The health and safety of our employees is paramount to the ongoing success of our business. Our vision is to maintain our world-class safety culture and performance by safeguarding employees, the environment and the communities in which we operate. We aim to accomplish this through hazard recognition, safe work practices and compliance with environment, health and safety laws and regulations.
Our commitment to safety is demonstrated by our Recordable Incident Rate (RIR) of 0.23, which is well below the Occupational Safety and Health Administration manufacturing RIR of 3.5. Nothing is more important and valued than our team members and their commitment to the idea that “Zero is Achievable,” believing that injuries are preventable, and that returning home safely to friends, family and loved ones is an expectation each and every day. We are pleased that, in 2020, 80% of our facilities worked without a recordable injury. Our safety achievements are due to our robust employee engagement efforts as each business unit strives to discover solutions that best suit their work requirements.
Our Vice President of Environment, Health and Safety is responsible for our management of employee health and safety. Our corporate standards for health and safety processes are implemented at every Avery Dennison site globally and consider the unique hazards, regulations and environment at each site. Periodically, the Board of Directors and/or its Talent and Compensation Committee receive reports on the health and safety performance of our company.
Our Global EHS Standards and Policies
Our global EHS standards and policies establish a framework of consistent expectations that teams at all Avery Dennison facilities work towards when they develop site-level goals, objectives and safe work practices. Examples include our standards and policies for emergency response, which guide preparedness and communication plans for responding to EHS-related emergencies that could impact employees, the environment, or the community; for chemical handling, which provide guidance and protocols for conducting risk assessments and implementing process controls to minimize or eliminate exposure; and machine safeguarding, for protecting team members from exposure to potential hazards such as moving equipment, parts, and noise. Setting clear standards and policies helps us identify engineering controls, standard operating procedures (SOPs) and best practices that can be leveraged across business units and regions.
Our global health and safety programs, including “Stay in the Zone,” help build our culture of health and safety throughout our workforce.
Helping Employees “Stay in the ZoneTM”
We support employee safety awareness and well-being through our Stay in the Zone global safety engagement program. Stay in the Zone is designed to:
- Amplify daily awareness of positive safety behaviors
- Strengthen team safety by training employees to “Stop, think, and say something” when they recognize an unsafe work behavior being exhibited with themselves, their workplace, or others.
Stay in the Zone works by having “four checks for safety” which direct employees whenever they begin to work to check themselves, their tools and equipment, their work area, and their peers. Employees are in the “safety zone” when they continue to complete these four checks. Our Stay in the Zone program provides stop work authority to all Avery Dennison employees and all workers under the supervision of an Avery Dennison manager, such as contractors, whenever they have a safety issue. We encourage speaking up through Safety Conversations, quarterly, manager-led discussions about key safety concepts aligned with the four checks for safety. Safety Conversation content includes leader guides, talking points, tip sheets and presentation slides, as well as environmental graphics that promote awareness and adoption of the “four checks.”
Encouraging Employee Engagement
At all Avery Dennison locations, team members have the opportunity to participate on safety teams or committees that support the implementation of corporate EHS standards, address regional and business-unit safety matters, and work proactively to enhance our safety processes. Key activities include hazard recognition and analysis, injury or near-miss root cause investigations, safety “gembas” (focused walk-arounds) and evaluating and resolving employee safety concerns.
At the individual level, we reinforce safe work behaviors with our team members, reminding them of practices to protect themselves and their peers. These include:
- Being ready and aware, mentally and physically
- Respecting policies for the use and maintenance of personal protective equipment and safety control devices;
- Following protocols for such high-risk tasks as lockout/tagout, working in confined spaces, and working at heights;
- Adhering to machine safeguarding and operational controls around moving equipment and machinery; and
- Timely reporting of safety, health or environmental issues.
Our training processes are specific to the business unit and site location, in order to address the health and safety risks posed by the activities performed at each site. This ensures everyone who works at an Avery Dennison location has the tools they need to safely perform their work and understands their unique risk factors. In order to maintain a consistent approach despite the differences between each site, we require that the training process developed at the site level aligns with our corporate standards and begins in the onboarding stage.
We comply with all applicable environmental, health and safety regulations and will go beyond the legal requirements, whenever it is prudent, in our judgment, to do so. Our sites have implemented EHS Compliance Calendars as a means to identify and manage specific actions to meet our compliance obligations. These calendars are routinely reviewed and monitored by the plant leadership teams as they are the owners of the process.
Additionally, we conduct environmental, health and safety (EHS) compliance audits at our manufacturing sites worldwide to further ensure we’re complying with our standards and with the laws and regulations of the countries where we do business. These audits are conducted by a team of our own employees (corporate and regional EHS professionals), assisted by third-party consultants who provide an outside perspective, as well as knowledge of local regulations, languages, and cultures. Between 2017 and 2020 we conducted audits at 52 of our 100-plus facilities. The results of the audits are tracked by our corporate EHS team and used by sites to facilitate continuous improvement in workplace safety and environmental protection.
EHS Data Management System (ASPIRE)
ASPIRE is the enterprise system we use to store and manage EHS data from all of our sites globally. Information such as EHS incidents (injuries, spills, fires, etc.), EHS Compliance Audits, and Sustainability Metrics (GHG, RIR, waste, recycle, etc.) are all maintained in a controlled and monitored network environment. As a result, we are able to track actions, analyze trends and use the data to adjust strategies to enhance continuous improvement in our EHS and Sustainability programs. Additionally, this past year, we implemented the chemical management module to more efficiently manage chemical inventories, Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) and restricted substance lists (RSLs) as a part of our corporate sustainability initiatives, and we will continue to expand capabilities where opportunities exist.
Process Safety Management Committee
The Process Safety Management Committee is responsible for establishing goals, strategies, and measurements to minimize and eliminate risks associated with our solvent operations. The committee spans across our 16 solvent manufacturing sites globally and includes technical experts from operations, corporate engineering, process engineering, and EHS. They have made a number of contributions to our safety efforts, including by developing protocols for the solvent sites. These protocols have brought about 19 solvent-related guidance specifications, a solvent safety technology collaboration website for sharing best practices, a web-based process safety management “university” and a self-verification and compliance audit process.