Health and safety

Factory worker wearing face mask
Elkem has a zero harm philosophy when it comes to health and safety. We believe that it is possible to run our operations without injuries or work-related illnesses, and that we will implement all necessary measures to ensure the health and safety of the people who work for us.

In addition to being important from an ethical point of view, Elkem believes that time and resources spent on health and safety work also form the basis for a more efficient production with less waste.

Challenges in our working environment

Elkem’s production involves potentially harmful situations: People interact with large quantities of raw materials, chemicals, powerful machinery and very high temperatures. Elkem's focus is on understanding the risks involved in our production, and put substantial resources into controlling them so we avoid injuries and occupational illnesses. In everyday operations and in performance reviews injury prevention is emphasized to the same extent as production, quality, sales, delivery times, efficiency and cost control.

EHS management system

“FOKUS” is Elkem’s program for environment, health and safety in the workplace. "FOKUS" is closely connected to the Elkem Business System (EBS) and emphasizes many of the same principles and tools.

FOKUS builds on 5 basic principles: 

1. Improvement has no limits. Continuous improvement is our way of working, always looking for a safer and more efficient way to do what we do.

2. All incidents and injuries can be prevented. Our zero harm philosophy implies that safety has first priority and is just as important as production, quality, sales, delivery times, efficiency and cost control.  

3. All incidents and injuries have causes. By reporting and investigating we are able to understand what happened, find the causes and remove them to prevent reoccurrence. Incident management (reporting, investigating and mitigating all types of incidents) is crucial for our EHS work. Employees are expected to report all undesired incidents including deviations, non-conformance, near misses and injuries/illnesses, and implement necessary measures to ensure that they do no happen again. Serious incidents and injuries are weekly reported to the corporate management team and shared throughout the whole organisation for leaning.

4. Effective preventative work requires hazard identification, risk analysis and the implementation of actions to reduce unacceptable risk to an acceptable level.  Understanding dangers and hazards involved in our processes, equipment and working operations is the first step toward preventing harm.  

5. Success depends on all employees being actively involved in EHS work and sharing the responsibly for a safe working environment.