Health and safety
The health, safety and welfare of our employees, together with those who work with us, or are impacted by our activities, whether customers, suppliers, contractors, agency workers or others is of paramount importance to the Group. Our intention is that everyone who works with us return home safely, and in that regard health and safety is embedded into our organisational culture and is the first priority in all our management reviews and board meetings. Our aim is to equip everyone with the knowledge, skills and equipment to work safely, and to provide the support to foresee potential hazards and to act to mitigate the risks appropriately.
Unfortunately there have been a number of safety incidents in 2020, including two fatalities amongst our people working in overseas locations. Whilst thorough investigations show that primary responsibility for the fatalities is not with the Group, these are devastating and sobering events and give added impetus to our own efforts towards continuous improvement in health, safety and welfare.
Our strong focus on employee training, regulatory compliance and accident reduction provides the support to allow accountability to remain with local management who are best-placed to ensure that their businesses comply with local laws and regulations and specific needs on a day-to-day basis.
Given the challenging environments and complexity of the solutions we provide, we recognise that there is inherent risk in what we do and that the sharing of incidents, near-misses, investigations and best practice amongst the Group is a powerful means of increasing awareness and providing fresh insight and thinking. We are committed to learning from any events and implementing training, procedural controls, protective equipment and technology to achieve our goal of zero incidents.
The Covid-19 pandemic has served as a reminder that we must constantly be aware of the potential risk posed by our working environment, and has brought the health and wellbeing of all our employees into sharp focus. The Company responded quickly to Covid-19 and the impacts of the resulting restrictions. This included increasing to weekly the frequency of Executive team meetings, as well as introducing a weekly call between the Executive team and the managing directors of the operating businesses. The results of these meetings have been reported on a regular basis to the Board. All of these meetings, along with all Board meetings, have started with an update on the health and safety of our workforce throughout the pandemic.
The imposition of national lock-downs, work and travel restrictions has introduced new, previously un-encountered hazards where our employees need to balance enforced isolation from their colleagues with the need to work in a new way, and in some cases provide support to dependants.
In response we:
- Rapidly established a Covid-19 working group responsible for formulating and communicating the Group’s response across different Group locations.
- Introduced enhanced safety measures, deep cleansing and social distancing at our operational sites to help keep people safe whilst performing their roles.
- Provided access to support and advice through the rollout of our Employee Assistance Programme.
- Increased the number and visibility of our mental health first aiders.
- Provided employees with a Covid-19 care-pack with guidance on safeguarding their own and their families’ wellbeing, details of how to access support and practical items such as hand sanitiser and masks.
We are saddened to report that two of our colleagues independently contracted Covid-19 outside of work and sadly passed away.
During these incredibly difficult times, our people have been truly amazing at identifying and organising ways to help safeguard their colleagues and their families from both the direct and indirect effects of the pandemic. A number of colleagues volunteered to be available on Christmas Day, for example, to hold a group call for anyone struggling over the festive period, and a number of mental health first aiders made themselves available over the course of the holidays.
• Continuing to strive towards zero incidents across the Group:
• Our Group safety forum, comprising the health and safety leaders from each business, continues to embed lessons
learnt from all incidents, to share best practice and to advise the Group Health and Safety Committee on new Groupwide
• The Group adopts the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR)1, and
the number of reportable incidents across the Group in 2020 was 3 (2019: 3).
• The Group’s overall RIDDOR reportable frequency rate2 in 2020 was 0.06 (2019: 0.05).
• The Group recorded 1 lost time accident (LTA 3) in 2020 (2019: 2).
• Continue to drive focus on health and safety throughout James Fisher:
• Health and safety is the first agenda item at all Board and working group meetings across the Company.
• In light of the global pandemic, a Covid-19 working group has been established. Meeting regularly, the group actively
monitors the ever-changing situation and communicates recommendations and Group guidelines.
• Set up a “Health and Safety Hints and Tips” section on the Group intranet to share best practice:
• A HSE and wellbeing section has been created on the Group intranet which includes HSE hints and tips as well as
including first aid and safety performance sections.
• Develop “Health and Wellbeing” programmes in all divisions:
• Established an employee assistance programme for all employees. A free and confidential service, it provides advice
on a range of topics including work/life balance, financial management, mental wellbeing and family concerns.
• Continue to enhance reporting of near misses:
• As a result of the diversity of businesses, geographies and industries supported across the Group, there were
numerous near miss reporting and root cause analysis methodologies. During 2020 the Group Safety Committee,
assisted by the Group safety forum, has established and implemented a uniform reporting methodology and template,
which has improved the quality of information available and enabled better discussion and sharing of best practice
amongst the forum. Each business uses the information to roll out monthly H&S campaigns (including messaging and
toolbox talks) based around themes emerging from the improved near miss reporting .
• A concerted focus on mental wellbeing has led to the doubling of the Group’s trained mental health first aiders, the development of a dedicated mental health resource library on the intranet, frequent wellbeing communications with hints and tips and initiatives such as a voluntary wellbeing call on Christmas Day.
• Launch of Group-wide exercise challenge, as well as local initiatives promoting exercise and wellbeing at a Group company level.
• Large scale roll-out of Covid-19 care packs. Care packs included practical items such as reusable masks and hand sanitiser as well as informative literature on healthy eating, exercise and Covid-19 guidelines.
• During the year, our Tankships business James Fisher Everard (JFE) made 628 voyages and carried over 2.25m metric tonnes of product with no product spill in the water.
• Our principal operating companies maintain internationally recognised occupational health and safety management systems accredited to OHSAS 18001 or OHSAS 45001.
• Continue striving towards zero LTAs across the Group.
• Continue driving focus on health and safety throughout James Fisher .
• Continue to enhance reporting of near misses, as well as bringing more consistency to root cause analysis through the Group safety forum.
• To act quickly in the event that an accident / incident occurs, to thoroughly investigate and ensure learnings are adopted.
• Further increase the number of mental health first aiders to 200 by the end of 2021.
• Continue to monitor the uptake of the Employee Assistance Programme and take action to introduce further support mechanisms where required.