries to Umicore staff and no lost time accidents involving contractors. Six sites achieved the three year benchmark and four sites achieved the five year benchmark.

Umicore held the fifth edition of its Safety Award in 2015. The winner was Joseph Branch, who works at the Thin Film Products site in Providence (US). He was chosen by a jury from a field of 50 submissions covering more than 200 people. The jury also decided to give a special recognition to Carole Mehl, plant manager at the Cobalt & Specialty Materials site in Arab, US. 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 the context of the Horizon 2020 objectives Umicore will continue to pursue the goal of zero lost time accidents.

In 2015 the Group-wide process safety project made further progress with a number of on-site visits and inspections and the deployment of Group-wide safety standards and guidance notes. The project team engaged in workshops with all industrial sites, which were attended by several hundreds of colleagues. In addition to the process safety e-learning for employees involved in process safety, the project team embarked on the development of an in-house software to facilitate the process of risk identification and the implementation of risk reduction measures.