All of our companies have local safety objectives of zero accidents
We are committed to providing a safe working environment for all our employees and contractors and have a Group goal of zero accidents. We also work to protect and maintain employees’ occupational health as part of a commitment to employees’ physical, mental and social wellbeing.
We have a Group Health & Safety Policy that aims to apply the best international standards of practice relating to the health and safety of employees at work and non-company personnel on company premises and to give a high priority to these activities.
The Policy applies across all our activities and requires our companies, as well as complying with all applicable laws and regulations, to commit to the prevention of injury and ill-health and strive for continual improvement in our health and safety management and performance, through setting clear objectives, including the monitoring and measurement of key performance indicators.
Health and Safety Policy (30 kb)
The Policy is backed by detailed specific requirements for all our sites as part of our Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) management system. Our EHS system has been in place for many years and is based on international standards. At end 2012, 23 locations across all regions are certified to the OHSAS 18001 international occupational health and safety standard.
Our approach is focused on risk management and reducing the main causes of accidents and serious injuries. We have a number of focused initiatives in place, such as programme to reduce vehicle-related injuries in our Trade Marketing & Distribution teams; and risk assessments and root cause analyses in our manufacturing sites, to help find engineering solutions to safety hazards, including entrapment accidents.
In 2012, while we reduced the number of reported lost workday cases across the Group by 20%, we suffered an increase in serious injuries and fatalities to our employees and contractors working in some of the more challenging environments around the world. Reported serious injuries increased from 30 to 43 and fatalities from seven to 12. The rise in fatalities was mainly the result of increased assaults on our sales representatives and security guards, and serious road traffic accidents.
We deeply regret these injuries and fatalities and the suffering caused to family, friends and colleagues as a result. The rise in incidences is a matter of enormous concern to us – especially as we are wholeheartedly committed to keeping our employees and contractors as safe as possible. With this in mind, we have carried out detailed reviews of each fatality and serious injury, to learn lessons and identify actions to help make sure they don’t happen again.
The majority of these serious injuries and fatalities and some 60% of all reported accidents taking place within our Trade Marketing & Distribution teams, where many of our sales representatives and security guards are out on the road. As such, we have put in place focused support and action plans for this particular area of the business.
In 2012, we strengthened our accident review processes and launched ‘Closing the gap to zero’, our global awareness campaign. This campaign was led by our Chief Executive and Group Operations Director. It re-emphasised the fact that safety is the responsibility of everyone in the Group – whether employees or contractors – and the importance of implementing the policies, behaviours and practices that drive us to zero accidents across the business. And following targeted initiatives, we saw fewer reported accidents than the previous year for all six of the most common causes of accidents.
Full details of our safety performance can be viewed in our sustainability data centre .
We aim to be among the leaders in occupational health management. We focus on identifying hazards, assessing risks to people’s health at work and introducing appropriate controls. Our companies have programmes to protect and promote health and wellbeing for employees, their families and, in some cases, local communities. These are particularly valuable in those parts of the world where local health services struggle to provide an adequate service.
Our Significant Endemic Disease programme aims to reduce the impacts of diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, AIDS and hepatitis on employees, their families and communities. It includes a range of interventions such as vaccination, peer education, water purification, nutrition and personal hygiene.