If we define sustainability as the ability to run a business in a sound and responsible fashion over a longer period of time, we must look at the health and safety of our employees, our contractors, our customers, bystanders and residents. It is the first topic on the Group Management Board’s agenda every time they meet. All health and safety incidents are discussed and investigated thoroughly in order to find the root causes, take appropriate corrective actions and prevent them from happening again. Lessons learnt are swiftly communicated throughout the organisation.
Still, we must do better. We must provide our people and our partners with safe, secure, healthy and environmentally-friendly working environments. Therefore, the number of work-related incidents and unsafe acts and conditions need to be reduced immediately. There have been a number of incidents in recent times, involving transport operations and customers using LPG in their homes; this is unacceptable. Whilst we acknowledge that things can go wrong in our industry, we are also aware of the need to continue to work hard in order to mitigate these risks and prevent possibilities from becoming a reality.
To help reduce the health and safety risks, we regularly update our procedures and manuals and have implemented an improved whistle-blower policy. We are raising awareness through training sessions to achieve our ambition of zero incidents. SHV Energy needs a culture in which people are not hiding mistakes but communicate them straight after they are made. At the same time, improving knowledge and skills lowers the probability of mistakes being made in the first place. In 2018, 330 employees with key safety responsibilities attended a two-week training course with a strict exam to receive the NEBOSH International Safety Certificate. This represents a significant investment by both the individuals and the company.
Our new minimum standards for transport safety do improve safety performance, but our ambition to develop a world-class transport operation has not yet been met. Our Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) has increased slightly in 2018 due to a number of acquisitions joining SHV Energy where the expected levels of safety performance are not yet as expected. To address this, the quality of incident investigations has improved, resulting in thorough root cause analysis, which should bring down the likelihood of repeat incidents.