News and stories28 April 2021
Marking the World Day for Safety and Health at Work
Each year we observe the ILO’s World Day for Safety and Health at Work – and for the second time amidst a global pandemic, we reflect on best practice for looking after the safety and wellbeing of our stakeholders.
At BAT, keeping our employees and contractors safe in the workplace continues to be one of the fundamental building blocks supporting our purpose of building A Better Tomorrow™. Since the start of the pandemic, health and safety at work has taken on an even greater significance around the world, and we continue to maintain an even sharper focus on wellbeing, health and safety – thanks to the efforts of all at BAT. As the World Day for Safety and Health at Work is marked across the globe, we have taken this opportunity to reflect on our commitment to zero accidents, as well as staying safe at work through a pandemic.
Our multi-faceted response to COVID-19 was focused on keeping our people safe and helping the wider communities we operate in, wherever possible. A series of measures across the Group were swiftly introduced at the start of last year to protect all our employees and contractors including temperature checking, sanitising workplaces, providing personal protective equipment (PPE) and implementing one-way systems. More broadly to assist with numerous national responses to the unfolding global health crisis, we helped manufacture PPE in regions including Bangladesh, South Korea and the US, while in the UK and Brazil we loaned the specialist equipment required for their respective national Covid-19 testing programmes.
Looking beyond the procedures in place to protect our people from the virus, at BAT health and wellbeing in the workplace is always top of the agenda. Safety risks vary across our value chain and the locations we operate in. So, we continue to adopt a risk-based approach across the Group and tailor our policies to deliver best-practice support and training. With an ambitious goal of zero accidents across the Group, we track safety performance across all our sites, and a dedicated team regularly analyses the information to identify trends or high-risk areas that require action.
As well as protecting physical safety, we are equally passionate about caring for the mental wellbeing of our employees. The Group makes sure all our employees are aware of the extensive wellbeing support available to them, including online medical consultations and counselling services, as well as a range of other wellness tools from healthy lifestyle and fitness schemes to other family-friendly flexible working initiatives.
This year’s theme for the World Day for Safety and Health at Work is ‘anticipate, prepare and respond to a crisis.’ At BAT we continue to hold ourselves and our third-party suppliers to the highest standards of safety and health in the workplace, which is why we believe we have been able to mobilise our teams and resources to quickly address the risks from the COVID-19 pandemic, emerging stronger than ever.