Our Social Impact

Occupational Health and Safety

Our Health and Safety Vision

Our Occupational Health and Safety policy and standards are based on long-standing organizational values and practices that have directed our decision-making and planning for decades. At Neo, we believe that health and safety is just as important as any other measure of success. This belief is manifested in our continuous health and safety improvement mechanisms. To prioritize providing a safe and healthy work environment for our employees and visitors, as well as ensuring that our activities do not negatively impact our neighbors offsite, we utilize certified management systems. These systems encompass risk assessments, hazard mitigation, well-defined goals and objectives, regular management review meetings, incident investigation, and thorough compliance audits. We also take great care to communicate any potential hazards associated with our products to promote their safe use.

Occupational Health and Safety Management System

Neo Performance Materials promotes occupational health and safety management systems at all its facilities. 89% of Neo’s manufacturing personnel operate in a facility that carries an external ISO 45001 – Occupational Health and Safety Management System certification. For over a decade, Neo management has been advocating this management approach to encourage robust performance and showcase our dedication by adhering to a globally accepted benchmark. Even the noncertified facilities have implemented most, if not all, of the ISO-45001 components.

These certifications as a crucial tool that promotes systematic risk management. They provide a comprehensive framework for management, control, evaluation, and continuous improvement. This includes the conduct of risk assessments, review of relevant regulations, and establishment of annual goals and objectives, all of which are regularly reviewed and discussed in management meetings. At the corporate level, a similar system is in place in where HESS improvement goals and objectives are developed with input from site Managers, HESS Managers, the Executive Team, and the Board’s HESS committee. The Executive Team and the Board monitor and evaluate progress on a quarterly basis.

Neo’s HESS continuous improvement process includes a robust HESS audit system that uses site-specific documents known as System Status Reports. These reports aim to identify crucial regulatory requirements, relevant corporate standards, and site-specific risk reduction measures and consolidate them into a single document. Corporate Health and Safety, in collaboration with Neo professionals and external HESS

consultants, created these reports. While they serve as the foundation for Neo corporate audits, their purpose is to provide sites with a practical tool for monitoring their health and safety systems internally on an ongoing basis, rather than simply for periodic checkups. The goal is to conduct a continuous evaluation of our HESS systems, making this document a valuable resource.

Facilities and Occupational Health and Safety Management System Adopted

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Tianjin, China

ISO-45001 Occupational Health and Safety Management

Zibo, China

ISO-45001 Occupational Health and Safety Management

Jiangyin, China

ISO-45001 Occupational Health and Safety Management

Chuzhou, China

In process of on-boarding Neo’s Standards

Korat, Thailand

ISO-45001 Occupational Health and Safety Management

Sillamäe, Estonia

ISO-45001 Occupational Health and Safety Management

Sagard, Germany

<25 people

Peterborough, Canada

Most ISO-45001 elements in place <25 people

Quapaw, Oklahoma

ISO-45001 elements in place Internal audit

Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment​

At Neo, we place a high priority on health and safety in the workplace. That’s why we’ve incorporated hazard identification and risk assessment into our internal HESS standards. Our HESS standards cover wide-ranging hazards and risks, whether it is for controlling hazardous materials and energies, confined space entry, electrical safety, waste management, or contractor safety, they can be accessed and managed under our guidelines starting with identification and assessment, followed by implementation of mitigation steps. We train our personnel on the “Hierarchy of Controls” to optimize risk reduction as part of the ISO-45001 process. Compliance with internal standards is part of our corporate HESS audits.

Over the past few years, we’ve also developed training modules on our internally developed Pre-Task Risk Assessment process. This method teaches personnel to first spot the energies available in each job step, followed by an assessment of the risk the energy may pose, then prioritybased methods to reduce the risk.

Incident Investigation

Neo Performance Materials’ HESS standard 6.1, titled Accident/Incident and Non-Conformity Investigations, defines the minimum requirements for company facilities. To comply with this standard, each site is required to have a written investigation procedure that encompasses a range of incidents such as near misses, employee and visitor accidents, process incidents, security incidents, and environmental incidents. Additionally, a root cause investigation methodology is mandatory. To facilitate compliance, the company provides a four-hour interactive training course called “Causal Root Investigation” that emphasizes open communication. This training includes the Hierarchy of Controls and the identification of management system deficiencies.

To build upon our rigorous investigation and reporting system, as well as to encourage and facilitate continuous improvement, the corporation establishes annual targets for each plant, mandating a minimum number of near-miss incidents to be identified and investigated. Our plants have achieved their annual targets consistently.

Occupational Health Services

Element 7.1.1 of Neo’s internal Industrial Hygiene standard states, “A systematic exposure-hazard assessment will be conducted by a qualified professional.” In 2021, we completed the assessment process for all sites, including our new facility. This accomplishment has allowed us to implement prioritybased air sampling strategies, building upon our progress in ensuring a safe and healthy environment. Training on the appropriate sampling method is complete and approved analytical laboratories are in place. Whenever concerns arise, corrective actions are taken promptly, in line with our commitment to ensuring the well-being of our employees and the environment. Our sites are required to adhere to corporate standard 7.1.8, which requires the implementation of Engineering controls to manage exposures if elimination of risks is not feasible.


OHS-Related Worker Participation, Consultation, and Communication

Neo places great importance on worker participation in health and safety conversations, recognizing the invaluable perspective of those who are most directly exposed to potential risks. Engaging employees in these discussions promotes a culture of safety, collaboration, and continuous improvement that benefits our entire organization. We implement the guidelines outlined in Section 5.4 of the ISO-45001 Occupational Health and Safety Management System standard for the appropriate approach to worker consultation and participation. Our efforts in this regard are externally audited at facilities with ISO-45001 certifications. In those few, smaller plants that are not externally audited, worker participation is promoted by Neo management.

Since worker participation is often dictated by location-specific governmental regulations, the precise methods through which each site fulfills this obligation differs. Typically, worker participation is conducted via a site health and safety committee which may comprise elected worker safety representatives. Neo supports this effort by mandating that all manufacturing facilities must conduct a “Management Walkthrough,” during which a quarterly topic is audited using a document provided by the Corporate HESS team. These walkthroughs are attended by top management representatives and by representative(s) from facility operations. Some examples of OHS worker participation prompted improvements include:

1. Additional lighting units installed in our Sillamäe, Estonia facility.

2. Relocation and renovation of social rooms in our Sagard, Germany facility.

 3. Renovation of pathway to provide proper support and mitigate wear and tear from forklift usage in our Oklahoma, U.S. facility.

Many of our sites have adopted visual management techniques used them to communicate HESS information. These HESS communications are done with bulletin boards and digital boards to help communicate key information to workers.

Worker Training on OHS

Each site has defined health and safety training requirements. These requirements must consider local regulatory training requirements, ISO-45001 training needs, training required by corporate standards, and additional training the site deems necessary. Much of that training is classroom training or hands-on.

The company is in the beginning phase of introducing customized, computer based, training in four languages. An advantage of computer-based training is that it is available twenty-four hours per day and it can be customized to include local learning objectives.

Prevention and Mitigation of OHS Impacts Linked to Business Relationships

Neo uses the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) for conveying potential health and safety hazards associated with their products. This means products are shipped with safety data sheets and warning labels that meet the GHS standard. There are zero incidents of non-compliance concerning health and safety of products in 2022.

Worker Covered by OHS Management System

89 percent of Neo’s manufacturing personnel operate in a plant that carries an external ISO 45001 – Occupational Health and Safety Management System certification.

Ethical Business Practices

Work Related Injuries

89 percent of Neo’s manufacturing personnel operate in a plant that carries an external ISO 45001 – Occupational Health and Safety Management System certification.


Work-Related Ill Health

The number of Occupational illnesses reported in 2022, 2021, 2020, and 2019 was zero.

Safety in Practice

At Neo, safety is our top priority. In addition to our strong and robust health and safety management, we recognize the importance of hands-on application and demonstration of safety protocols in promoting safety awareness and preparedness.

The local health and safety management teams at our MQTJ (Tianjin, China) and ZAMR (Zibo, China) business sub-units organized competitions for safety awareness, skills, and knowledge to enhance employees’ safety consciousness and skills, as well as to identify areas for improvement. Employees competed individually and in teams in topics such as safety knowledge, safety equipment usage, fire fighting techniques and more. Cash prizes were also presented to the best performing individuals and teams in safety-related competencies during the competitions.

The health and safety management team at JAMR’s business sub-unit in Jiangyin, China organized and led emergency response drills and demonstrations. During the drills, employees were trained on fire safety, fire hazard awareness, and emergency response. They also observed safety demonstrations conducted by local firefighting units. By participating in these activities, employees gained valuable knowledge and experience to better prepare them for potential emergencies.