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Promoting Health and Safety

Our operating context

The New Zealand government introduced a new Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 which came into force in April 2016. The package of reforms represents the most significant changes to New Zealand’s workplace health and safety system in 20 years. It includes a new regulatory agency, a focus on high risk sectors and capacity building including targets to reduce work-related fatalities and serious injury by at least 10% by 2016 and 25% by 2020. During the 2016 calendar year, there were 49 work-related fatalities reported to WorkSafe New Zealand, with four of those attributed to the manufacturing sector.

Why health, safety and wellbeing is important to DB Breweries

We want to make sure that everyone goes home safe every day. Zero fatalities is the only acceptable target. Health and safety risks in the brewing industry range from managing materials like grain and malt dust and chemicals associated with cleaning and refrigeration to heavy manual handling of materials as well as falls from heights and the general management of machinery. However, many of our risks are outside our production sites when people are travelling or distributing our products. These are less controlled environments, making road safety a priority for us. In 2016 we rolled out our successful driver behaviour training to those within DB Breweries who are high users of rental vehicles, as well as to all new employees responsible for a company vehicle. Good health and wellbeing is also a key UN Sustainable Development Goal to which DB Breweries can contribute.

Excerpt from UN Sustainable Development Goals

Our priorities

In 2015 we reviewed our approach against the requirements of the new Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, so we were ready for the changes to workplace safety by 2016. Our single Health and Safety Manual provides details our Health and Safety Management System, links to all of our policies and procedures and is also based on HEINEKEN’s Global Occupational Health and Safety Policy. Our Health, Safety and Wellness Committee is key to implementing many of our initiatives and engages functions right across the entire business including sales, marketing and events as well as traditional areas like our manufacturing sites. A member of the senior leadership team attends these monthly meetings, reflecting the importance of its work plan.

This year HEINEKEN launched its 12 Life Saving Rules, focused on the “dos and don'ts” of the most risky activities. This includes a list of “dos and don'ts” for activities ranging from working with chemicals and working at heights to the use of phones when driving and being free of alcohol and drugs. The programme requires all operating companies, including DB Breweries, to assess their performance and implement action plans over coming years. To date, we have assessed our safety performance and defined our rules of the Life Saving Rules action plan. We have also continued our Road Safety Training programme which remains a global priority for HEINEKEN.

Heineken Life Saving Rules

Our results

DB Breweries has maintained a record of zero fatalities throughout its history. We report on our incidents both publicly and to HEINEKEN, contributing to global safety performance targets and benchmarks.

Parameters Unit 2013 2014 2015 2016
Fatalities of company personnel Cases 0 0 0 0
Fatalities of contractor personnel Cases 0 0 0 0
Fatalities of company personnel in commuting Cases 0 0 0 0
Accidents of company personnel Cases 2 3 10 3
Accidents of contractor personnel Cases 0 1 2 1
Lost days of company personnel Days 1 11 5 31
Workforce (full-time equivalents) FTEs 948.2 955 1059 481
Performance indicators (average values)
Accident frequency Cases/100FTE 0.21 0.433 1.03 Not reported
Accident severity Days/100 FTE 0.11 3.47 0.41 Not reported

Only one serious accident was recorded this year which required surgery and 31 days away from work. There were also two minor accidents classified as sprains or strains requiring three days away from work. Neither of these accidents involved a Life Saving Rule. Overall, serious accidents were reduced by 75% and minor accidents were reduced by 66% during the year.

Tracking near misses is vital to improving safety. It helps us to better understand how and why they occurred so that we can take corrective action and prevent injuries in the future. The reporting of near misses increased by 166%, from 420 in 2015 to 1,119 in 2016. In the past year, DB Breweries accounted for 25.7% of reporting on total near misses for HEINEKEN Asia Pacific concerning our workers and 24.3% of contracted workers. Globally we accounted for 2.9% of total worker related near misses and 2.7% of contractor related near miss reporting. This year we introduced a new mobile device application as a version of our health and safety portal which is portable and easy to use immediately. It can be used to report near misses, incidents, or injuries as well as observations from anywhere in the country. It also allows for corrective actions to be sent directly to a mobile phone. Reporting from this system is then uploaded into HEINEKEN’s safety data portal to contribute to global reporting which is also consistent with the new legislative requirements in New Zealand.

In 2016 we developed our “First Move” initiative to address high frequency, low consequence incidents, such as sprains and strains. The initiative is designed to educate people about how their bodies work and inspire them to change how they move to prevent injury in the workplace by fostering physical intelligence. This is being rolled out through a train the trainer approach, delivered by DB Breweries workers.

No cases of occupational disease were reported in 2016 and the company received no fines for non-compliance with safety regulations in 2016.

Inquiry by type Males Females Employees Contractor
2015 2016 2015 2016 2015 2016 2015 2016
Sprain/Strain 6 9 1 6 6 15 1 15
Bruising 1 7 1 5 2 10 0 4
Cuts 0 13 1 5 1 15 0 7
Fracture 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Dislocation 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Graze 0 4 0 2 0 4 0 4
Burn 0 4 0 0 0 4 0 4
Inflamation 0 1 0 1 0 2 0 2
Allergic reaction 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0
Contusion 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0
Foreign body 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

Our actions 2016

Our Health, Safety and Wellness culture

This year we undertook a dedicated Health, Safety & Wellness (HS&W) survey across the organisation to help identify our HS&W culture. Like many businesses we have been measuring our performance through mechanisms such as compliance-based reporting and lag indicators. While compliance is important, we need to move toward a more proactive and maturing approach to HS&W and how risks to our people are both identified and managed. The survey asked 41 questions. While it was rolled out company-wide, patterns and differences between business units were monitored as well. The results provide a clear understanding of our strengths and where interventions should be targeted. The survey identified that DB Breweries has many strengths including teamwork, learning and the support of leaders across the business. One key learning is the significance of internal reporting on risks, observations and near misses which tell us what is really going on in the business and help us to take action. Such reporting is being encouraged and also facilitated by a new phone app available to all company phones.

Embedding HEINEKEN’s Life Saving Rules – CO2 awareness

As part of the Heineken Life Saving Rules initiative, CO2 awareness within our customer premises has been highlighted as a potential risk globally. If a CO2 cylinder has a leak, the escaping gas can cause oxygen levels in the surrounding air to drop. People who breathe in this air can suffocate, leading to possible brain damage or death. CO2 gas is both colourless and odourless, making it difficult to detect a leak.

In Feb/March 2016 we visited premises to check on the risk of CO2 exposure to DB Breweries workers. While all Barworks sites have a CO2 monitoring and alarm system in place, the majority of other sites which form the large part of our customer base, had no form of monitoring or alarm system for CO2. The risk of someone entering a cool room that has CO2 present which could cause them harm was considered to be probable. As a result, workers who regularly enter customer cool rooms or confined spaces where CO2 is present were allocated personal CO2 monitors.

Brew Well Be Well

We have continued our employee wellness programme - Brew Well Be Well – with a monthly calendar of events throughout 2016. This includes a range of programmes:

Case study