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

The safety, health and wellbeing of our employees and contractors is a primary focus for Drax. Our Group-wide Safety, Health and Wellbeing policy (available on our website) is supported by our OneSafeDrax vision that all colleagues have a role to play in safety for themselves and those they work alongside.

Local Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) performance is regularly reviewed by each management team, with Group HSE performance reviewed quarterly by the Group HSE committee. Findings from an assessment of captured data is reviewed by the Executive Committee and the CEO also reports on that analysis, progress made on initiatives and areas for further action to the Board at each meeting. Additionally, Drax Leadership Team sessions (held monthly) commence with a ‘safety standout’ section where key safety messages are shared.

During 2022, we completed the roll-out across all sites of a new HSE reporting platform. This single system allows more data analysis of incidents, corrective actions, hazard management, risk management and behavioural observations. We expect to see improved analysis in 2023 as we develop dashboards to look at trends in reporting that help us understand areas for action and develop local objectives.

An important part of the processes, systems and training which we adopt is a recognition of the importance of continued attentiveness, of learning about existing and emerging workplace hazards and risks and ensuring the appropriate tone and commitment from leaders and all colleagues in working safely. In this way safety is acknowledged to be a shared responsibility which is enabled by ongoing vigilance and striving to improve, recognising that as individuals and as a collective we can do better.

Additional people data can be found in our ESG Data Supplement.

Safety Management Systems

We have safety management systems (SMS) in place to promote safe workplaces for our people. During 2022, we aligned all our Pellet Production sites to one HSE management system across the US and Canada. Our Customers and Corporate sites in the UK continue to implement a SMS, with a focus on promoting wellbeing and a continuous improvement in our health and safety culture.

Using a risk-based methodology designed to assess, improve, and demonstrate the adequacy of our HSE business processes, a third-party undertakes our HSE internal assessment. Each business 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. In 2022, this happened in July and November respectively. The Group HSE Committee provides oversight on HSE related risks, and the Committee’s Terms of Reference were reviewed in June 2022.

Health and safety performance

Each business unit submits monthly reports on HSE performance, including our total recordable injury rate (TRIR). The Board receives an update at each meeting as part of the CEO report, which includes information on any incidents and trends. 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 the lessons we need before sharing those findings and learnings across the organisation, where relevant.

In 2022, our total TRIR was 0.44 per 100,000 hours worked, against a target of 0.20 (2021: 0.22 per 100,000 hours worked, against a target of 0.20).

TRIR - total (1)(2)0.44*
TRIR - employees0.460.27--
TRIR - contractors0.390.11--

(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) Limited external assurance by LRQA (limited assurance using the assurance standard ISAE 3000) for 2022 data as indicated. For assurance statement and basis of reporting see

* 2022 data subject to final assurance

Additional health and safety data is available in our ESG Data Supplement 

ESG Data Supplement 2022 

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.


We have given increased attention and resources to colleague wellbeing and our strategy includes support through our benefits, employee assistance programmes, manager and leader education, and mental health first aiders. We have a wide-ranging communication programme to help raise awareness and educate colleagues about the support available to them, including our Living Well newsletter and on-site events. In the UK, we held wellbeing fairs for the first time in November, giving colleagues the opportunity to interact with benefit providers first-hand.

With many colleagues feeling the impact of the rising cost of living, we introduced a new financial wellbeing partner, nudge. As well as providing personalised online financial wellbeing hints and tips, nudge worked with us to provide seminars covering topics including how to navigate the cost of living crisis. In 2023, we will continue to work closely with this provider to offer ongoing support to colleagues.

We know that wellbeing is closely interlinked with inclusion. To create an inclusive environment, our wellbeing and inclusion strategies are closely aligned. Both are delivered through colleague events (both in-person and online) and internal communications (such as newsletters) to encourage colleagues to take part in awareness sessions and discussions.

Building psychological safety, where colleagues feel comfortable to talk about difficult topics, has also been a key priority during 2022. Through communications and events, we tackled sensitive subjects, including menopause, male mental health, and testicular and prostate cancer.

With the support of an external specialist, we increased the number of colleagues in the UK trained as mental health first aiders, enabling appropriate representation for each UK business area. This has ensured these colleagues are able to provide support to the rest of the workforce. We have also continued our work to understand the appropriate offering for our North American colleagues. We are aiming to build on the energy and enthusiasm of our existing mental health first aiders to act as wellbeing advocates across our organisation, to support our wellbeing strategy.