Through the start of the pandemic and in 2021, our number one priority has been the health and safety of our team members and providing a work environment that reduces the risks of COVID-19 transmission. Our Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Team and other Pandemic Management Teams continued to play a pivotal role in protecting our team members, meeting on a weekly basis to ensure close management of all sites globally. Because of this oversight and the strict safety protocols in place, West was able to maintain continued operations at all our global manufacturing sites.
We believe that caring for our team members’ health not only involves their physical health but focuses on their mental wellbeing as well. To that end, we globalized our Employee Assistance Program, held a West Wellness Week that coincided with World Mental Health Day in October, and launched a Living Well @ West campaign, all to ensure our team members and their families have access to mental health educational resources, and a wide variety of free and confidential mental health services. We also held numerous seminars and provided access to trainings about mental wellbeing, dealing with stress and similar topics.
Throughout the year, we continued in our planned initiatives around a proactive focus on safety, hazard identification and leading indicators, highlighted by our ongoing See Something. Do Something. Say Something. campaign, established during our annual Safety Week held in September. This proactive focus and team member engagement resulted in an improved year-over-year Recordable Incident Rate (RIR), with the final two months of 2021 representing the lowest RIR in our history of tracking this safety metric.
To help drive individual accountability, in 2021 we continued to hold our annual global Safety Week, which saw high engagement and participation at our sites. Although safety is a focus all year long, this dedicated week gave the opportunity to target the key safety-related topic of Hazard Identification and Action, as well as Emergency Preparedness and Safety at Home.
Several additional 2021 highlights and focus areas included:
- Developed a new HSE Dashboard — a global standard visual indication of progress on all HSE initiatives and metrics visibly available within our manufacturing sites.
- Developed a Lean Daily Management System (LDMS) with safety as a topic of daily meetings for team members at all levels at our manufacturing sites.
- Executed the rollout of a West Alert System — a platform used to alert team members, on company provided or personal devices, of emergency situations or site closures.
- Launched our quarterly Safety Impact Award, to recognize an individual or team who has made a measurable impact on a safety process or procedure or a significant risk mitigation.
As we continue to adapt to this ever-changing environment, our first priority remains the same and will not change — 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.