L’Oréal is a world leader and household name in beauty. Their makeup, cosmetics, perfume and haircare products are sold in 130 countries across five continents. L’Oréal South Africa are amongst the many international brands that make up the first global cosmetics group. With more than 500 employees, L’Oréal South Africa is considered the group’s gateway to the African continent.
L’Oréal South Africa was struggling to properly manage workplace incidents and non-conformance. The manufacturing facility was facing the challenges of a large on-site workforce and the need to meet the rapidly growing demands of the whole L’Oréal group, one of the world’s leading beauty brands.
With no clear and reliable centralised system for reporting incidents in the workplace, L’Oréal South Africa had to rely on employees taking initiative to report incidents to managers, who then needed to track and correct the incidents manually.
L’Oréal South Africa’s heavy dependence on employees’ memory and manual actions meant that there were no guarantees that incidents would be corrected in a timely manner, if at all. Furthermore, with no sustainable incident management system in place to assist with the capture and auditing of their monthly incidents, employees were required to manually consolidate their findings at the end of each month.
“Information was all over the place and it was really difficult to follow up and ensure completion.”
– Elisma Nienaber, L’Oréal Environmental Health & Safety Manager
The lack of a centralised system to report, record and track any progress on correcting incidents (or taking steps to prevent future incidents) meant that senior staff at L’Oréal had no way to reliably audit incidents or assess their compliance. As a result, incidents that could adversely affect workplace safety and compliance were potentially going unnoticed or failing to be corrected.
L’Oréal South Africa understood that relying on manual processes and the memories of busy staff would not be able to ensure their compliance as the organisation continued to grow.
With an increasing need for a workable solution that had longevity for the growing demands of the group, L’Oréal South Africa implemented Rapid Incident Reporting in May 2016. The simple, user-friendly incident reporting system was implemented at shop floor level to assist staff and managers with time and incident management.
Rapid Incident Reporting also transformed the size of the workforce from a challenge that needed to be overcome into a valuable asset. The centralised, online reporting system made sure that staff at all levels of the organisation were empowered, had clear processes and the tools to take responsibility and assume their roles in the various stages of the incident reporting life-cycle, from reporting to investigation to corrective action.
The automatic notifications and reminders built into the workplace incident reporting system also ensured that responsible staff members were able to complete actions assigned to them within clearly defined time frames.
L’Oréal South Africa’s Environmental Health & Safety Manager, Elisma Nienaber, noted that with the implementation of Rapid Incident Reporting, historical information was also able to be imported into the system. As a result, incidents that previously had been outstanding without correction were able to be closed within 3 months, demonstrating a considerable reduction in the amount of time it takes L’Oréal South Africa to complete the incident life-cycle.
L’Oréal Midrand Manufacturing have been able to see an overall increase in their workplace safety and compliance. There has been a significant reduction in the amount of time it takes to address workplace incidents as well as improved efficiency and accountability across their entire South African workforce.
“The biggest benefit we have from implementing the Rapid Incident Reporting system is email reminders. We are all human and L’Oréal is a very dynamic and fast changing working environment and due to requirements employees might forget about their outstanding findings and corrective actions that should need their attention.”