Sustainability Report 2016

Program elements

Program elements

ERM delivers a health and safety program that focuses on the ongoing health and safety of everyone involved in and impacted by our work – including ERM employees, clients, contractors, as well as communities and the public local to our program sites.

We recognize that our daily actions, whether they are performed at ERM offices, remote project sites, industrial facilities, active construction sites or from employees’ homes, require diligent and comprehensive planning and management to achieve our goal of ZERO harm. Our global tools and systems support continuous improvement as we work on complex projects, often in increasingly challenging environments. We bring our health and safety expertise to bear on every project, regardless of size.

We have a global Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Policy Statement, which is endorsed by our CEO and Executive Committee. This policy statement applies worldwide and is conveyed to all employees through our induction programs and routine communications. The HSE Policy Statement includes a commitment to the prevention of injuries and illnesses, continual improvement in health and safety management and performance, and a framework for setting and reviewing goals and objectives.

A Global Health and Safety Team supports our leaders and comprises the Global Health and Safety Director, a small team of subject matter experts working with the Director, and Health and Safety Leaders embedded in the regions, divisions and business units. In addition, health and safety resources are in place to support ERM's largest client teams in our Global Key Client program.

Safety Management System

ERM’s Safety Management System (SMS), which follows the PLAN – DO – CHECK – ACT scheme, is based on the OHSAS 18001 and ISO 14001 international standards and has been designed to:

  • Identify and quantify health, safety and environmental risk;
  • Implement consistent mitigation tools;
  • Verify the degree and success of implementation across all business units; and
  • Drive continuous improvement in our health, safety and environmental performance.

The SMS provides a holistic, comprehensive and systematic approach that ensures our safety systems are integrated into existing and planned business processes. The SMS also establishes a framework to improve and standardize the most critical items associated with any health and safety program, including risk assessment and control, strong communications, training, self-assessment, positive reinforcement of safe behaviors and continuous improvement.

In FY16, we conducted our first global implementation audit of the SMS and thereby established a baseline from which to measure improvement. We have now set local and regional improvement targets for annual improvements related to SMS implementation.

Safety AT ERM

Safe behaviors must be engrained in every action and decision made by our employees. “Safety AT ERM” is a set of five key elements that define our health and safety program. These five key elements include:

  • Active leadership
  • Training and competency
  • Emphasizing positive safety
  • Risk management
  • Maintaining balance

Collectively, these elements help our workforce to understand and articulate the most important aspects of our health and safety program. They also help us, as an organization, remain focused as we look to identify improvement opportunities.

Travel risk management

With travel often a key part of the work we do for our clients and an important part of running the business, it is essential that we provide the proper support to our employees traveling around the world. This is particularly important given the increasing need to travel to more challenging locations, including those with high risk for specific diseases, including insect-borne illnesses such as Lyme disease, malaria, Zika and others.

To standardize and streamline the development, review and approval of Travel Risk Assessments (TRA), we updated and automated our global processes. As a result, we can ensure that employees and those we work with are well prepared for their journey and our Partners review and approve this travel.

ERM's Health Advisor and Occupational Health Nurse help travelers mitigate against tropical diseases and other travel-related health issues. An important part of this role includes providing time-critical advice in response to travel and acute medical issues around the globe. Our health medical examination program is being deployed progressively to key parts of ERM and is designed to help ensure our people are fit to travel. We continued to develop and implement this program in FY16. We also updated our mandatory travel safety and health training materials during the year.


Our mandatory health and safety training requirements for new starters are designed to ensure that all employees understand ERM's approach and to verify that they have the necessary health and safety knowledge needed for their role. Our goal is to have all employees participate in our behavior-based Observation and Feedback Program training curriculum within designated time periods. In FY16, 96.5 percent of our new hires completed the training within the required timeframe, with follow-up efforts to ensure those who did not meet the original timeframe ultimately completed the training.