Health, safety and well-being

Healthy and safe work conditions are a human right and cannot be fostered in a piecemeal way. Ensuring safety in our daily life is a task that never stops. Safeguarding people on as well as outside our premises, or travel to and from work, requires a thorough, structured and continuously evolving approach. Because there is a risk that even a small oversight can have serious consequences.


COVID-19: When challenges become opportunities

As it did for most industries worldwide, the coronavirus pandemic put health and safety in the spotlight. Ensuring the safety of our employees has always been our number one priority – but in 2020, a new challenge pushed us to collectively embrace new ways of collaborating. We are very proud to say that Etex came through with flying colours.

Since March 2020, teleworking became the norm, and inter-divisional have never been so numerous. With more fluid collaboration and best practices shared, Etex colleagues work more closely together to ensure operational excellence. COVID-19 required us to reassess the risks involved in every task in our facilities. This thorough risk assessment contributed to an increase in risk awareness and to safer working environments.

Safety: going for zero

Our main objective is clear: zero work-related fatalities and high-consequence injuries. Thanks to efficient procedures and to the involvement of all teammates worldwide, we are proud to say that this objective has been met in 2020. Last year was also a turning point for lost-time accident frequency. After years of consistent performance, Etex moved from a lost-time accident frequency rate between 1.9 and 2.6 down to 1.4.

Safety figures for employees, contracted temporary staff, workers of permanent contractors and anyone else whose work we directly control on our premises

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Frequency rate of lost-time accidents

Number of lost-time accidents per
one million hours worked

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Gravity rate of accidents

Level of absenteeism after an accident.
The higher the rate, the more severe the accident.


Out of the five critical standards Etex has in place, three have been identified as crucial in reducing the gravity of accidents:

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Work at height

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Energy isolation

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Machine safety



Risk assessment

At Etex, we prioritise a thorough risk analysis, which is powered by the application of the Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (HIRA) standard in combination with further five critical standards, a careful analysis of our recorded accidents and near misses, and the expertise and experience of our teammates.

All factory teammates are trained on and participate in the risk assessment of their workplaces, and our plants have committed to completing the full implementation of the HIRA standard by the end of 2021.

Teammate story

Helping our plants go the extra mile

With our Plant Focus Programme, which we kicked-off in 2020, we directed additional assistance and resources where they are most needed to reach EHS excellence.

We selected five Etex plants with opportunities for improvement in lagging safety indicators, leadership or implementation of standards. We then launched a booster initiative by providing coaching, resources and assistance.

I am proud to say that my team was very engaged. We started to address the different points, increased our compliance with the standards and completed the hazard identification and risk assessment of the whole factory.

The programme was a success, as shown by the Guangzhou plant’s record breaking lost-time-accident-free period of 572 days and counting!

Image Hexagon - Benjamin (SR p. 30) 150x150.png Benjamin Mansfield,
Plant Manager of Etex Guangzhou (China), one of the plants that participated to the Plant Focus Programme


The SafeStart behavioural safety principles are one of the most successful safety training processes in the world. They have been implemented at Etex in 2016, inspiring our teammates not only in their work environments but also in their private life.

In 2020, all of our plants committed to reviving these principles and achieving the maturity level needed to sustain the momentum of SafeStart group-wide.

In response to the feedback from teammates and local SafeStart trainers, we have revamped the training programme, making it more relatable to the Etex environment and bringing stories that our teammates can identify with more easily.