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Safety & Health

Being a chemical company, safety and health are embedded in all of Smit & Zoon’s processes.

Most of our plants have dedicated Safety, Health & Environmental (SHE) Officers. They ensure the safety and health policies and secure that procedures are clearly understood by all employees.

Smit & Zoon also promotes safety and health towards our agent and dealer network and towards our customers. One of the ways we do this is through our Safe Use of Chemicals Campaign. We regularly organize workshops and hand out Personal Protection Equipment to increase focus on safety. We support leading leather industry organisations to strengthen the safe use of chemicals in their protocols.

Milestones on Health & Safety:

New Leather Application Centers in India & Bangladesh

  • Objective: Being close to our customers to provide tailor-made services in an inspirational environment demonstrating safe use of chemicals.

In Kanpur, India, we launched a new Leather Application Center, while we started the preparations for a new one in Ranipet, India, as well. In Bangladesh, we supported our agent in designing, installing, and inaugurating a modern Leather Service Center acting as an inspirational and showcase center for the Bangladesh leather industry. These application centers are designed to provide fashionable, simple, effective, and sustainable solutions to customers in these leather manufacturing clusters.

Improving Health and Safety on Our Premises

  • Objective: No cases of occupational illnesses, accidents, or injuries within the company

Safety and prevention of occupational illness are of extreme importance. Our SHE officers are supporting all team members in safe working procedures by offering toolbox meetings and training on specific topics. Unfortunately, we had to report that we had one Lost Workday Case (LWD) in our group in
December 2020. In our Castelfranco (IT) site, an operator was hit in the eye by a spill of pigment paste. Standard safety goggles were worn but didn’t give enough protection in this case. There was no lasting health damage. When writing this, investigations were still going on to find measures to prevent the spill and the injury from reoccurring.

Safe Use of Chemicals

  • Objective: Minimal adverse impact of our product on Health and Safety anywhere in the supply chain

We have continued our focus on educating the safe use of chemicals. We have done so by implementing updated safety instructions to our traveling team, by engaging with our agent network with workshops and on-site inspections, and by training students at leather institutes. Another important 3-year initiative where Smit & Zoon was one of the initiators, Promoting Safe Use of Chemicals in Bangladesh, is running in collaboration with TEGEWA, Solidaridad and partly funded by the German Federal Ministry for Cooperation and Development. In this project, 1.500 people in the Bangladesh leather industry will be trained to be able to work safely with chemicals. In 2020, the foundation for this has been laid with the development of practical training manuals for small groups in on-site training. The first of those have been performed.

Improving the awareness of health and safety

In 2021, Smit & Zoon expects to run further auditing pilots at selected agents that will also focus on improving the awareness of safe handling of chemicals.
These auditing pilots must lead to a Partner Audit program in which agents and distributors will be supported in further development in line with Smit
& Zoon’s mission. It is also expected that the Promoting Safe Use of Chemicals Project in Bangladesh will result in many practical training initiatives leading
to a better awareness of safety and reduction in incidents relating to chemicals.

We will address a series of Materiality Matrix topics, including Occupational Health & Safety, Effluents & Waste, Water & Effluents, Training & Education, Materials, Environmental Compliance, Customer Health & Safety, Emissions.

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