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Developing Momentum in Safety

Published: 2020


With operations in Germany, Canada, and Australia, Mercer’s more than 2,300 employees manufacture pulp and timber products, biomass-based green energy and softwood lumber. In addition to the typical work safety issues, the industry has to manage its own particular set of risks. Logging, huge weights, sawmill machinery and mechanical equipment make crushing and laceration injuries very real threats. Chemicals, confined spaces and work at height present further hazards. For years, Mercer put a lot of effort into work safety but could not achieve the results it wanted.


Therefore, Mercer partnered with DSS to help three of its sites in Germany and Canada break through the stubborn safety performance ceiling. DSS was tasked with helping Mercer improve accident and incident rates, while enabling them to build a relationship of trust and a positive safety culture.


Learning how to demonstrate greater visible management commitment to safety was a game changer for Mercer. DSS provided training for all managers and supervisors to learn how to do this and helped Mercer to establish a governance team, develop safety standards, set KPIs and create local health & safety committees. DSS also focused on employee engagement through employee involvement in the development of safety standards, empowerment of the safety committee, and a regular cadence of safety visits and safety talks.