- No. of employees: 4700
- Business sector: Food
- Business activities: Chilled convenience foods
- Stakeholders: Employees, company and shareholders
Uniq plc is a pan-European chilled foods producer with 4,700 UK-based employees. The introduction of a robust health and safety management system produced savings and reduced accidents, insurance costs and absence.
The Board considered that accident and claims levels were unacceptably high. More effective management training and management systems were identified as mechanisms for protecting staff and assets.
What did the company do?
To help managers contribute effectively to health and safety, Uniq has:
- Set a three year health and safety vision to eliminate all workplace accidents and ill health
- Successfully trained more than 280 managers and supervisors in the IOSH ‘Managing Safely’ course
- Introduced their own health and safety management system, U-Chase, based on HSE’s ‘Successful health and safety management’
- Set managers annual key performance indicators and monthly targets for health and safety improvements
- 36% reduction in the number of staff days being lost due to accident injury – from 2835 in 1999/2000 to 1807 in 2002/3.
- Savings of over £100,000 through a 36% reduction in the number of staff days lost due to accident injury (from 2835 to 1807 days over three years)
- Reduction of more than 45% in the cost of civil claims per member of staff, from £167/person in 1999/2000 to £91/person for 2002/3
- 8.5% reduction in employers’ liability insurance premiums in the last year
Health and safety benefits
- RIDDOR reportable incident rate has fallen from 34.2 per 1,000 staff in 1999/ 2000 to 16.1 in 2003/4
- Managers and supervisors managing health and safety issues as an integral part of their work
- Good buy-in from staff health and safety representatives, helping to improve the health and safety culture
‘The Uniq Board recognise that both the Group’s corporate performance and its value to stakeholders are affected by its occupational health and safety performance. It therefore requires the Managing Directors and all employees to demonstrate a positive approach to Health and Safety issues.’
Bill Ronald, Chief Executive.
‘Uniq has raised the awareness of health and safety by training its workforce and through communicating with representatives from shop floor to board level.’
Dawn Spencer, Works Council Representative
The total cost of the training delivered to managers and supervisors was £208,000 over three years (including the training package, consultancy fees, staff time and accommodation). The revised policies and procedures cost £6,500 in staff time.
The savings from fewer staff days lost to accidents is over £100,000 a year based on the cost of wages and replacement labour. The reduction of Uniq’s insurance premiums saved £80,000 from 2002/3 to 2003/4 alone. The total savings of at least £380,000 since 2000 greatly exceed the total costs of the initiative. The continued savings will give good returns for Uniq, and provide employees with a safer place to work.
With the Board’s leading interest, the executive health and safety committee gave their full support to the initiative. They were particularly keen that managers receive effective training in health and safety issues.
Since the initiative has begun, the workforce directly elected health and safety representatives have been enthusiastic in their support.