Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our people. We prioritize workplace health & safety with a company-wide initiative that continues to create safe and productive work environments. There is no initiative that attracts a higher degree of focus for our management team than our Road to Zero program.
The Road to Zero is our journey to zero workplace incidents and reflects a fundamental Mercer attitude. The Du Pont workplace safety training program is our CEO-lead framework of evolving initiatives, tools, policies, and actions that give our team members the skills and support they need to eliminate workplace incidents. And we mean eliminate. We have studied the root causes of our incidents and are confident that there are no incidents that cannot be prevented. Safety is a core value of our company and is the reason why we have no hesitation in keeping this objective at the forefront of our daily activities.
Our Road to Zero strategy is an ambitious program requiring commitment, hard work, and cooperation between many people; encouraging leadership and team member participation with the opportunity to share and address their workplace safety concerns collectively. From ongoing safety analysis, identifying and remedying risks and hazards, to the examination of equipment, environmental conditions, and team member behaviours, we identify, monitor, educate, and take a data-driven approach to drive workplace safety improvements.
While we achieved a record-low level of recordable incidents in 2019, we have a long way to go. Our rate of incidents for all of our team members, including all of our wood, sawmill, and pulp mill operations, was 2.8 incidents per 200,000 hours worked; a metric that is generally referred to as the Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) in our industry. This record is not world-class nor is it zero, but it is improving.
Our CEO, David Gandossi, leads by example. He is the Chair of our Senior Safety Leadership Committee (SSLC) which designs and implements broad policies, strategies, expenditures, and training for our 2,300 team members. Our Leadership Committee has engaged DuPont Solutions, the global leader in the design and implementation of health and safety management systems. Our DuPont advisors have been supporting the initiatives established by our Leadership Committee and providing leadership training, policy implementation, and practical tools to support our team members.
While we have implemented many formal strategies to support our health and safety performance, perhaps none has been more successful than open and transparent dialogue.
At Mercer, we believe a safe workplace is a workplace that engages in safety conversations and we talk about safety a lot. We talk about safety with all team members at our daily “tool-box talks.” We talk about safety during our regular safety tours with our management teams. We talk about safety in our daily safety messages and newsletters. We talk about safety before commencing any meeting at our company and we talk about safety whenever we review our hundreds of suggestions or “near misses” from our operations or the operations of others.
We have seasoned health and safety leaders that report directly to our CEO and a group of dedicated safety captains that support our operating supervisors and team members daily.
Careers at Mercer
At Mercer, we have developed tools to analyze potential and incurred incidents and we have resources to develop prevention initiatives. We are particularly focused on modelling responses that eliminate the risk, where possible, by using the “hierarchy of controls” adopted by many of the world’s leading health and safety organizations. We emphasize the elimination of hazards as a priority, followed by safe administrative practices and the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
We believe all injuries are preventable and that individual behaviours are the key. Many of our programs revolve around education, hazard identification, and risk mitigation strategies. These proactive initiatives bring safety to the forefront of our work practices.
Prevention is the best step towards a safe workplace and our teams of safety professionals are dedicated to finding and utilizing the right tools to prevent all workplace injuries.