Coats Health and Safety

Health and Safety at Coats

At Coats we value our workforce highly and employ over 17,000 people in around 50 countries worldwide. The health and safety (H&S) of our employees is our number one priority in everything we do.

Health and Safety remains our number one priority and in 2019 we launched our new Journey to Zero strategy. Based on the belief that all injuries can be prevented, our approach is focused on establishing a proactive safety culture.

Health and Safety at Coats

Through our digital incident and data management tool, Intelex, we are now able to trend hazard and incident data to gain insights into potential risks allowing us to mitigate against them before they become injuries. These improvement actions have become a foundation of our success – in 2019, we completed 46,377 improvement actions and increased near miss reporting by 36%. Both of these directly contributed to a 20% reduction in our injury rates versus 2018.

Training is another important contributor to our safety culture and on average each employee received 29 hours of safety-related training in 2019. Our unique Generative Behaviour Safety programme, designed to increase discussions between supervisors and their teams about ‘at-risk’ behaviour has been implemented across the Americas. The programme will be rolled out globally in 2020 and is supported by the introduction of our Intelex mobile app to make it even easier to report hazards, incidents and at-risk behaviour.

Coats people safety

Our proactive approach to health and safety was brought to life in 2019 during our inaugural ‘Journey to Zero’ week. The week generated great levels of engagement with activities taking place in more than 24 countries and over 200 conversations on our enterprise social networking tool Yammer. This event has now become embedded in our annual calendar.

Our 2019 Health and Safety Climate Survey results show that we are well on our way to establishing the desired safety culture. 62% of our units had improved scores compared with 2018 and our overall results increased to 99% of all units scoring better than the industry benchmark.

We are continuing our efforts to achieve industry certifications and have nine sites certified to OHSAS 18001 and three sites certified to the new ISO 45001 standard. Our aim is to have all our sites achieving the latter by 2025.

We believe that safety should extend beyond our gates and so we also take commuting safety very seriously. To support this in 2019 we continued to deliver defensive driving courses, driving lessons, and driver awareness training and campaigns. Many units now lend helmets to motorcycle passengers and, where necessary, we have arranged shuttle transport for employees to reduce travel-related risks.

As well as safety it is also important to look after the well-being of our employees. In 2019 we launched our Sustainability Strategy and well-being is an important part of our Social pillar. We have increased our activity in this area and have focused in different countries on issues that are relevant to our employees and families in those locations. So, for example, we have had a multi-faceted campaign in Brazil around skincare, hydration and coping with heat stress; a number of locations, including India, China and Brazil, have had campaigns around wellness issues pertaining specifically to women; and locations like the USA and China have focused on developing confidence and involvement in sporting activities.

99% of our units scored better than the industry benchmark in the Health and Safety Climate Survey.