british american tobacco p.l.c. sustainability report 2011 - Workplace health and safety

Skip Data Fast Track Navigation

Data fast track

Sustainability Report 2011

We are committed to providing a safe working environment for all our employees and contractors and have a Group goal of zero accidents.

Workplace health and safetyIt is a matter of great concern to us that there were 37 serious injuries reported in 2011, involving 18 employees and 19 contractors across 21 countries. Seven out of these 37 injuries were fatalities (one employee and six contractors), compared to four in 2010 (three employees and one contractor). Four were the result of assaults, two were from falls from height and one was the result of a road traffic accident. We greatly regret this loss of life and we systematically review every major incident to identify any ways in which we can prevent a recurrence.

Along with the number of serious injuries and fatalities for both employees and contractors, we also monitor our Lost Workday Case Incident Rate (LWCIR). The Group’s LWCIR in 2011 was 0.26, compared to 0.27 in 2010. Our total number of lost workday cases decreased from 212 in 2010 to 204 in 2011.

In 2011, we implemented our plan to reduce vehicle-related injuries in our Trade Marketing & Distribution teams. Already, we have seen positive results, with an 18 per cent reduction in the teams’ vehicle-related lost workday cases and a reduction in fatalities compared to 2010. Group-wide vehicle-related accidents decreased by nearly 19 per cent compared to 2010. Following targeted initiatives to address manual handling accidents, lost workday cases in this area reduced by 53 per cent for the Group.

We updated our health and safety strategy in 2010. Then, in 2011, we focused on risk management and reducing the main causes of accidents and serious injuries. This included:

  • Encouraging managers, employees and business partners to talk more about what precautions need to be put in place;
  • Launching awareness campaigns about specific types of accidents;
  • The introduction of ‘safety surveys’ as part of senior management visits to operational sites;
  • Making improvements to our Environment, Health & Safety management system;
  • Improving our internal audit process to make sure our risk controls and management systems are fit for purpose;
  • Extending the scope of our health and safety reporting to help us prioritise our activities; and
  • Working to ensure that our occupational health services are used to support employees returning to work following an accident and to provide support following any traumatic incidents, such as assaults.

We have programmes to protect and promote health, which are particularly valuable in those parts of the world where local health services struggle to provide an adequate service. In these areas, diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, AIDS and hepatitis are often responsible for high levels of death and disability.

Our Significant Endemic Disease programme aims to reduce the impact of these diseases on employees, their families and communities. You can read more about the programme on Opens in new window and about the HIV/AIDS programme run by our company in South Africa in the regions and markets section.


Improving health and safety performance across the Group has been a focus area over the past year and we have seen evidence of regular updates being provided to leadership. An internal review of accident categorisation has led to improved identification of priority areas and the roll-out of accident reduction initiatives across the Group. Although we have seen a positive downward trend of vehicle-related injuries compared to 2010, these accidents continue to be the most common cause of physical incidents and so the focus needs to continue to identify further areas for improvement.


Ensuring a safe working culture is paramount to the success of our business. That is why our ambition is for zero accidents in our workplace.

Des Naughton, Group Director of Operations

Back to top