Hydro-aluminium Extrusion

One Thousand Safe Days in Bedwas – (August 31, 2010) Hydro’s extrusion plant in Bedwas, which is part of the UK unit, has just achieved 1,000 consecutive days without an employee injury. It passed the milestone on August 31.

TODAY: The sign at the Bedwas site shows 1,000 days
since the last injury, and the note
that “today’s near miss is tomorrow’s accident.”

Ruth Fletcher, who heads HSE for the Bedwas site, says much work has gone into achieving this inspiring result. “We have put emphasis on behaviour-based safety the last 18 months, and generally raising awareness about safety amongst our 142 staff members,” she says.

“Behaviour-based observations have been across departments to get another perspective, as often someone from another department provides a ‘fresh pair of eyes.’

“We are also strict about reporting incidents. In the last year we received over 400 employee near-miss forms with suggestions, concerns or near misses.”

The figure indicates that employees at Bedwas are willing to raise areas of concern that can be improved and that participation is actively encouraged. Employees are also invited to come forward and contribute at least two behaviour-based observations per year.

In addition to BBS, the Bedwas plant makes use of other safety tools as much as possible to minimise the chance of an incident. These include:

  • Mission Directive Work Teams. The MDW initiative started in January 2010, and the increased communication that has resulted, has not only improved safety but enhanced quality, performance and helped reduce costs.
  • Internal Traffic Walkways. This has raised the awareness amongst staff of the dangers of internal traffic. Training sessions have been held, resulting in lots of input from employees on areas of improvement.
  • World Class Safety Performance 1. Hydro’s Extrusion UK unit has invested £350,000 in improving technical safety at Bedwas, which covers all areas of the plant.

“We stress that safety comes first,” says Fletcher. “We encourage people to take a minute and consider what the consequences could be before they start a task.

“Nothing is so important that we cannot take the time to do it safely.”

Lead by example

Derrick Webb, managing director of Hydro Aluminium Extrusion UK, says “safety is all about teamwork. It starts with managers and team leaders who need to lead by example.

“I am very encouraged by the Bedwas result, and we understand that this journey does not stop here.”

Although the site as a whole has reached 1,000 days without a recordable injury, four departments in particular are even more deserving of praise: The press and the packing departments have achieved six years with zero injuries, and the anodising and maintenance departments have been injury-free for five years.

Webb and manufacturing manager Mike Johnson will meet all the employees to congratulate them on the impressive safety result and to emphasise the importance of the continuing programme to improve safety in Bedwas.stress that safety comes first,” says Fletcher. “We encourage people to take a minute and consider what the consequences could be before they start a task.