2018: Another year of EHS improvements

In 2018 we reached the second best total recordable injury rate (H1+H2) in Elkem’s history with 2.2 injuries per million working hours, down from 3.1 in 2017. Our best result was in 2015 with 1.8.

Total recordable injury rate 2016  2017  2018 
Own employees 5,3 3,1 2,2
Contractors 18 8 5,3

Elkem had no fatalities in 2018, employees or contractors. 

Part of this positive development is due to our growth with a high increase in the number of working hours, but we also see a very good improvement in the number of recordable injuries for own employees.

Contractor safety

Sadly, the total recordable injury rate for contractors increased from 13 injuries (2017) to 20 injuries. This again shows that we can never loose focus on our zero-harm philosophy and goal.

Injury severity

In Elkem, injury severity is tracked as low, medium and high severity. Low severity injuries give no permanent damage and have a short recovery time, medium severity injuries may have a longer recovery period, but no substantial permanent damage, while high severity injuries give substantial permanent damage or worst case, causes death.

Although Elkem's total recordable injury rate numbers were record low in 2018, Elkem did have an increase in severity. In 2017 we had three injuries with high severity, while the number increased to eight in 2018. 83.4% of all recordable injuries (both own employees and contractors) were registered as low and medium severity in 2018. This is down from 95.3% in 2017, because of the increase in severe injuries.

Elkem had no fatalities in 2018.

Absentee rate

Absenteeism is the key performance indicator for health in Elkem. The average rate of absenteeism measured in percent of available working days for 2018 was 2.5%, down from 3.5% in 2017. The absentee rate has been on a downwards trend since 2011, and this year’s number is the best in nine years. This is partially an effect of growth in  areas where the threshold for taking sick leave is higher than in Europe, but also indicates a strong work environment in the organisation. 

Female share

The process industry is generally male-dominated. Women are, however, increasingly expressing an interest in working in our industry as increased automation leads to less heavy manual work and a high focus on environment, health and safety gives a better working environment and more sustainable operations.

Elkem values gender diversity and aims to achieve a better gender balance year on  year. The percentage of female employees in Elkem has remained stable and low at 22% the last years. We experienced an increase in female share of the company to 25% in 2018, due to the integration of the Chinese plants of Elkem Xinghuo Silicones and Elkem Yongdeng Silicon Materials. Asia is the region with the highest number of female employees, with 29%.