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As a global leader in chemical and ingredient distribution, our business requires safety to be central to all aspects of our operations. To that end, we have developed industry-leading processes and procedures designed to ensure the safe storage, blending and packaging of products to protect our employees, customers, suppliers and the environment, while helping to keep the communities in which we operate safe and healthy.
Learn more about how Univar Solutions prioritizes the well-being and safety of our valued community.
Vice President ESHQ
“Safety is paramount in everything we do at Univar Solutions, and we know goes hand-in-hand with our ability to deliver on our mission: keeping our global communities healthy, clean, fed, and safe. We are committed to keeping our employees, vendors and customers safe at work through our robust, safety-focused culture and practices.”
Where we take action
Being Serious About Safety is a core value for Univar Solutions. We take a holistic approach to incorporating safety into our day-to-day operations.
First, we are an organization that respects and follows the applicable safety laws and regulations of the jurisdictions in which we operate. We aspire to go beyond minimum legal requirements as we improve and sharpen our compliance efforts.
Second, we work towards adhering to the highest industry standards and work with industry associations to develop new standards intended to benefit every stakeholder in the chemical and ingredient distribution supply chain.
Third, we motivate continual improvement from our people through safety initiatives, including safety training. Trainings are delivered to all our teams on the topics most relevant to their roles through a combination of in-person training, online materials and safety-focused events across the business. Examples of specialty trainings include tank truck and rail car loading/unloading, hazard recognition, spill response, etc.
Infrastructure and Investment
- Targeted capital investment in our facilities and fleet to continually improve safe working conditions
- Maintenance investments to ensure safe and uninterrupted operations
Processes and Procedures
- Industry-leading procedures for the safe storage, blending, packaging and transportation of products
- Incident reporting, investigation and root cause analysis to prevent reoccurrence
- Serious About Safety as a core value
- Stop Work Authority empowerment for all employees, encouraging them to spot and correct unsafe conditions
2021 Performance Highlights
- Reduced our safety incident rate to 0.40 from our 2019/20 baseline of 0.47
- Maintained uninterrupted operations throughout the various waves of the COVID-19 pandemic
- Supplied customers with a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for products that pose environmental or health and safety hazards
- Implemented a new field-based approach in our North America ESHQ organization to enhance support to our operations teams for safe and quick execution of new initiatives
- Rolled out a behavior-based observation program across our US organizations to spotlight at-risk behaviors specific to the chemical distribution industry and provide employees with feedback and coaching
- Extended our fleet safety management practice to third-party carrier contractors and successfully deployed in-cab camera systems and other digital tools to enhance over-the-road safety performance
Leading with safety at every operational level
Our prioritization of safety in all that we do and our commitment to put safety before profit start at the highest levels of our organization. Our safety philosophy is fully endorsed by our CEO and Executive Committee, as well as our Board. The Executive Committee reviews safety and environmental performance monthly, including injuries, incidents and ongoing improvement activities, while the Governance & Corporate Responsibility Committee reviews performance against TCIR quarterly, among other safety measures.
At the heart of our health and safety culture is our globally-binding Environmental, Health & Safety (EHS) Policy, designed to ensure we provide safe working conditions, protect the environment, and challenge ourselves to persistently improve in all aspects of EHS. Our strong safety culture is bolstered through active participation in programs such as Responsible Distribution, guidance from ISO standards, and engagement with regulators as they develop regulations. In addition, we regularly conduct internal audits and external third-party verifications.
Univar Solutions continues to stay committed to responsible distribution through our partnerships with the National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) and Responsible Distribution Canada (RDC). In 2021, our leaders served on NACD and RDC national committees and provided feedback to enhance safe and responsible chemical handling and distribution. We remain certified through the Responsible Distribution Code Compliance program and successfully completed numerous site verifications as well.
Championing product stewardship and advancing safety measures
In line with legal requirements and our principles, we supply all customers with a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for products that pose environmental or health and safety hazards. These documents identify specific hazards, handling guidance and disposal information. Beyond this, our teams of technical experts assist customers with learning how to use hazardous materials safely. Our technical services professionals work side by side with customers and suppliers to help solve product-related issues, including product quality troubleshooting and guidance, formulation guidance and technique and formulation performance enhancements.
REACH, the European Union's regulation for the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals, is a key piece of legislation that we continue to implement across our business, as it affects many of our customers and suppliers. We have been involved in the REACH process for several years, including working with the European Association of Chemical Distributors (FECC) and other European trade bodies to develop more practical and effective legislation. Through our proactive involvement in this regulation, we are uniquely placed to help monitor, advise and manage REACH compliance for our customers.
In EMEA and beyond, we continuously work with our suppliers to jointly deliver REACH-compliant products. We collaborate with our supply chain so that the products we distribute will be carried through initial REACH registration as well as the subsequent authorization processes.