Page 5: Safety, health and the environment (SHE) policy
The Group’s SHE policy emphasises that, for The BOC Group, safety, health and environmental management is the highest priority. It is also an area in which the Group looks for on-going improvement. SHE affects corporate strategy at the highest level and also everyday operations. BOC managers are required to achieve on-going improvement by:
- maintaining sound operating practices, including a planned approach to risk
management and to the measurement of health, safety and environmental performance
- promoting the sustainable development of their businesses
- ensuring high standards of training, information and supervision by providing support and encouragement at all levels.
For The BOC Group, its SHE policy is a declaration that it takes its wider responsibilities seriously. The policy has created a system of continuous improvement that constantly updates and develops employees' - actions, responsibilities and behaviour.
These elements are broken down and expressed in more detail in BOC’s Integrated Management Systems and Standards (IMSS). It defines BOC's worldwide management responsibilities and the organisational arrangements for safety, health and environmental management. IMSS refers to highly specified technical information in relation to, for example, flue gas or the disposal of catalysts. In each case, the system provides detailed information on how to deal with a range of associated hazards. Providing highly specified information about a range of hazards within the working environment is a key element in improving health and safety. When understood, taken seriously and acted upon, it can save lives, as John Porter can testify.
BOC employee John Porter had been making regular deliveries of liquid nitrogen to the Scottish Blood Transfusion Service. On one visit, the gauges showed ‘empty’, but as he filled the tanks he was told that a delivery had taken place the previous day. The gauge was in fact faulty and excess nitrogen had escaped through a relief valve causing an asphyxiation hazard. When he went to check the tank and to switch off the valves, he was overcome and passed out. The proximity of other employees who had been trained both in the use of breathing apparatus and the correct emergency procedures saved his life.