Workplace Health & Safety
At Strauss Group, we are committed to providing our employees with a safe and healthy work environment. Among other things, maintenance and improvement activities are routinely carried out in all of the companies’ business units to protect the safety and health of our employees. We regularly hold activities to implement safety and health measures for employees in all of the Group’s units.
This Section outlines will outlines the principal activities that were conducted in 2010 to achieve targets in workplace safety. In addition to Strauss Israel, this Section presents data from: Strauss Coffee in Poland, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, Três Corações in Brazil, Strauss Adriatic, Sabra, and Strauss Water.
The Workplace Health and Safety Structure at Strauss Group
Health, Safety and Hazardous Materials Manager
The responsibility of the Health, Safety and Hazardous Materials Manager is to develop and improve the health and safety management system, while implementing evaluation and control mechanisms for health and safety performance and to raise employee awareness of safety practices to prevent work accidents and occupational disease.
Health and Safety Officers at Strauss manufacturing plants
At each of Strauss plants in Israel and throughout the world to a qualified Safety Officer is appointed to manage health and safety issues. The plant Safety Officers receive professional direction from the the Safety, Health and Hazardous Materials Manager (Quality Assurance Department) while reporting directly to the local Plant Managers. In business units abroad where there are no manufacturing facilities, Health and Safety is managed by a senior manager.
Activities to implement safety and work culture processes
Activities based on voluntary international standards in the field of workplace health and safety. The implementation of OHSAS 18001 safety system standard began at Strauss Coffee Romania and at Strauss Coffee Poland. The standard was implemented a number of years ago at the dairy in Ahihud, Israel. We intend to implement this safety standard in all of the business units at Strauss Israel. Três Corações in Brazil is a member of the Brazilian Association of Occupational Hygienists – ABHO, the Brazilian Association of Technical Standards – ABNT, the Brazilian Standardization Forum, and other organizations.
Inspections – We conducted audits at plants in Israel enforce safety and hazardous materials laws and procedures, safety audits to locate risks, noise and light audits, workplace environment audits regarding exposure to hazardous dust and materials. As a result of these audits, work plans were prepared for improvement.
Activities regarding emergency preparedness, including the preparation of an emergency procedure and conducting emergency drills.
Reporting and control mechanisms – Every plant or logistics site reports once a month on a number of safety metrics: number of work accidents, frequency of work accidents, loss of workdays due to work accidents. Periodically, a statistical analysis is conducted and a corporate safety report is produced. In addition, the Management and Safety Committees of each business unit reports on work accidents and injuries, near-miss accidents, noise audits, training follow-up and equipment inspections. The safety metrics reports are produced at the corporate or unit level and serve as the basis for decisions on safety improvements.
Professional Forum of Safety Officers.
Professional tours of other plants for learning purposes.
Investment in the purchase of equipment and machinery protective measures.
Training and instruction: In recognition of the importance of employee awareness of workplace health and safety laws regulations, we conduct regular training activities on safety, health and hazardous materials and regularly monitor our practices. The training activities are carried out according to a corporate training program and are tailored to each business unit. Training sessions include: first aid, general safety, exposure to noise, work with hazardous materials and poisons, safety in chemical laboratories, personal safety equipment, machine protection, firefighting, training an emergency team, lifting equipment, ergonomics, work in the cold, storage safety, work at height, electricity, and more. In some business units, safety discussions are held every week. During 2010, focused safety activities began in the Sales Division and a Sales Safety Officer was appointed and a work plan developed.
Programs to prevent sickness: At Strauss Israel, training programs include employee health and the workplace environment, personal hygiene, and medical consultation by a physician employed at a number of plants. At Strauss Coffee in Poland, annual blood, urine tests, mammography and prostate gland tests are carried out. At Três Corações in Brazil, there are lectures on sickness prevention, including sexually transmitted diseases and epidemics (dengue fever, meningitis, measles, and more) and lectures on alcohol and drugs.
Work related Accidents and Injuries
We have a long-term target of zero work accidents and invest resources to reduce accidents in all Strauss business units. (Accidents refer to work accidents which cause more than three lost work days).
In 2009, the Strauss Israel operations management undertook to implement an Operational Excellence program with support from a USA consulting firm.
Implementation of Operational Excellence was conducted in 2010 by the production, maintenance, logistics and other work teams. Implementation of the methodology will position Strauss as the global leader in the food industry.
Goals of the Operational Excellence program
The objectives of the Operational Excellence program include: creating of an organizational culture of excellence: employee empowerment, proactive culture and improved understanding of production operations to improve production metrics, improved quality, building a competitive advantage, and streamlining operations. The project strives to create consistent work processes and practices for the entire organization and to increase cooperation within and between business units.
Principles of implementing the process
The process is cross-functional, top-down – all the way to the production line.
A Steering Committee was established to lead the process and to assess the main performance metrics (KPIs) and significant milestones.
The process is based on the concept of a reverse pyramid: The production line employees play a major part in formulating the work plan and suggesting streamlining solutions due to their in-depth understanding of the complexities of production. Such cooperation increases employees’ motivation.
Another main principle upon which the process is based is visual management: Discussions about the metrics, successes and failures of the production line move from the management rooms to the production lines themselves. Next to the production lines, there is a control board that includes metrics for planning, quality, safety, breakdowns, outstanding tasks and performance status. The control board empowers the employees since it involves them, encourages learning as an incident analysis culture and raises the level of transparency, cooperation and coordination.
The process began as a pilot on the production lines at the dairy in Ahihud and at the plant in Israel. We expect to expand it to all business units.
Integrating Safety into Operational Excellence
Strauss is acting to implement an organizational culture of safety a safer working environment.
Safety was included in the Operational Excellence program at Strauss Israel in 2010 in a number of ways, including the building of safety metrics for the behavior of managers and employees and inclusion and involvement of the employees in writing safety procedures etc.
Empowering employees and increasing their commitment to safety
The Safety Officers, who are selected at the recommendation of the managers and the Plant Safety Manager, feel like partners and are proud of their contribution to the plant. Hazards and breakdowns, as well as the safety metrics, appear on the control board located next to the production lines.
One of the characteristics of raising awareness of safety issues among the employees is the alerts raised by employees themselves to the Safety Officers regarding safety incidents.
The use of observation posts as a tool for visual management
Strauss Israel is using observation posts for documenting safety issues on the production lines in Israel plants.
The plant Safety Officers who have been trained as observers rank criteria concerning safety behavior on the production.
The Safety Officers assess the production lines on an ongoing basis. They are recognizable by a safety label on their work overalls.
Embedding the process
The display of the data and metrics on the control board promotes transparency, trust and direct dialogue between managers and employees concerning safety behavior problems, safety hazards and possible ways to improve.
There are weekly discussions with employees regarding safety and safety issues are included in regular management meetings with the employees.
Breakdowns are integrated into the work plan and Managers are required to report on progress in implementing solutions.
Every week, the weekly production line score is published on the control board as a tool to assess strengths and weaknesses. The cumulative score is a tool for measurement and improvement over time.