"Knauf Insulation’s safety numbers may have improved in 2021, but there is still no room for complacency", says HEALTH, SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENT (HSE) Lead Philippe Coune.
Risk awareness was the key subject of safety across Knauf Insulation in 2022.
Safety improved across the group with the company’s Total Recorded Incident Rate (TRIR)* reduced from 6.4 in 2020 to 5.5 in 2021 in Europe, Middle East and Asia.
In addition, the company doubled the number of hazard spotting tours, safety observations and safety dialogues to 38,000 safety actions in 2021 compared to 2020 — a year that saw the company record a hundred days without a Lost Time Accident.
Group HSE Lead EMEA & APAC, Philippe Coune, says: “During 2021 we saw periods of time when accidents were decreasing and then suddenly increase again. We have seen an improvement in some aspects of safety, but not in all aspects. That is why we can never afford to be complacent."
To underline this message, HSE team launched a companywide safety campaign – It’s Up To Us – to highlight greater awareness of risk, supported by internal communications with posters, videos and workshops throughout the year.
Photo: Fire extinguisher exercises at the Zalaegerszeg plant, Hungary
Risks are everywhere
The It’s Up To Us campaign involved 4,500 Knauf Insulation employees across all manufacturing sites in EMEA and APAC.
“We have enough rules in place to keep everyone safe, but risks are everywhere,” says Philippe. “We all need to manage these risks, all the time.”
So, what does risk management mean in reality? Simply, it means every individual must take responsibility for their safety and the safety of their colleagues.
“We ALL must make the decision to keep our colleagues safe. We cannot wait for a manager, supervisor or HSE colleague to make a safety call. Whatever we do and wherever we are, It’s Up To Us to immediately act if we see an unsafe situation or unsafe behaviour.”
At Knauf Insulation there is a major commitment to safety from the minute a blueprint for a new plant is created to the first time Mineral Wool rolls off the production line.
Photo: Rescue practise in the Zalaegerszeg plant, Hungary
High level of safety
All the company’s plants are certified in line with ISO 45001 safety management systems. Every plant is subject to regulation, compliance, directives, continuous safety meetings, constant risk assessment, training, life-saving rules, safety principles and every possible protective equipment available.
“All these things are great in theory, but the reality is that risk is everywhere 24/7 due to constant change. That is why It’s Up To Us to manage risk all the time,” says Philippe.
“We ALL need to continuously assess machinery risks. We ALL need to constantly improve safety instructions. And we ALL need to continuously review safety equipment. And where there is any doubt whatsoever — we ALL need to do a Last Minute Risk Assessment.”
*TRIR is the industry benchmark that involves dividing the number of injures at a company by the total number of hours worked by all employees and then multiplying by a million
Photo: Rescue practice in Bernburg plant, Germany
These figures relate to Knauf Insulation, part of the Knauf Group, and are based on the data for Europe, Middle East and Asia (EMEA & APAC) from 2021 and activities from 2021 and 2022. For accuracy we may amend previous figures.