Our responsibility in the workplace

Our people

In response to rapid and structural changes in the global solar energy market, to growing uncertainty in other markets, and to longer term overall instability, Bekaert implemented a major realignment program in 2012. The company has done the maximum possible to mitigate the social impact for the affected employees by offering a fair severance plan and by offering guidance toward re-employment. 
Excluding the population entitled to an early retirement settlement, more than 80% of the people in Belgium were re-employed by year-end 2012. In China too, most people have entered into a new job very fast.

Apart from the initiatives and solutions to ease the social consequences for the affected employees, Bekaert also attached great importance to guiding its teams through these turbulent times. Interactive sessions with managers across the globe were set up to understand and listen to employees’ concerns, hopes and expectations and to answer their questions. Special efforts were also made to provide adequate coaching tools to the managers at those sites experiencing major changes.

We continued ‘the Bekaert Leadership Journey’, a worldwide management development program that was launched in 2010. In 2012, we introduced the second module which focuses on 'leading with others' and emphasizes  truly working together in order to achieve our company objectives and our common aspiration.

Employee related data 

  • On average 26 hours of training per employee
  • Percentage of employees who received a performance review:

% of population    Managers    White collars    Blue collars 
Covered in a performance management system    100   100    88 
With link between performance & base pay   100   96   60
With link between performance & variable bonus   100   85   85

Because our people are our most important asset, safety comes first, always. Providing a safe working environment for all employees is key to us.

The right safety attitude

Investigations show that the majority of workplace accidents are caused by human factors rather than by machine related hazards. A good attitude towards safety is the best way to avoid accidents. The right behavior starts with acting proactively and implementing the right mindset. Based on experiences within our plants in Brazil and Ecuador, we introduced an assessment system that aims for improved safety awareness and provides a behavioral risk profile that is used to define specific training programs.

Measuring and improving safety

The Bekaert safety policy is deployed through the Safety Tree model and monitored via the Bekaert Safety Evaluation System (BEKSES). In 2012 regular BEKSES audits (based on OHSAS 18001) were carried out in a substantial number of plants. In other plants, an action plan based on the 2011 audits was implemented.

International Health and Safety Day

In September 2012 Bekaert organized its fifth International Health and Safety Day. This year's edition focused on electrical safety. Theme specific activities were organized in all locations and dedicated training programs were introduced to keep electrical safety always in mind. By organizing the International Health and Safety Day on a yearly basis, Bekaert’s top management and all management teams reconfirm that the safety and health of all Bekaert employees worldwide is and remains one of the main priorities.

Safety data

RI Consolidated 2012
Repeatability Index = Number of lost time accidents (LTA) per million worked hours.

SI consolidated 2012

Severity Index = Number of lost days due to occupational accidents per thousand worked hours.

In 2012 both the repeatability and severity index increased compared to 2011. This was a result of footprint changes (divestment of plants with very good safety results & acquisition/consolidation of entities where safety performance is subject to improvement as part of their integration process within the Bekaert Group.)

Safety champions in consolidated plants

number of years without LTA

 >= 9 years

 >= 6 years

>= 5 years 

> =3 years  >=2 years

N° of plants 






Bekaert Hlohovec AS, Slovakia achieved 9 years without LTA.


Bekaert Engineering (Ingelmunster, Belgium) celebrated 1000 workdays (3 years) without LTA.

We also celebrated safety champions in two of our Brazilian joint venture plants: 
  • BMB-Belgo Mineira Bekaert Artefatos de Arame (Itaúna): 12 years without LTA
  • Belgo Bekaert Arames (Contagem): 6 years without LTA
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