Priority No.2 - Commitment No.8




Workplace related risks prevention is an integral part of the company’s social and societal responsibility, from a human, social, economic, and legal standpoint.

Cost time accidents are decreasing in most major industrial groups, although serious and fatal accidents do not decrease at the same rate. In 2013, SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT focused on reducing the occurrence of such accidents among its employees, temporary staff, and sub-contractors. All employees must remain involved on a daily basis, as results remain fragile. The main components of this effort comprise: raising employees’ awareness, developing targeted initiatives focusing on major risks, and incorporating qualitative and quantitative results related to the prevention of workplace risks in managers’ performance assessments.


Working conditions in the Water and Waste activities are very differently exposed to risks. This leads to mixed results which are measured by the frequency rate indicator.

In 2013, Agbar confirmed the considerable improvement initiated in 2012 by reducing its accident frequency rate by almost 50% between 2011 and 2013. However, the average accident frequency rate in the Water sector increased slightly, due to the inclusion of the subsidiary in the Group’s results at midyear. In fact, despite significant progress, Agbar’s accident frequency rate remains higher than the average rate for our Water activities.

In the Waste sector, the accident frequency rate decreased consistently at most of the subsidiaries concerned. Eventually, the severity rate across the Group fell from 0.6 in 2012 to 0.54 in 2013, thanks to strong performances in the Waste sector, which in 2013 enabled the Group to achieve its reduction target of 10% set out in the Sustainable Development Roadmap.

SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT launched a high-profile initiative in the second half of 2013 based on the 10 “Life Saving Rules.” These rules, which were drawn up following an assessment of fatal accidents occurred over the past 10 years and endorsed by the Group’s General Management, are accompanied by a staff committment plan based on the following:

  • Meetings aimed at identifying risks that justify the application of each rule and at applying the appropriate operating methods to the different activities. The employees personally and collectively commit to certain initiatives that will enable compliance with the rules based on real workplace situations.
  • Tools: a video, facilitation materials for commitment meetings, a facilitation guide, and a poster setting out the commitment.
  • Field inspections by managers at every level in order to encourage compliance with the rules.

To make further progress in 2014, the Group has set up the objective to work with its main subcontractors, in order to involve their teams in rolling out these “Rules That Save Lives.”

GRI Indicators
DMA LA — LA7 — LA8
2016 targets
Objectifs de quantitatif
Ramener le taux de fréquence des accidents du travail dans l’activité Eau à 5 en 2016, et à 15 dans l’activité Déchets ; localement, atteindre les meilleurs résultats de nos secteurs d’activité.

Réduire d’au moins 10 % le taux de gravité des accidents du travail.
Progress objective
Renforcer et systématiser les visites de sécurité sur le terrain impliquant les membres des instances de direction des filiales.

Renforcer la prise en compte dans le reporting des accidents concernant les personnels intérimaires.

Améliorer en permanence la qualité de vie au travail.

Réduire le taux d’absentéisme.

Frequency rate(1)
Water business
Frequency rate(1)
Waste business
Severity rate(2)
Water and Waste businesses
(1) – Number of accidents involving time off work x 1,000,000 / number of hours worked.
(2) – Number of days compensated x 1,000 / number of hours worked.

Best practices

Agbar (Spain)
Creating a shared safety culture

The Group’s Spanish subsidiary launched its “Smart Protection Project” in 2012. The aim of this project is to create a shared safety culture, in order to reduce the work injury rate. The improvement of the performance in health and safety at work was achieved through the activation of three drivers:

  • Operational management of the prevention system, including technical and organizational improvements.
  • Improving infrastructure enabling information to be shared and disseminated.
  • Changing mentalities and behaviors through training, involving the managers and communications.

Results: The accident frequency rate decreased by just over 50% between 2012 and the end of 2013.

SITA Waste Services (Hong-Kong)
Employee buy-in to safety rules

Getting employees to buy into safety rules is a key factor for the success of safety policies; therefore, the Group’s Hong Kong subsidiary decided to organize a slogans contest based on this theme in 2013. The winning messages were printed on banners and displayed at all facilities to familiarize the staff with safety requirements. A specific display of the 10 “Life Saving Rules” was also organized, in order to raise awareness among employees, joint contractors, temporary workers, and visitors.

10 life saving rules

GRI Indicators
LA7 — LA8