Health and safety
Our employees cannot operate efficiently and effectively if they do not have a safe work environment and enjoy good health. Our customers take a keen interest in the work practices of their supply chain and closely monitor our approach to health and safety and our performance. We have formal health and safety policies in place as well as systems and processes to implement and monitor these.
We focus on three key areas:
- Zero fatality rate
- Target OHSAS 18001 compliance
- Target compliance with all legal requirements (for example, the Operational Health and Safety Act)
Health and Safety
Each subsidiary has its own safety, health and environmental (SHE) policy that aligns with the group SHE policy, which is available on our website at www.metair.co.za/health_safety.asp. Metair’s health and safety policies align our approach with the relevant legal frameworks, including the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Health and safety is managed at operational level and supported by the group safety slogan: ‘Safety is as simple as ABC – Always Be Careful’.
We monitor health and safety incidents and near-misses, and each company has a benchmark lost-time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) against which it is measured. Lost-time injuries are defined as those workplace injuries that cause an employee to be deemed unfit to return to work the next day. Our target is zero fatalities, disabling injuries and lost-time incidents.
Four of our thirteen operations are accredited in terms of OHSAS 18001, the international health and safety standard. Our goal is for all group companies to be OHSAS 18001 accredited by 2016.
There were no fatalities in the group in 2015 and 115 lost-time injuries (2014: 145) and the lost-time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) improved to 1.39 per 200 000 person hours (2014: 1.84). Common workplace injuries in the group operations include cuts, bruises, back and muscle strains, falls from heights and burns.
Some of our manufacturing processes involve potentially dangerous substances and standard health and safety procedures are applied around each such substance.
The health and safety procedures comply with both South African legislation and the standards governing our OE customers in other jurisdictions.
EU directive 2000/53/EC classifies lead as a banned substance and requires producers to limit these substances in the manufacture of new vehicles. Lead is used at our First National Battery, Mutlu Akü and Rombat battery manufacturing facilities.
Baseline blood lead levels are tested when employees at these facilities join the company and are regularly re-tested thereafter to measure ongoing exposure. Where blood lead levels rise above benchmark levels, employees receive counselling in the clinic, are restricted from working overtime and are removed from areas where there is a chance of further exposure until their blood lead levels return to within the acceptable limits.