Health, Safety and Wellbeing - Drax

Health, Safety and Wellbeing

The health, safety and wellbeing of our employees and contractors is vital to the success of Drax and remains our priority.

One Safe Drax

In 2019, we established our vision for health and safety with One Safe Drax: everyone, every day, safe and well. The building blocks to this are Safe People, Safe Systems & Process, and Safety Assurance.

  • Safe People Suitably trained, qualified and experienced people who know what’s expected of them and choose to do the right thing.
  • Safe Systems and Process Fit for purpose plant, operations and maintenance activities. Robust management systems.
  • Safety Assurance The checks and balances put in place to ensure things are working as intended and to provide continual improvement.

Health and Safety Performance

In 2019, our Group TRIR was 0.22 per 100,000 hours worked. Our LTIR was 0.08 per 100,000 hours worked, which represents an improvement compared with 2018.

 2019 actual20182017
Drax Group Health and Safety
LTIR (1)
TRIR (2)0.22*0.220.27
(1) LTIR is the total fatalities and lost time injuries per 100,000 hours worked
(2) TRIR is the total fatalities, lost time injuries and medical treatment injuries per 100,000 hours worked
* Limited external assurance using the assurance standard ISAE 3000 for 2019 data as indicated. For assurance statement and basis of reporting see

We have Safety Management Systems (SMS) in place to ensure safe workplaces for all our people. At Drax Power Station, the SMS is certified to OHSAS 18001 and subject to regular audits. Our hydro and gas generation assets have an integrated management system covering Safety, Environment & Quality and the safety component will transition to ISO 45001 in 2020. Our Pellet Production sites in the US meet the requirements of OSHA 1910 and the SMS is aligned with, but not certified to, OHSAS 18001. At our Customers and Core Services sites in the UK, we began implementing a Health and Safety Management System in 2019, to create a health and safety culture which prevents accidents and promotes both physical and mental wellbeing.

Safety performance is reported and reviewed regularly by each local management team. Incidents and findings are shared across Drax via safety bulletins, enabling preventative action to be taken to mitigate the risk of future occurrences. Each business unit reports monthly on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), including Total Recordable Incident rate (TRIR), Lost Time Incident Rate (LTIR). Business units also report Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDORs) to regulators in the UK. The Board receives monthly reports.

In 2019, we established the Safety, Health, Environment and Wellbeing Leadership Executive Committee (SHEWLEC). The Committee is chaired by the CEO Generation and meets quarterly to receive reports regarding significant safety, health, environmental and wellbeing aspects that are prominent within the business. The Committee also establishes standards for relevant health, safety, environmental and wellbeing issues. It oversees the implementation of relevant policies and principles across the business, reflecting Group philosophy, best practice and regulatory and statutory requirements. It also oversees governance arrangements across the business. Key risks and mitigation associated with health, safety, environment and welfare are routinely reported to the SHEWLEC. The Committee also receives a summary of results of internal and external audits where the scope falls within the remit of the Committee. In addition, the Committee receives and considers potential implications for the Group of information regarding any significant changes in regulation or legislation and oversees how business units amend their arrangements accordingly.

Key issues raised in 2019 include: management of dust at relevant locations, tracking of findings from third-party audits, development and implementation of a Group-wide Wellbeing policy and framework and standardisation of a set of group-wide minimum standards for safety Golden Rules.

In 2019, Drax introduced Intelex as our Group reporting tool for Safety, Health, Environment and Production incidents. The system went live at our Pellet Production sites in July and at Drax Power Station, our Customer sites and our Head Office in November. We are considering plans to align all Drax sites to a common integrated incident management system.

Process safety is a key focus for the operational business units. Drax implemented lessons learned from the fire at Drax Power Station pellet handling system in 2017 to make the plant more robust to potential ignition events by installing additional fire detection and suppression equipment. Work on the installation will complete in 2020. Incoming fuel quality and metallic contamination in fuel are key performance measures, since these factors can influence levels of dust, potential for fuel line blockages or ignition events. In 2019, there was greater collaboration with the supply chain and our UK port operators. Drax held a conference in April to share best practice.

Following a major safety incident in December 2018 at our Pellet Production site LaSalle in the US, we identified 42 action items. In 2019, we implemented and closed these corrective action items and focused on supervisor training and improving safety culture.

In 2019, multiple assurance audits were completed across the Group. Drax Power Station was externally audited to OHSAS 18001 with no major findings and the Health and Safety Executive completed a scheduled control of major accident hazards (COMAH) audit with no major findings.

Internal Audit commissioned Turner & Townsend to complete a Group-wide audit of health and safety which confirmed that the control framework is generally designed and operating effectively, and effective health and safety management systems were in place. The audit made recommendations to help advance the management of health and safety across Drax as it evolves and an action plan to implement the recommendations has been put in place.


We recognise the importance of promoting the physical and mental wellbeing of all our colleagues. In 2019, we began implementing a holistic Wellbeing programme across Drax, covering the three areas of Healthy Body, Healthy Mind and Healthy Workplace. To oversee the programme and measure progress, we set up a Wellbeing Steering Committee. The Committee represents all business units across Drax and meets monthly to ensure effective implementation.

Wellbeing at Drax

The Drax-wide Wellbeing programme encompasses three areas and focuses on building resilience.

Healthy Body – A healthy body means looking after yourself first – finding ways to incorporate a healthy diet, an active lifestyle and healthy habits into the routines of work and home.

Healthy Mind – A healthy mind is about colleagues being able to focus on what’s important at work.

Healthy Workplace – We believe that a healthy workplace at Drax supports and encourages healthy behaviours in our colleagues, making healthy choices easy.

In 2019, we introduced a single private medical insurance and reward programme to our UK colleagues. We aim to achieve complete coverage for UK colleagues in 2020, after the roll out to our hydro and gas generation sites. In addition, all colleagues have access to an Employee Assistance Programme.

Our Customers business continued to expand their workplace wellbeing education programmes in 2019. We have trained nearly 200 Customers colleagues over 2018 and 2019 on the topics of mental health and emotional resilience.