Health and Safety

Our aim is to have zero harm in our workplace. Behaviour workshops, monthly reports, a renewed and stronger focus on the investigation of incidents combined with a new online system to record the causational factors of incidents and the sharing of key lessons learned are all helping towards this. Our midterm target is to cut Lost Time Accidents (LTAs) by 50% by 2020 against a 2010 baseline.

Recent highlights 

  • We launched our new HSE Strategy that ensures a proactive approach to changing behaviour by anticipating accidents before they happen
  • Two of our biggest plants, in Belgium and North America, have recorded longest periods without a Lost Time Accident (LTA)
  • Senior Members of Knauf Insulation have gone through Safety Cultural Maturity workshops throughout 2014-2015
  • Communication on Health and Safety has become a focus, with online ‘HSE Alerts’ being launched, as well as ‘Hi-Plus Announcements’ that share success stories throughout Knauf Insulation


HSE management system

Knauf Insulation follows the important International Management Standards for Health and Safety. We are certified by one of the leading conformity assessment organisations, Bureau Veritas.

Knauf Insulation’s HSE management system is based on the continual improvement framework outlined in:

  • OHSAS18001 (Health and Safety Management) for all our Europe, Russia and CIS Plants.
  • ISO 14001 (Environmental Management) for all our Europe, Russia and CIS Plants.
  • ISO 50001 (Energy Management) for all our Europe, Russia and CIS Plants.
  • ISO 9001 (Quality Management) for all our Europe, Russia and CIS Plants.


Case Study

Spotlight on St Helens

This journey of Continuous Improvement (CI) began four years ago. Traditionally in manufacturing, health and safety was just another task on top of an already intense schedule. At St Helens, health and safety has become ingrained in day-to-day life. Today there are no health and safety inspections – only manufacturing audits that have integrated safety at every level.

All resources focused on achieving a vision to achieve targets for Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) for production equipment. OEE means ‘on-time in full’ delivery performance with monthly targets for manufacturing costs, as well as for health, safety and environment.

Driving this vision are the Knauf Family Values of Menschlichkeit, Partnership, Entrepreneurship and Commitment. St Helens is ‘de-siloing’ functions, to encourage partnership, utilise employee ideas, encourage entrepreneurship and ensure continued engagement and empowerment. There are eight Knauf Family Values Ambassadors at St Helens who work on projects set by employees covering aspects such as new employee inductions, hazard spotting, training and social activities.

What does CI mean in practice?

Continuous Improvement workshops were introduced lasting up to 10 days to cover critical aspects such as organising a productive workspace (a productive workspace is safer); reviewing the state of equipment, ensuring everyone understands how it functions (with straightforward one page explanations); problem solving exercises and management presentation training to help operators achieve their plans.

How are new ideas introduced?

Anyone can submit an idea for improvement – including safety – to a scheme run by the Engineering Project Manager and Area Process Leaders. An idea is reviewed by the team and a decision made on whether to progress or not. Ideas are physically placed on notice boards that also communicate updates on Continuous Improvement projects, safety and general information.

And how is momentum maintained?

There are daily meetings that focus on the plant’s vision where all aspects of performance are reviewed and any violations – such as safety for example – are considered and countermeasures put in place to ensure improvement. Plant performance for the previous 24 hours is also reviewed together with a plan for the next 24 hours. Every week Process Leaders complete a Process Audit to ensure systems are maintained and every month another Audit is carried out by members of the Management Team to allow one-to-one discussion with process operators about concerns.

What do people think about Continuous Improvement?

“People in the plants are full of ideas. Continuous Improvement is an opportunity to get new ideas heard, to beat routine, to progress quicker and get up to speed. Previously we just copied what other people did. But through integrated safety there is more understanding. It’s a safe place here.” Mark Daly, Senior Process Operator in the Multi Pack System Area, St Helens. 

“We’re on a journey of Continuous Improvement. It never feels like it’s finished you can always see the next opportunity.” Phil Kerfoot, CI Manager St Helens. 

Read more:

  • How safety is the responsibility of everyone at Knauf Insulation and small changes to behaviour can make a big difference - click here
  • Our spotlight on St Helens plant where continuous improvement integrated health and safety into every aspect of the plant - click here
  • How we protect our assets and we focus on a positive dialogue and proactively manage risks to create a safer environment - click here