St Regis Paper Company
- No. of employees: 2,400 in 1995, now 1,950
- Business sector: Manufacturing
- Business activities: Paper making
- Stakeholders: Employees, St Regis and shareholders
- Location: UK-wide
St Regis produces over a million tonnes of paper a year, and employs 1800 staff. By carrying out a full review of their health and safety management systems, seeking maximum employee involvement and making substantial investments in guarding, the company has reduced accident and injury rates.
In 1995/1996 there were two fatalities in St Regis. The company had an increasing accident and injury rate and recognised that a step change in their health and safety performance was needed.
What did the company do?
- St Regis instigated a series of health and safety action plans to:
- Improve machinery guarding on paper mills and associated equipment
- Re-focused the regular site health and safety meetings between site managers, safety advisors and safety representatives
- Improve management systems and procedures
- Provide all employees and managers with health and safety knowledge and skills
- Work closely with the HSE and PABIAC
- Actively involve all employees
- 73% reduction in employee insurance claims from 833 to 222 per 100,000 employees
- Reduction in rate of increase of Employers Liability Insurance premiums
- 18% reduction in numbers of days lost to injuries (adjusted to account for smaller workforce)
- Developed a co-operative approach with the HSE to implement the PABIAC Paper and Board Industry Advisory Committee 'Making paper safely' initiative
Health and safety benefits
- 61% drop in RIDDOR injuries from 4.9 to 1.9 per 100 employees
- 64% reduction in the overall accident rate from 2.37 to 0.85 per 100,000 hours worked
'By involving all employees and the trade unions, everyone has got behind the approach. It's been a real team effort and is showing results.'
Gary Seagar, Father of Chapel, GPMU, Kemsley
'By improving our health and safety management, we're protecting the health and safety of our employees, visitors to our sites and also our shareholders' investments'
The use of a consultant to help improve management systems was around £100,000. Training for managers cost around £75,000.
The reduction in days lost through accidents has savings at an annualised rate of £100,000 per year since 1997. This ongoing saving, plus the large drop in civil claims, will make substantial savings for the company in the future.
St Regis has invested, in total, several million pounds in improving machinery guarding. This was in response to PABIAC and HSE's determination to improve guarding in all mills. All companies in the paper-making industry needed to make these improvements.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Senior Management Team's drive and support helped make the initiative a success. The CEO is responsible for health and safety at board level.
The GPMU (Graphical, Paper and Media Union) and other trade unions worked in partnership with St Regis to develop the action plans, drive actions at site level and monitor progress. Trade union involvement has helped to spread ownership of health and safety amongst all employees.