The safety, health and wellbeing of our employees and contractors is a priority for Drax and vital to our continued success. 

Approach and governance for safety, health and wellbeing

Our Group Safety, Health and Wellbeing Policy applies to employees and those working for or on behalf of Drax, and is supported by our OneSafeDrax vision that all colleagues have a role to play in safety for themselves and those they work alongside.

In 2023, we established a Group Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Governance Framework. It defines a systematic, risk-based approach with clear accountabilities, outlining the minimum HSE requirements with which our businesses and operations must comply. The Framework covers occupational health and wellbeing, occupational safety, process safety, and environment. Designated business unit leads are required to put in place HSE implementation statements and processes in line with the Framework. These are determined locally by the nature of the activities, risks, applicable regulatory regimes, and other factors.

Local HSE performance is regularly reviewed by each management team, with Group HSE performance reviewed quarterly by the Group Health, Safety & Environment (GHSE) Committee. The GHSE Committee provides oversight on HSE-related risks. HSE performance is provided to the Executive Committee each month. The CEO reports HSE performance at each meeting to the Board, including progress made on initiatives and areas for further action. Drax Leadership Team sessions (held regularly) normally commence with a “safety standout” item where key safety messages are shared.

Our GHSE Centre of Excellence (C of E) convenes Group and business unit HSE leads, and its Terms of Reference were updated in 2023. The GHSE C of E meets monthly to share knowledge across the business and aims to drive improvements in HSE through use of best practice.

Additional people data can be found in our ESG Performance Report.

Safety Management Systems

We have Safety Management Systems (SMS) in place to promote safe workplaces for our people. Our UK Generation assets have an integrated management system, certified to ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015, and ISO 45001:2018. Our Commercial and Corporate sites in the
UK continue to implement a SMS, with a focus on raising awareness and a continuous improvement in our health and safety culture.

Pellet Production sites are aligned to one HSE management system across the US and Canada.

Findings and recommendations from HSE internal audits, which are conducted by a third party, are reported twice each year to the Audit Committee. Each business unit receives a report for local management’s ownership of the improvement areas, and the overall assessment is reported to the quarterly Group HSE Committee and to the Audit Committee.

Health and safety performance

We review our HSE performance regularly, including our Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR). We have a process to investigate injury events, with particular focus on those with a potential to become more severe, to ensure we establish root causes and learn lessons, before sharing findings across the organisation, where relevant.

Our TRIR in 2023 was 0.38 per 100,000 hours worked, against a target of 0.33 (2022: 0.44 per 100,000 hours worked, against a target of 0.20).

TRIR - total (1)(2)0.330.44*0.220.29
TRIR - employees-0.460.27-
TRIR - contractors-0.390.11-

(1) TRIR is the total fatalities, lost time injuries and medical treatment injuries per 100,000 hours worked. Total includes both employees and contractors. There were no fatalities in any of the years stated above.

(2) This metric was subject to external independent limited assurance by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (‘PwC’) as part of their assurance over metrics in the ESG Performance Report 2023. For the results of that assurance, refer to page 10 in the ESG Performance Report 2023 ( report-2023) and for the Reporting Criteria refer to page(s) 12 to 46 in the ESG Databook (

* 2023 data subject to final assurance

Additional health and safety data is available in our ESG Performance Report

ESG Performance Report 2023

Process safety

Process safety is the application of engineering and management principles, guidelines, and tools to the identification, assessment, and control of the risks associated with the release of hazardous materials during the design, operation, and maintenance of our industrial processes. The goal of our process safety is to prevent or mitigate the consequences of accidental releases of hazardous materials, which can include chemical spills, explosions, and fires.

Our Group-wide Process Safety Policy focuses on how we identify and manage process risk to protect our people, assets, the environment, and the communities in which we operate. It reflects our commitment to reducing the potential for a major accident, through the application of improved plant and process controls, and the training and awareness of our people.

During 2022, we embedded process safety across the Generation business and continued the journey of integration across our Pellet Production business. Our process safety principles are in line with industry good practice and focus on controls of plant, process and people. A new process safety dashboard was delivered in 2022, giving management and operations teams visibility of process safety compliance against targets. As part of continuous improvement, we will update and adapt this during 2023 to reflect best practice. We aim to improve and consolidate our process safety measures by adopting a multifaceted approach to the scoring that highlights and prioritises improvement areas.

Process safety performance is reported monthly to the Executive Committee. We expect that all process safety incidents with high potential are routinely investigated to establish root causes and enable corrective actions. The actions focus on preventing reoccurrence and we share the lessons learned across the Group.


Our approach considers the holistic wellbeing of our colleagues, with a focus on four pillars of wellbeing: physical, mental, social, and financial. In 2023, we undertook a review of our wellbeing strategy, to enable alignment with the culture, new values, and colleague experience. Priority recommendations have been included as part of 2024 planning.

We recognise that supporting colleagues with their mental wellbeing was identified through the MyVoice Survey, as an area for action. In 2023, a working group was established at Drax Power Station, to help build awareness, support, and action relating to mental health for all colleagues including both Drax employees and contractors. This was in recognition of Mental Health UK data, which shows that men are predominantly less likely to seek help for mental health challenges.

The aims of the working group include breaking down any stigma relating to discussing mental health and working closely with contractor partners to ensure appropriate education and support is available for all workers on site. This support is provided by two local mental health organisations. The approach includes referring to mental health as “mind safety” and using colloquial terms
to name onsite wellbeing hubs, to resonate with colleagues and help normalise conversations about mental health.

We plan to do more on this important area in 2024.