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

Safety Management Systems

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 will transfer to ISO 45001 in 2021. Our hydro generation assets, and the gas generation assets subsequently sold in 2021, have an integrated management system covering safety, environment and quality, and the safety component transitioned to ISO 45001 in 2020.

Our Pellet Production sites in the US meet the requirements of OSHA 1910 and the SMS is aligned to OHSAS 18001. We undertook an OSHA-10 and OSHA-30 training programme to strengthen the safety leadership and skills of our US colleagues, achieving 98% completion in 2020. Delivered by registered in-house trainers, the training covers risk identification and incident handling, set in the context of our industry. We have also upgraded our approach to tracking compliance and corrective actions identified from audits or investigations, using one consolidated online tool.

Our Customers and Corporate sites in the UK continue to implement an SMS, with a focus on continuous improvement in our health and safety culture and promoting both physical and mental wellbeing.

Health and safety performance

Each business unit reports monthly on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), including Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) and 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 as part of the CEO report, which includes information on any incidents and tracks trends. We investigate all injury events, with particular focus on those with high potential, to ensure that root causes are established and lessons are learned and shared across the organisation.

In 2020, our TRIR was 0.29 per 100,000 hours worked (against a target of 0.21) (2019: 0.22 per 100,000 hours worked). This reflects an increase in the number of minor hand injuries, which have a short period of lost time associated. As a result, we have implemented a campaign to improve risk assessment, raise awareness and ensure the right type of personal protective equipment is used. Our LTIR in 2020 was 0.08 per 100,000 hours worked (2019: 0.08 per 100,000 hours worked).

LTIR  (1)
TRIR  (2)0.29*0.220.22
RIDDOR  (3)659
Note: data include both employees and contractors.
(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.
(3) RIDDOR is the number of incidents in the UK that were reported to the Health and Safety Executive in compliance with the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013.
* Limited external assurance using the assurance standard ISAE 3000 for 2020 data as indicated. For assurance statement and basis of reporting see

Combined approach to health, safety, environment and wellbeing

In 2020, we appointed an HSE Director with Group responsibility to drive HSE improvements via a coordinated strategy across all our businesses. We are establishing plans for 2021 that align all the businesses on our key focus areas to drive improvement in our HSE performance, whilst building upon the 2019 One Safe Drax vision and aligning with our Safe People, Safe Systems & Process, and Safety Assurance approach.

HSE performance is reported monthly to the Board and reviewed regularly by each local management team, and the Group HSE performance is reviewed by the Executive Committee. Incidents and findings are shared across the business via safety bulletins, focusing on preventative action to be taken to mitigate the risk of future occurrences.

The Safety, Health, Environment and Welfare Leadership Executive Committee (SHEWLEC) is chaired by the UK Portfolio Generation Director and meets quarterly to receive reports regarding significant safety, health, environmental and welfare aspects. The Committee establishes standards for relevant health, safety, environmental and welfare 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 HSE governance arrangements across the business. We have identified developments for our Group HSE governance for implementation in 2021. This includes changes to the HSE Committee structure within the business, introducing a Group HSE Committee in place of the SHEWLEC.

Key risks and mitigations associated with health, safety, environment, and welfare are routinely reported to the SHEWLEC. The Committee receives a summary of results of internal and external audits, where the scope falls within the remit of the Committee, and receives and considers potential implications for Drax regarding any significant changes in regulation or legislation.

Key issues raised at the SHEWLEC in 2020 include management of emissions and dust at relevant locations, tracking of findings from third-party audits, actions to address changes in legislation (particularly of relevance to our power generation fleet in the UK), and delivery of a Group-wide approach to safety Golden Rules.

In 2020, consultants at the specialist health and safety firm DNV-GL were engaged to provide a risk-based approach to HSE audits, focusing on key processes, organisational risks and continual improvement. A baseline for this Group-wide HSE audit, including benchmarking, will be reported in Q1 2021. Actions arising from the 2019 Internal Audit report undertaken by Turner & Townsend have been tracked to ensure implementation of the recommendations.

Process safety

We recognise that ongoing process safety management is essential for identifying and managing process risk to reduce the likelihood of a major accident. In 2020, we started work to establish the key principles of process safety across the Generation fleet and these will be rolled out Group-wide in 2021. These principles are in line with industry best practice and focused on controls of plant, process and people. A consistent approach to process safety policy and procedures across the Generation business will be delivered in 2021, starting with the gap analysis conducted in 2020. Improvements and standardisation of the management of change process, including delivery of training and awareness sessions amongst the workforce, will be a key deliverable. Process safety key performance indicators are reported monthly to the Executive Committee.

In 2020, all process safety incidents with high potential were fully investigated to establish root causes and enable corrective actions to be focused on preventing reoccurrence. Lessons learned are shared across the Group.


We continue to build on our holistic wellbeing programme that is overseen by our Wellbeing Steering Committee, which reported to the SHEWLEC. In 2021, we will focus on four key areas: my physical health, my mental health, my social health and my financial health.

In 2020 we focused on resilience, supporting colleagues to adapt in times of challenge and change. We provided leaders and colleagues with training and tools to understand key drivers and techniques to provide support. We partnered with Mental Health First Aid England to provide one-hour live webinars, eLearning and materials for managers, to raise awareness on how to support colleagues with mental health issues. During the summer, the entire leadership team joined a series of online workshop sessions on personal, team and organisational resilience, facilitated by external experts. Interactive personal resilience eLearning was made available to all colleagues. We will continue these programmes and track completion in 2021.