Across the full spectrum of business, health and safety in the workplace should always come first. Particularly for those working in a warehouse, on a construction site or in a logistics distribution centre, health and safety is vital to carrying out the job effectively.
Employing an Environment, Health & Safety (EH&S) policy is the first step for businesses but ingraining this policy into the workplace can often pose a challenge. When we talk about health and safety in the context of workplace behaviours and operations, we are often addressing cultural changes, as well as focussing on processes.
The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reports that 581,000 people across the UK sustained a non-fatal injury at work during 2018/19, according to their Labour Force Survey. Mental health also played a big part in the results too, with 602,000 employees taking time off work for issues relating to stress, depression and anxiety. This resulted in 28.2 million workings days lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury.
In contrast to the EU, however, the UK statistics in recent years have proved comparatively better than average. In 2016, standardised incident rates of fatal injuries at work was lower in the UK at 0.53 per 100,000 employees, compared to France (3.32), Spain (1.53) and Germany (0.63). The survey results by HSE indicated that those employed by UK businesses felt confident their job did not place them at risk, and that they knew who to report to in the event of injury or a mental health illness, primarily due to the implementation of strong EH&S policies.
At Cornelius, having an ingrained EH&S culture is a topic close to our heart. As a leading European manufacturer and distributor of specialty ingredients for the Life Sciences and Performance Chemicals markets, we strive to make Cornelius a safe place to work with a caring, sharing attitude that clearly demonstrates our commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility.
We’re a forward-thinking company that puts the wellbeing of our employees, the environment and those around us first. Our ethos of ‘delivering the difference’ doesn’t start and end with the supply of high-performance specialty chemicals, ingredients and additives, it runs the full gamut of our business.
Comprehensive health and safety processes need one key ingredient – the ability to care. At Cornelius, we aim to demonstrate that we care through every single process we undertake, whether it has a direct impact on operational profitability or not. Sparkle Malawi, our chosen charity at Cornelius, is just one of those examples. By working with the Sparkle Foundation, we effect change and make a real difference to the daily lives of those that need it the most. We have established a Giving Fund, a panel to co-ordinate our benevolent activities and initiatives, whether that’s through raising money for the charity or raising awareness in whatever way we can.
The Environment, Health & Safety culture at Cornelius is constantly evolving. Driven by the leadership team as a core company objective, it’s becoming ingrained in each area of the business. For us, it’s a way of life and we welcome new ideas and opinions to ensure the policy is continuously kept up to date.
To encourage safety-first thinking, we have regular communication events such as group meetings at the Town Hall, breakfast roundtables and committee meetings. A comprehensive training programme is also available to all members of staff, so they know who they can talk to in confidence and how to report an incident. Cornelius is built on respect for the individual, and so for us, employee concerns are the business concerns.
Accreditations also have a part to play in a good EH&S culture. We are members of the UN Global Compact, which conducts the highest level of operating standards required by businesses around the world. Our globally recognised accreditations including ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and BRC are evaluated annually to ensure our systems follow international regulations.
Our commitment to establishing a superb EH&S culture at Cornelius is ongoing and always evolving. When employees join us, they become part of the Cornelius family – one team that ensures the environment, health, wellbeing and safety of every member is at the top of the list.