Achieving safety excellence through HSE integration

Case study at-a-glance


Société BIC S.A., commonly referred to as BIC, is a manufacturing corporation based in Clichy, France. Founded in 1945 by Marcel Bich with a mission to create essential, high-quality, safe, affordable products in which everyone has confidence. BIC has over 12,777 employees and operates an international manufacturing footprint of 25 factories with a global presence in 165 countries.

Since its inception in 1944, the company has evolved into a multinational organization and a world leader in three main categories of business: stationery, lighters, and razors, which are sold in more than 160 countries around the world. True to its core founding principles and values, BIC has continued to positively impact the world and planet by offering sustainable solutions and products that bring simplicity and cheerfulness to everyday life.

Health and well-being in the workplace were BIC’s top strategic priorities. The company’s main goal was to protect health and safety in the workplace – aiming for zero accidents across all its sites by 2025 as part of its global sustainable development ambition. The Covid-19 and the global health crisis further compounded the goal, and the need to move faster was more important than anything else.


When developing a global approach toward health and safety, there were two significant challenges BIC faced:

  1. Cultural and regulatory differences between countries that affect the perception of risk in each manufacturing location.
  2. Unequal access to technology and services varied by country.

BIC was in search of an EHS platform that could gather and centralize the Health, Safety and Environment* (HSE) data necessary to align company practices with the International Social Security Association’s Vision Zero program. As a partner of Vision Zero, BIC’s ultimate mission is to build a strong prevention culture that eliminates accidents, injuries and diseases in the workplace. The company decided to engage SAI360 to help them move from siloed, manual processes to a digitalized and integrated software platform.


According to Gartner Inc., digitalization is “the process of employing digital technologies and information to transform business operations.” These were BIC’s drivers for undertaking a digital transformation.

  • Lack of time to read, understand and follow all rules
  • Lack of global standards and processes
  • Disparate and disconnected data sources and risk registers
  • Need for better monitoring of work situations
  • Need for ongoing, active learning about safe working procedures
  • Inability to track data
  • Need for more in-depth analytics
  • Need to build a corporate digital transformation strategy

Additionally, a survey sent to all HSE teams revealed that 20% of their time was spent on administrative tasks that were being done manually. Thus, it was clear that the system at the time was not consistent with the company’s safety goals.

Solving these issues was a crucial step in advancing toward the Vision Zero goal of a harm-free workplace that maintains manufacturing excellence, and SAI360 provided the tools necessary to begin the digital transformation journey.


BIC chose to partner with SAI360 because it addressed all the company’s key pain points through:

  • Language options: The application is translated into Portuguese, Spanish, Greek, and French, so language is not a barrier to global use.
  • Quick implementation: SAI360 offers an off-the-shelf option that is quick to roll out and simple to modify to specific needs.
  • Robust data analysis: The platform provides a central repository of data and the tools to complete in-depth analyses that inform safety strategy.
  • Complete integration: The platform makes it simple for workers to report and HSE teams to monitor and manage injuries and incidents.

Each module used by BIC is linked to the centralized Action Management module making it easy to flag necessary actions specific to the source, whether it was a Hazard that needed to be addressed or an Incident that had follow-up tasks.

The modules included:
The Audit module within SAI360’s solution allowed BIC to implement a global standard based on the Vision Zero approach, to eliminate workplace injuries. Plant managers can self-assess against the standard, allowing BIC to use the Audit module to ensure adherence to proper health and safety protocols.

  • Audit, for self-assessment to be conducted against protocols
  • Covid-19 Case, to record and track cases
  • Hazard Identification to identify potential causes of incidents and injuries
  • Incident Management for recording, managing, and remediating accidents
  • Job Hazard/Safety Analysis, for review and control of hazardous tasks
  • Risk Register for the identification and control of risks
  • Safety Watch for Observations
  • Take 5 for workers to pause and consider hazards of a task

SAI360 offered BIC the EHS technology needed to begin a full digital transformation and improve HSE operations in a wide range of scenarios.

BIC’s HSE Director Sebastien Chaigneau was impressed with the SAI360 approach and methodology and said:

“SAI360 truly partners with its customers, and a few solutions suppliers I’ve worked with have demonstrated this commitment. The unexpected benefits of working with SAI360 are measurable and provide tremendous continuous improvement opportunities. Their willingness to listen and passion for releasing regular, highly valuable product updates enabled us to continually improve our EHS Management System to provide a safer, healthier workplace for all stakeholders.”


BIC leverages the Covid-19 Case Management module within SAI360’s Covid Essentials solution to monitor how well Covid-related protocols were implemented at each plant site. In addition, the company used two self-assessment questionnaires: one addressing operational control and the second addressing the legalities associated with confirmed cases.

The data collected allowed BIC to evaluate the protocols in place and monitor which countries saw the most success in implementation, ultimately creating an easy-to-navigate global dashboard for better control.


Before implementing SAI360’s solutions, BIC relied on very few safety indicators, all of which worked only to show where the company was lagging. At first, HSE only recorded the number of workplace incidents, with no attached descriptions or data to help improve conditions and prevent the same circumstances from occurring again. The existing system was limited to employees and did not consider contractors and other third-party workers. The information gathered was transferred through an unstructured network of spreadsheets via email.

BIC overhauled the system using SAI360’s Document Register, Environmental Aspects, Hazard Identification and Incident modules to begin the digital transformation.

The audit module within ‘SAI360’s solution allowed BIC to implement a global standard based on the Vision Zero approach, to eliminate workplace injuries. Plant managers can self-assess against the standard, allowing BIC to use the Audit module to ensure adherence to proper health and safety protocols.

When accidents do occur, BIC now relies on the Root Cause Analysis investigation within SAI360’s Incident module, which uses a universal methodology and language to identify the factors contributing to each incident. Additionally, every incident is examined on the module’s Five Whys and Sequence of Events elements. The classification of incidents centers around several consequences being:
• Environmental
• Equipment damage or loss
• Fire
• Motor vehicle accident
• Near miss
• Quality
• Security
• Injury with days lost or restricted
Analyzing each incident ensures that even those that do not result in serious injury or fatality receive the same level of scrutiny to be able to identify all root causes. This gives HSE the power to alter protocols and procedures to prevent accidents at their root.


Adopting digitalization requires engagement from all employees within the company. BIC uses SAI360 EHS&S technology to stay at the forefront of the ongoing Fourth Industrial Revolution, which centers on increasing automation and connecting workers to integrated HSE platforms that enable them to actively contribute to improved workplace safety.

A key driver for digitization is a global strategy to improve data analytics approach. SAI360 is the backbone of HSE digitization.

BIC has begun using SAI’s mobile app, Roam. The app makes it simple to report incidents, make observations, track travel, and even add photos.

All information, whether from the web application or mobile app, is put into a central database, eliminating the time and effort required from email and other manual reporting methods.

Injury risk in manufacturing differs based on roles across factories. The more information the HSE team has on the unique risks of individual tasks and the movements they require, the better they can modify tasks to minimize the risk of injury.

BIC is testing a combination of sensors worn by operators and video monitoring to highlight hazardous gestures that can cause accidents. In addition to helping update policies and procedures, this visualization of risk benefits operators in training as they learn proper techniques.

Connected technologies such as biometrics, for example, fingerprints, are utilized to streamline the delivery of personal protective equipment (PPE) to workers. BIC utilized this technology to distribute PPE to one of the Brazil plants, just as the Covid-19 pandemic gained traction. This implementation enhanced safety at scale for the nearly 1,000 workers at the plant.

The BIC subsidiary BIC Technologie has begun using augmented and virtual reality apps to improve operations in several ways. AR apps assist with layout, planning, design reviews, enhanced training, and even provide remote 3D maintenance instructions. The developments, which were accelerated by Covid-19, contribute to safety by highlighting the hazardous parts of machines through the operator’s mobile device.

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