Health and safety

The occupational health and safety system is an integral element of the Company’s effective production management. The amenity spaces, equipment, and the processes of all the enterprises meet the highest occupational health and safety standards. To prevent employee ill-health, the Company introduced the Manage Your Health programme that includes vaccination, an office doctor, routine health checks, physical exercise and wellness promotion.

Occupational safety

Rusagro spares no effort to preserve the life and health of its employees and ensure their safety at the workplace. The safety of employees is ensured through an occupational health and safety management system, in particular, each business has in place an approved Occupational Safety Policy, as well as valid regulations and standards and keep a close and continuous watch on their observance.

To assess the performance efficiency in this area, all business segments of the Company are developing a Strategy to improve occupational safety that involves tracking of a number of key indicators, showing the accident frequency rates.

These rates are reduced through ongoing precautionary and preventive measures; any accidents occurred are followed by mandatory investigations, and the injured and their families are offered moneyed assistance.

The number of accidents at Rusagro’s enterprises decreased by 5% (-7 people) year-on-year and amounted to 139 accidents. At the same time, the number of accidents with recorded microtraumas decreased by 28% (-28 cases), but the number of accidents with minor injuries increased by 46% (+18 cases). The reporting period witnessed five fatalities, three more than the year before. The number of lost time injuries (LTI) was 63 and remained at the same level.

Control measures

Ensuring labour safety is a priority in all business segments of Rusagro. The following measures are taken to minimise the number of accidents:

  • Providing employees with all necessary personal protective equipment, such as special clothing and footwear, sensory organs protective equipment and neutralising agents;
  • Conducting regular medical examinations and mental health evaluation of employees;
  • Conducting regular training events on safe methods and techniques for all jobs, as well as first-aid treatment and measures to test this knowledge;
  • Conducting a regular audit of the state of on-the-job safety, industrial and fire safety, developing measures to eliminate identified inconsistencies and monitoring the implementation of corrective measures;
  • Assessing the potential risks with the introduction of preventive measures;
  • Studying the best practices for improving occupational safety conditions and their implementation;
  • Conducting investigations into each accident to determine the root causes, develop and implement preventive measures.

With the change in the number of accidents in 2020, the Lost Time Accident Frequency Rate (LTAFR) increased from 2.63 to 3.03 (+15%) due to the degradation of this performance indicator in the Oil and Fats Business and Meat Business. The fatal injury frequency rate went up from 0.06 to 0.10. At the same time, we manage to arrive at smaller Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) (-22%) – from 2.24 to 1.75. The major injury frequency rate (non-fatal) also went down from 0.30 to 0.13.

The main accident causes include non-compliance with the requirements of occupational safety instructions, among them due to carelessness and negligence of employees, inadequate preparation for work, failure to comply with the requirements of rulebooks and process regulations, insufficient organisation of safe job techniques by corporate employees and traffic offences.

Strategic objectives

The main objectives under the Occupational Safety Improvement Strategies developed by Rusagro’s business segments are listed below:

  • Reducing the number of minor industrial accidents and preventing the major industrial accidents;
  • Reducing the rate of hazard to life and health of employees arising out of and in the course of their employment;
  • Introducing advanced methods of occupational safety management and reducing the accidents and injuries frequency rate;
  • Ensuring a high level of occupational safety knowledge and skills of workers, including by upgrading existing instructions and their visual representation;
  • Mainstreaming of occupational safety issues in the work of managers and specialists on production sites;
  • Minimising fines from supervisory authorities.
Accident frequency rates
2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2020/2019 change, %
LTAFR (Lost Time Accident Frequency Rate) 2.70 3.27 2.66 2.63 3.03 15
LTIFR (Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate) 2.24 2.22 2.18 2.24 1.75 22
Major accident frequency rate (non-fatal) 0.56 0.12 0.41 0.30 0.13 56
Fatality rate 0.00 0.00 0.06 0.06 0.10 77
Number of accidents and injuries at work
2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2020/2019 change, person
Total number of accidents, incl.: 37 302 201 146 139 -7
fatalities 0 0 2 2 5 3
major accidents 5 5 2 5 5 0
minor accidents 32 43 39 39 57 18
microtraumas 0 254 158 100 72 -28
Number of people injured in accidents (total number of injuries) 37 39 44 66 68 2
number of fatalities (FA) 0 0 2 3 5 2
number of lost time injuries 37 39 42 63 63 0

Protecting personnel from the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has not spared Rusagro. During 2020, 630 people at Rusagro’s enterprises fell sick (3.2% of the average headcount), and six people deceased. The majority of affected was recorded in the Meat Business (342 people) and in the Oil and Fats Business (137 people), which is due to the larger headcount, the specific character of working conditions (conveyor production), and the location of plants in large cities (Yekaterinburg and Saratov).

The need to ensure food security in Russia limited the possibilities of Rusagro’s employees to work from home. However, Rusagro did utmost to increase the share of employees handling their duties remotely. In 2020, 1,036 people worked in the completely remote mode (5.4% of the average headcount), including 545 people in the Agriculture Business, and 611 people (3.2%) – in partially remote mode. These were mainly employees of administrative units.

With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, a strict ban was introduced in the agricultural holding on all business trips across Russia and abroad, as well as on face-to-face meetings with contractors. All internal meetings were hold vis Skype, and access to all business sites was restricted. All business areas had operational headquarters organised to develop measures to combat the spread of coronavirus. In the regions of business presence, persons responsible for interaction with the prompt response headquarters at the level of regional authorities were appointed to monitor the situation and develop anti-crisis plans.

All employees of the Company were provided with personal protective equipment and antiseptics, and all surfaces and common areas at offices and enterprises were given additional disinfection. There was a strict observance of social distance at work; every employee must undergo compulsory pyrometry to be cleared for work. The vehicles carrying employees were also subject to regular disinfection. Meals for employees at the sites are catered with the use of disposable cutlery. In the Meat Business the production facilities were equipped with supply and exhaust ventilation in the supply and exhaust separation mode. The employees are redeployed from different workshops only in designated areas; arrangements are made for separate passageways from changing rooms and for separate pick up and drop off points.

A comprehensive communication campaign was pursued to inform the personnel at the enterprises (mailings, posters, videos, We Feed the Country campaign). The Company developed and approved local regulations as recommended by Rospotrebnadzor (Russian Federal State Agency for Health and Consumer Rights) and decrees of the mayor of Moscow and the regions of presence, as well as recommendations for upgrade of occupational safety. Business segments launched hotlines for employee feedback.

In addition, the Company sponsored medical institutions in the Tambov, Saratov, Orel, Kursk and Belgorod Regions, as well as in the Primorye Territory (together with the Far East Development Fund) in fighting against coronavirus infection.

Assisting the Tambov Region in the fight against COVID-19

In 2020, the Company donated medical equipment for laboratory research to the Tambov Infectious Diseases Hospital Regional State Funded Healthcare Facility. The KingFisher Flex Automatic Nucleic Acid, Protein and Cell Isolation Station with a magnetic particle processor for purifying nucleic acids, cells and proteins completely meets the needs of high-performance laboratories. The station automates complex manual operations and is capable of processing 24 to 96 samples in a single run.

The Company also made financial contributions to medical institutions in the Saratov, Orel, Kursk and Belgorod Regions, as well as in the Primorye Territory (together with the Far East Development Fund) in fighting against coronavirus infection. The total amount of contributions to the regions amounted to over RUB 34 million.