Safety, health and environmental (SHE) systems

Safety, health and environmental (SHE) concerns are a top priority for Tiger Brands. We have an all-inclusive health and safety programme with clear commitments and targets, supported by behavioural safety initiatives that drive leadership accountability and responsibility, as well as effective internal and external auditing.

Building a culture that has a positive influence on the health and wellbeing of our people is ongoing, requiring constant implementation of programmes to ensure early detection, and manage and report on the occupational-health illnesses and issues that can result in incapacities. To enable a safety culture transformation requires operational effectiveness, and towards this, we are committed to creating synergy between our safety standards and operational discipline. In order to deliver against our target of zero injuries, behavioural safety and exposure reduction are being addressed through employee engagement, capacity building and addressing any office and production ergonomic working conditions.

For an introduction to our environmental strategy and management systems, please see Environmental stewardship.

Occupational health and safety

This year, Tiger Brands had to deal with the health risk exposure of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) which was confirmed as the causative virus of Covid-19. As the pandemic spread, the government took unprecedented measures to limit the spread of the virus, ramping up health systems and restricting the movement of people in the country. As a result, we experienced the impact of extraordinary disruption to people and society in South Africa, affecting our business, people and stakeholders. Despite the challenges faced, we continued our efforts to deliver health and safety interventions and initiatives to safeguard our employees, communities and manage our societal impact.

This year we focused on the following areas:

Employee wellness

Tiger Brands' employee wellbeing support programme offers 24-hour telephonic counselling, and face-to-face professional counselling from psychologists, social workers, dieticians, bio-kineticists, and financial and legal advisers. Our onsite clinic services include occupational health support and limited primary healthcare, which is free to all permanent and temporary employees onsite. This year, our focus was to continue building our capabilities for reporting work-related illnesses, by strengthening our tracking mechanisms and occupational-health ways of working. Musculoskeletal diseases accounted for the most recorded illnesses this year, followed by mental ill-health and digestive system disorders. We believe that improving the ergonomics of our workplaces and continuing to invest in our employee wellbeing programme are key to addressing these.


Employee safety

Despite our best efforts, we are saddened to report that in this fiscal year, two employees and one contractor lost their lives while working for Tiger Brands. In line with our processes and procedures, operations carry out a detailed investigation for every fatality, involving a multi-disciplinary team and senior management. The results are reviewed at group level to ensure that the whole company learns from the incident.

Tiger Brands remains committed to achieving our goal of zero workplace injuries, process safety incidents and illnesses, despite the size of our company and the scope of our operations. Our effort to reduce injury to our employees and contractors is continuous. Every incident that occurs, triggers a root-cause analysis process, which informs the implementation of appropriate preventive measures and is used to improve our operational safety culture. We continue to apply disciplinary action where appropriate and where incidents have occurred due to employees not adhering to the defined safe work practices.

This year, multiple behavioural safety initiatives were delivered at our operations, which resulted in an improvement of our recordable injury rate. As at the end of September 2020, our lost-time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) improved to 0,34 from 0,38 in 2019.

The LTIFR performance against set targets, for end of September 2020 is presented in the table below:

  FY16 FY17 FY18 FY19 FY20
Tiger Brands group 0,36 0,30 0,27 0,38 0,34

Lost-time injury (LTI) performance

The table below presents the lost-time injuries for the FY19 period.

  FY16 FY17 FY18 FY19 FY20
Tiger Brands group 162 123 107 139 129

In this reporting period, it is evident from the incidents reported, that we need to work harder in terms of establishing the behaviours that relate to operational discipline and adherence to the group's safe working practices. Ongoing capacity-building and safety initiatives are being delivered towards improving the operational safety culture, and also as a way of inspiring our employees to take personal responsibility for their health and safety. This year, our risk community underwent extensive virtual training relating to Covid-19 and managing high-risk employees during the crisis. We continued our focus on safe behaviours associated with culture transformation through the successful roll out of the behaviour-based safety programme. Additional work is being undertaken to get employees to know their risks, make informed decisions and to work in a safe way. Forthcoming, our leaders will be driving behavioural safety observations, as a way to review adherence to procedures and ensure the institutionalisation of lessons learnt across our operations.

Employee security

We continue to implement programmes that ensure the reduction of security costs at Tiger Brands, and this focus has yielded a reduction in the number of security incidents. It is critical that we make a continuous effort to understand current and emerging security trends, so as to ensure we have the necessary mitigation measures in place to guard against our security threats. Accordingly, consistent work is undertaken at all our facilities to continuously improve our security controls and security management. Guiding our actions are site-level security risk-assessments that employ a security management system methodology to review security and ensure the presence of appropriate physical security measures and access controls.

Environmental legislative developments

The extended producer responsibility (EPR) is one area all organisations are eager about and a lot of work has already been undertaken to address the proposed regulations before they are legislated. We continue with the external mandatory reporting to the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF). We also participate in industry forums to submit any other requests from the authorities as they craft their policies.

Environmental incidents

The need to monitor and respond to community concerns, specifically on our environmental performance, continues to be an important factor for Tiger Brands. Over the last few years, we have improved our environmental governance and legislative adherence, through key industry partnerships. This has enabled us to define innovative environmental solutions that address key concerns relating to our processes, manufacturing facilities, products and by-products. This year, we have invested further in capital projects to minimise our environmental footprint, and conducted root-cause analysis on environmental infringements, to ensure that corrective and preventive measures are put in place. We have also increased the frequency of our site-reviews and internal reporting, and this has further ensured that deviations are dealt with timeously. For more information on our environmental initiatives, see Environmental stewardship).