Health and Safety

The health and safety of our team members is West’s top priority. Never has this commitment been more evident than throughout 2020, as we initiated numerous programs to care for our team members and their families in response to COVID-19. Operating our global manufacturing network to maintain supply of critical components for the healthcare industry amid a pandemic required an intense level of focus on health and safety.

In response to the pandemic, we implemented a variety of onsite protocols, based on guidance by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and a variety of other governmental health authorities. From the earliest days of the pandemic, our Crisis Management Team and Pandemic Preparedness Team met several times per week to provide West Operations the best guidance, information and standards to allow work to continue safely.

Several of the important protocols at our sites included:

  • Retained a Corporate Medical Advisor to review and advise on all COVID-19 related protocols
  • Performed active screening for all team members and visitors
  • Mandated wearing of masks while on company property
  • Enhanced cleaning protocols
  • Staggered shift and break schedules and altered breakroom layouts to support physical distancing
  • Implemented strict travel restrictions, including site-to-site visit restrictions as well as limited visits from customers, vendors and contractors

Because of these strict protocols, West was able to keep our team members safe and maintain continuous operations at all our global manufacturing sites.

At our sites, we focused on reducing the risk of incidents, injuries and exposure to health hazards for all team members, visitors and contractors, and we designed operating protocols for our facilities to provide a safe and healthy work environment.

We realized that the unprecedented and daunting challenges being faced by our team members, both at work and in their personal lives, had the potential to create distractions that can lead to a decreased focus on safety at work. We did see a slight increase in the number of recordable incidents as compared to 2019. Enhanced initiatives put in place by global, regional and site HSE teams in the second half of 2020 resulted in a significant decrease in incidents for the fourth quarter, a trend we have seen continue into 2021.

With ongoing education, communication and leadership support, we were able to retain our concentration on safety, and continue in our planned initiatives around Ergonomics, Hazard Identification Programs and HSE Digitalization — all supporting the HSE strategy of increasing our focus on leading indicators and enhancing our strong culture of safety.

Maintaining a safe workplace begins with instilling and supporting a culture of safety — each team member understands that they share the responsibility for safety. Our Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) and Sustainability Policy is displayed prominently at all sites and reinforces the expectations of our team members and visitors: everyone plays a role in our HSE and Sustainability process.

To help drive individual accountability, in 2020 we continued to hold our annual global Safety Week, much of which included physically distanced and virtual activities. Although safety is a focus all year long, this dedicated week gave the opportunity to target specific key safety-related topics, such as Ergonomics, Hazard Identification and ongoing COVID-related health and safety topics. As we continue to adapt to an ever-changing environment, our first priority remains the same — the health and safety of our team members. We will continue to engage our team members in safety-related programs, focus on hazard identification and other preventative measures, and digitize our HSE platforms and management systems, with the goal of further reducing workplace incidents and enabling our team members to go home safely at the end of their day.

2020 Highlights:

  • 12-month accident-free milestone — in 2020, our Asia Pacific Region sites achieved a 12-month milestone with no recordable incidents for our sites in Qingpu, China, Jurong, Singapore, and Sri City, India
  • Bodmin, UK site celebrates six years with zero recordable incidents
  • Zero safety recordable incidents in 2020 at our manufacturing sites in Sri City, India, Bodmin and St. Austell, UK, Horsens, Denmark, and Kovin, Serbia
  • Bodmin and St. Austell, UK sites honored with the British Safety Council’s International Safety Award
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