Health and Safety


Promote diversity, prioritise and nurture the wellbeing and skills development of employees, and support the communities that we are part of


Our objectives

  • Stop all preventable accidents for employees and contractors.
  • Promote safe behaviours and monitor unsafe behaviours encouraging an enhanced focus on hazard identification and awareness.


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Safety first

We drive our businesses to prioritise the health, safety and wellbeing of employees and contractors. We are committed to setting high standards and have effective policies, procedures and training in place to support the health, safety and wellbeing of all employees and contractors across the Group.

We recognise the increasing importance of taking a holistic approach to employee wellness, to protect employee physical and mental health and social wellbeing, and to foster a positive workplace culture that attracts and retains a highly skilled workforce. We are committed to ensuring that our employees are safe, and we require our businesses to protect and safeguard employee health and wellbeing across the Group. To this end, in 2021 we implemented a Grouplevel target, which all our businesses have implemented and aligned with their respective sustainability strategies, to achieve an annual lost time accident frequency rate of below 0.1. This underpins our overarching commitment to stop all preventable accidents for employees and contractors, through the promotion of safe behaviours and an enhanced focus on hazard identification and awareness.

The Group operates a decentralised model, and in addition to the Group-level expectations for health and safety standards, each business is ultimately responsible for creating and maintaining their own safe and healthy workplaces, implementing operational best practices, and maintaining a robust culture of health and safety awareness, training and performance. This is delivered through the Group health and safety management framework.

Health and safety management systems are implemented across all our businesses to ensure that robust policies and procedures are in place to reduce risk and instil an enhanced focus on continuous improvement. Health and safety management systems are supported by internal health and safety effectiveness audits, external assurance reviews conducted by the Group’s insurance brokers, with regular oversight and challenge by the Melrose senior management team, quarterly reporting to the Board, and further regular Board and Melrose senior management team oversight over any material incidents or issues that arise.

As at 31 December 2021, 74%(1) of sites (inclusive of office, production and testing sites) within the Group were certified to the ISO 45001 international standard, with additional relevant sites progressing towards ISO accreditation. 100% of GKN Automotive production sites and test centres are ISO 45001 certified, with successful transition from OHSAS 18001 completed in 2021. GKN Aerospace released a Leader’s HSE handbook in 2021 which details the requirements for effective management that all sites must comply with. To maintain ISO accreditation, all businesses must undertake third party auditing on a three-year certification cycle, with annual surveillance audits taking place in between to ensure standards are being maintained.

(1) ) Data was collected from 98% (by sites) of the Group.

Health and Safety

Group Health and Safety Management Framework


Health and safety performance

We are focused on cultivating a strong safety culture within our businesses through emphasising the importance of preventing avoidable incidents and implementing near miss reporting, which encourages an enhanced focus on hazard identification and awareness. Behaviour-based programmes and continuous training and awareness campaigns remain central to the approach of all divisions in improving their safety performance.

In line with the Melrose decentralised model, our businesses are each responsible for implementing and maintaining health and safety excellence across their respective operations. To provide visibility and oversight for the Board, information is collated quarterly on three key performance indicators (“KPIs”) – major accident frequency, lost time accident frequency, and accident severity – for each business and covering all of their sites. A variety of additional health and safety KPIs are used by the businesses owned by the Group from time to time, which are specific to the exact nature of the business and its associated risks. Although responsibility for health and safety rests with the business units, in the unfortunate circumstance of a very serious incident, the Melrose senior management team will engage directly with the relevant business unit executive team and report any actions taken directly to the Board.

Health and Safety

Safety performance targets

Major Accident Frequency Rate
Records the average number of LTAs that have resulted in more than three days off work (defined as ‘major’ accidents), per 200,000 hours worked.

Lost Time Accident Frequency Rate
Records the average number of LTAs, both major and minor, per 200,000 hours worked.

Accident Severity Rate
Records the average number of days an employee takes off work following an accident at work.

The Group’s Major Accident Frequency rate and Lost Time Accident Frequency rate has decreased year-on-year for the GKN businesses. Specific incidents at GKN Aerospace, GKN Powder Metallurgy and Ergotron resulted in an increase in accident severity rate in 2021 compared to 2020. The Group’s trajectory of longer-term improvement continues, and our businesses continue to uphold and further develop high standards of health and safety performance. The general trend of improvement reflects the continued investment in health and safety initiatives across all businesses and highlights continual improvement in the GKN businesses since they were acquired in 2018.

The GKN Aerospace site in Papendrecht, the Netherlands, sadly suffered a tragic fatality in 2021. A thorough internal investigation was immediately conducted by the GKN Aerospace executive team and overseen by the Melrose senior management team, with regular reporting to the Board. This triggered a wholesale review of the GKN Aerospace group safety standards across the business. This review included risk assessment processes, and the underlying reporting and oversight systems and documentation which support the implementation and ongoing monitoring of GKN Aerospace’s safety standards, operating procedures and safety systems, both at a site and GKN Aerospace group level. The Dutch authorities are conducting their own investigation, in which the business is fully cooperating, and which remained ongoing as at the time of writing.

At the Board’s request, external health and safety compliance experts are engaged through the Group’s insurance brokers to review the health and safety audit function for each GKN business, with a focus on verifying its operation and where relevant to recommend continuous improvements as they evolve. This review programme uses a combination of remote and physical site visits and regular discussions with the health and safety leads at each of the GKN businesses to provide assurance of the robustness of health and safety systems that operate within the Group’s larger and most complex businesses. Recommendations are fed back to the Melrose senior management team for oversight and challenge as required, and to the relevant business executive team to manage their implementation, as part of overall continuous improvement measures.

During 2021, the Group’s insurance brokers continued to work with each of the GKN businesses to review and implement the recommendations resulting from their initial review of their health and safety functions and as recommendations were being implemented within the businesses, to provide assurance that improvements were being implemented as required and to provide further iterative recommendations to maintain strong health and safety practices as they evolve. Recent feedback has confirmed that each relevant business is operating to an acceptable standard, with further alignment with recommendations being evident and built upon, and a continued strong commitment to health and safety from each of the GKN businesses both centrally and at site level.

In parallel with existing business unit-led initiatives, the Group’s insurance brokers in the US continue to conduct independent health and safety compliance reviews across the GKN businesses’ US-based operations. Some site visits recommenced in 2021 but were limited due to prolonged pandemic travel restrictions. This review continues to focus on potential major and serious injuries and occupational health exposures, and further site visits are hoped to recommence in 2022 as this becomes practicable.

During 2021, each business in the Group maintained measures and protocols to address the risks of a COVID-19 outbreak within the workplace, and to support their employees in line with national guidelines.

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Case study

Eskisehir achieves 8 years without a lost time accident

Read case study

Health and Safety

Eskisehir achieves 8 years without a lost time accident

05.10.17Hvacnortek 0264

In February 2021, GKN Automotive’s Eskisehir, Turkey plant achieved eight years without a lost time accident. Health and safety, and a focus on eliminating even the smallest risks, are top priorities at the plant and this is recognised in the 2,923 consecutive days without a lost time related accident.

By working closely with health and safety experts, and encouraging all employees to complete risk notifications, any potential risks are rectified as quickly as possible. It is hoped that this strong health and safety record will continue, and it will celebrate its ninth year of no lost time accidents in 2022.

Health and safety training

Health and safety training is a prerequisite to achieving our Group lost time accident frequency target, with all employees receiving training on a regular basis. Awareness of health and safety issues and the Group’s policy on health and safety is included in induction training for all new joiners across the Group. In 2021, 36,404(1) (91%) employees across the Group’s businesses received health and safety training.

All employees within the GKN businesses have access to the online thinkSAFE! training portal and must complete at least one module per quarter. Over 90% compliance was seen in 2021, and the Group will continue to build on and seek to increase this further. Training modules in 2021 included Stop Call Wait, My Safety Responsibility, Risk Identification, and My Hands.

Our businesses also carry out technical health and safety training related to specific business activities.

(1) Data was collected from 98% (by headcount) of the Group in 2020 and 99% in 2021.


of employees across the Group’s businesses received health and safety training in 2021.