HCVAC aim is to be a world leader in managing environment, health and safety (EHS). The business sets high standards and strives to eliminate any foreseeable hazards that may result in EHS loss, including property damage, environmental exposure and personal injury or illness.


Our policy

We are committed to excellence in EHS and believe it is of equal importance to production and quality and that effective management of health & safety is achieved through co-operation and effort at all levels in the organisation. Our guiding principles are contained in the policy statement which has the full commitment of the Board and the Executive Management Team. The general policy statement is also incorporated in our Code of Conduct.

To ensure that all employees are aware of EHS policy and its requirements, safety forms an integral part of the induction process for all new employees and not just those working at HCVAC' facilities. The policy is also posted throughout all HCVAC facilities in prominent locations. A copy of our policy statement is available here. 

HCVAC's safety management is enabled through a well developed global intranet-based EHS Management System, which meets the requirements and expectations of its stakeholders. The Management System is certified as complying with the international standard for Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems, OHSAS 18001.It also takes into account the international nature of the business, our customer facing and product focused activities, and our range of sites and service activities. The controls embedded in the policies and procedures are based on both general and specific risks to employees and third parties who could be affected by HCVAC's activities.

Our organisation

The management system is based on the concept of continuous improvement and includes policy, planning, implementation/operation, measurement and management review. The mandatory standards and procedures which support the general policy are called “Risk Control Elements” (RCE’s).

The first of these RCEs – Strategy and Overview - defines the key elements of the EHS Management System along with the organisation, responsibilities and arrangements which make the general policy effective. There are currently 28 RCE's which cover all the key aspects of EHS.


EHS performance is an important part of managers’ performance appraisals. Through the regional head of safety, each region is required to establish improvement targets based on both lagging and leading indicators. Performance against these targets is reviewed on a regular basis at local, regional and corporate level.

Several key safety measures apply throughout the entire organisation and are reviewed and have been agreed by the EMT.  These apply throughout the entire organisation and re reviewed by the Board on a quarterly basis:

  • Training - 95% completion of all safety training elements
  • Behavioural observation training- 100% completion for all key staff
  • Hazard awareness training - 100% completion for all front line staff
  • Behavioural observations -  minimum of two per month by trained staff
  • Safety observation tour - monthly by members of the EMT
  • Reduction of Lost Work Accident Case Rate (Rate per 200,000 hours) to less than 0.25

As part of the annual planning process, regions or sites measure their progress towards a world class safety operation by means of a comprehensive set of audit questions on a wide range of safety related elements.  The completion of this audit results in a number of improvements for the coming year.


A comprehensive behavioural safety program is an important part of the management system and recognises that there is a behavioural element to most accidents.  The safety culture of our organisation is constantly being improved by daily discussions between supervisors, employees and peers.  Staff are trained to recognise and correct unsafe behaviours and to reinforce safe behaviours through the “Leadsafe” and “Actsafe” programs.

We use a wide range of communication methods to help understanding:

  • Safety committees
  • Safety campaigns
  • Cascade presentations
  •  In Touch magazine
  • ‘Lessons from Losses’
  • Intranet site
  • Internet site
  • Notice boards
  • Posters


A reduction in accidents and ill health leads to significant benefits for everyone such as reduced absenteeism, improved job satisfaction, increased commitment and co-operation and all round job competence.  We also recognise that accidents usually have multiple causes, and although the immediate cause may be a human or technical failure, such events can arise from organisational failings which are management’s responsibility.

To help promote the prevention of accidents/incidents, an electronic reporting system exists to enable employees to report accidents, incidents direct to the Corporate Safety department. The difference between a near miss and an injury,accident is often very small, so all accidents, incidents and near misses are investigated with the data used to establish trends. Any major incidents automatically receive the attention of the Board which monitors actions through to the close.  A summary of what happened and what we learned from the incident/accident (“Lessons from Losses”) is circulated widely.

We also document all the information as part of the EHS management system, including the results of investigations, performance evaluations and audits in relation to changes in the regulatory and legislative environment and to complaints, comments and recommendations received from all interested parties.


A full annual audit of each of the Risk Control Elements is carried out by each region. In addition to ensuring we comply with all applicable national regulations, codes of practice etc, regular reviews take place under the direction of the regional safety managers.