Health and Safety
103-2 | 103-3: Occupational healthy and safety
Athena Foods made progress in the management of the occupational health and safety standards in 2019, which resulted in a 15% reduction, on average, in the frequency of accidents resulting in lost time taking into account the countries where it operates. The severity index mobilized all teams to identify and address the causes, making the safety standards even more rigid. Measures included leadership training, adopting engineering methods in industrial facilities, and other reinforcements that demonstrate concern for the lives and integrity of the employees. Among the highlights of the progress in management, Colombia recorded a decline of 21% in lost time and 45% in severity levels, while Uruguay showed a reduction of 9% and 10%, respectively.
Athena Foods has a dedicated Health and Safety team responsible for developing safety policies, programs and procedures, as well as planning and directing investments to address critical risks. Within the programs of safe behavior, Daily Safety Dialogues (DDS) are held on a daily basis with supervisors engaging in conversation with their sectors. The Company strives to prevent its employees from being exposed to situations that may cause injuries or health problems. In the event a risk is identified, the employee has the right to refuse to work under the unsafe conditions.
Athena Foods has adopted its own standards for accident and incident investigations. At the completion of investigations, a form is completed and signed which illustrates the methods of analysis applied to nullify the root and secondary causes. All accident data is reported by conference each week and monthly in committees with the participation of the Board. The information also includes statistical reports that are added to the monthly dashboard, which is sent to the corporate team, which manages all occurrences, fees and other relevant information. 403-2
In addition, in 2019, the Golden Rules – a set of essential safety principles to ensure the physical integrity and well-being of employees – were applied in the industries of Minerva Foods in Brazil and are now being applied in Athena, starting with the units in Argentina.
For six months, work was carried out to prepare, communicate and orient all employees about the project, in order to begin adhering to the rules by the beginning of 2020. In Uruguay, one of the units started the implementation process in 2019 and in Colombia and Paraguay, as well as in the other units of Uruguay, the preliminary work will be carried out in 2020.
Also in 2020, Athena Foods plans to invest in synergy with the occupational health and safety management model of Minerva Foods, whose 2019 results were the best in the history of the parent company. The idea is to invest in training the leaders in safety – which is already underway in Uruguay and will be extended to other operations in 2020 – to help bring about a change in the mindset regarding the issue, by creating a corporate culture in which the issue is treated as non-negotiable by all employees.
In order to specifically assess the training needs in occupational health and safety, those responsible in each unit will assess the needs of the employees in different areas. The training is applied according to three modalities: normative and legal, to comply with specific legislation; personal/professional development, such as leadership training in safety and behavioral observations; and those that occur through other channels such as Safety Dialogues and Coach. 403-5