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‘Zero Harm, Zero Excuses’ – Part Two

World Cement,

Read part one here.

Systems for sustainable safety

Safety standards and procedures

High-risk activities were identified. Cross-functional teams involving all the units worked on developing safety standards, procedures and guidelines. To date, 35 safety standards, 15 safety procedures and 11 guidelines have been developed by these teams. They have been implemented in all the plants.

An audit process was set up to check implementation levels of these standards. One of the key standards is Incident Reporting and Investigation. This was established in the beginning and the intent was to capture all the incidents, make sure they are investigated thoroughly and take actions in order to prevent recurrence. Even the near miss reporting has been improving, thus indicating that safety culture has started to set in.

Communication is key to safety and UltraTech has established various means to facilitate it, downward as well as upward. Daily communications of incidents are reported across the sites, including by safety board members every morning through an online automated system. 

Over the years, the company has revalidated its SHE policy and guideline, re-established the safety systems and standards, and reinforced its focus on industry procedures and benchmarks. The SHE policy ensures that employees have a safe working environment. It also mandates the company to not only identify, assess and manage safety issues, but also to monitor, review and report the actions taken.

Each unit is aligned and committed to the safety goals of the organisation and works towards providing opportunities for people to participate and be accountable in implementing the safety programme. All sites are covered under a contractor safety management system and effective review mechanisms are in place to monitor its implementation.

Safety microsite

UltraTech launched its Intranet site ‘ULink’ in October 2013 with the aim of making it a single source of information for all employees. The Safety microsite on ULink is a vast library of information including resources, periodic publications and business newsletters, among others.

A bank of safety documents, standards, procedures, guidelines, training material, and safety indicators, is available for ready employee reference. The site also ensures active involvement from employees in various contributory sections, including Good Practices, Safety Learnings, Latest@Safety and Safety Theme, to ensure availability of fresh and relevant content to all members of the organisation.

Establishing safety as a core belief

With this continued focus on safety, UltraTech articulated ‘Safety’ as a fundamental core belief of the organisation with the theme: ‘Life is precious; We care for it’.

This Safety Belief is based on four pillars that strengthen the safety culture at UltraTech Cement:

  • Safety is integral to the way we do business.
  • Safety is non-negotiable.
  • Safety is my responsibility.
  • A safe today is a sustainable tomorrow.

UltraTech’s Safety Belief has defined safety standards on how to demonstrate and propagate safety when dealing with stakeholders including customers, partners, employees, investors, government bodies and communities. Collaboration

UltraTech is a member of the Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI) and adheres to its good practice guidelines on various topics, such as contractor safety management, driver safety, and measuring and reporting on health and safety.


The effort put in to the Safety Excellence Journey has positively impacted the overall business process in the following ways:

  • Line ownership on safety.
  • Transparency in incident reporting and improvement in ‘near-miss’ reporting.
  • Formulation and implementation of process-related safety standards.
  • Efficient capability building in line function and contracting partners.
  • Skill development among front level employees.
  • Active participation of employees in safety sharing.

The coming years will see an increased focus on the use of IT systems and applications for collecting and analysing data and to implement various activities through digital media and the intranet system. All these activities are in line to reach UltraTech’s goal of ‘Zero harm, Zero excuses’.

This is an abridged excerpt from the article ‘Zero Harm, Zero Excuses’ by Uday Deshpande, which was published in the June issue of World Cement. To read the full article, subscribers can download the issue by logging in here.

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