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Health and safety of employees

Health and safety is one of the most important focus areas of our CSR policy and the driving force of the organization. When an employee starts working, the process of informing employees about safety and health starts immediately. There is an introductory process with extensive safety training that includes a toolbox, spill training, lift training and an ADR training. This is supported by means of an interview with the QESH department. In addition, the safety instructions are always available because they are presented on posters in the production locations in addition to being described on production receipts. Employees also receive the work instructions on paper (the employee signs for receipt), so that he or she can access it any time.

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The managers of the various locations are responsible for health and safety matters. Furthermore, an operational meeting takes place weekly where incidents are extensively discussed for learning and improvement purposes. After all, everyone within our organization feels responsible for one’s own safety and the safety of another. There are 20 trained Emergency Response officers within BRB International (14% of the employee population), including a prevention officer. A total of 133 reports of unsafe situations were made in 2017 (for example unsafe situations with chemicals and products stored in the wrong place due to insufficient space). Two accidents occurred in 2017 (OSHA definition), of which one resulted in a hospital visit. Fortunately, the employee in question did not suffer permanent injury.
The work at the production sites is physically very heavy. It therefore remains a challenge to not let the ‘hands-on’ culture result in irresponsible lifting behavior. We constantly keep an eye out to ensure that employees make use of the available lifting aids.
In addition, we took a number of measures in 2017 to reduce the risk of incidents, such as the installation of blue lights, the so-called Blue Spot, on the back of our forklift trucks. This significantly increases visibility and thereby safety. BRB International continues to grow, meaning the locations become busier as well. Constantly adapting to new situations is key in securing safety.

Personnel structure

The workforce of BRB International in Ittervoort consisted of 139 employees and 20 temporary employees during the reference year 2017. If we leave out the warehouse and the workshop, where predominantly males work due to the physical nature of the work, the male/female ratio is about 60% / 40%. In 2017, 25 employees joined the company and 19 employees resigned; this count does not include trainees and temporary or holiday workers. The average age within our organization is 44 years old. Due to the aging workforce and the physical burden that the work entails, sustainable employability is on the agenda for 2018.

Personnel per age group
Personnel structure
Personnel structure

“Strong, intelligent and the most adaptable to change. They say these are the characteristics needed to ‘survive’ a changing environment. Our people are strong when it comes to adapting to the continuous development and growth of our company. They invest a lot in our organization and are proud of BRB International. Therefore we also have to invest in our employees. We are proud of our people.”

Comment by Carol Bemelmans, HR Manager


Danny Smeets

Westrom in Roermond and PSW Nederweert are local social workplaces that provide quality care and support to children and adults with intellectual disabilities. BRB International considers it important that people with a distance to the labor market can fully participate in society and in business. Therefore, we have been working with PSW since 2004. The knowledge, experience and guidance from PSW in combination with the ambition and determination of BRB International means that the cooperation has been going very well so far. We currently employ four employees via PSW. For BRB International the collaboration involves patience and understanding, but it gives us intensely motivated employees and increased involvement from the other employees. We therefore cannot imagine our team without them.

Danny Smeets has been working at BRB International since 2013 and is one of our four employees that are coached by a job coach from PSW. BRB International created functions within the organization for these employees.

Danny, tell us something about yourself.

My name is Danny Smeets and I am 35 years old. I have been working at BRB International since 2013 and I really like it. Every day I cycle back and forth for 45 minutes. In my spare time I like to cycle, swim, or do something fun with my girlfriend Wilma. I follow a cooking class every Thursday evening!

What do you do at BRB International?

I make sure the canteens and toilets are clean in our buildings in Ittervoort. I now have five canteens to clean. I clean everything every day and have a schedule for this. I also deliver the internal mail between the locations. I have been given a bicycle with a basket to do this, because the buildings are spread over the industrial area. Furthermore I check the stock of food and beverage supplies with the purchasing department. Then we order the products together.

And what do you like to do most?

I like everything I do. Everyday I come to work with a smile. I like my colleagues the most because they are always very cheerful and nice to me. What I really like is when I have been on vacation my colleagues say: “Danny, it’s good to have you back, we missed you!”

BRB International Headquarters

Europastraat 5
6014 CD Ittervoort
The Netherlands

Tel +31 475 560 300
Fax + 31 475 560 144