We’ve made several key improvements to how we manage health & safety.
We manage health and safety risks by means of a management framework, accident and incident reports, safety inspections, and risk assessments in all our branches and head offices.
One major step has been the introduction of the ISO OHSAS18001 management framework which is now in place in all our markets, and we aim for full compliance across each business during 2013. We’ve built up a world-class safety team across the business to help us achieve this, appointing senior safety practitioners with a great deal of experience from other organisations.
How we manage safety at all levels of our business:
- The Group Safety Committee sets policy and monitors performance. It reports every six months to the Country Management Team which is chaired by the Chief Executive Officer
- Each market has its own Safety Committee, responsible for monitoring safety and ensuring Group policy matches local legislation
- Operational managers hold meetings at regional level and below to consult with workers, assess localised risks and deliver appropriate training and advice
- A web-based portal helps improve timeliness and ease of reporting and provides an effective tool for managing group safety performance
- A safety satisfaction survey allows us to obtain feedback from employees and agents. Issues can also be raised confidentially through the ‘speak up’ hotline
Training and communication
All employees and agents undergo a safety induction. We also provide refresher training and seasonal safety campaigns focussed on localised risks. A customised approach to health and safety training has been developed and rolled out through training modules for various roles and levels.
We have recruited more than 250 safety mentors internally. Their roles include:
- Acting as ambassadors to promote a culture of personal safety
- Spreading best practice
- Helping people manage safety
- Acting as a conduit for feedback from staff to managers with specific responsibilities for safety
Employee notice boards, employee forums, health and safety weeks and internal magazines all help to provide information about health and safety issues. We also provide a range of documentation, including a manual, which is circulated to all branches.
Our aim is to get people to manage their own safety with support and guidance from appropriately-nominated subject matter experts. This ensures we get localised solutions to local challenges as well as keeping people actively engaged in contributing to our overall effectiveness.
Agents work in the field and so may face greater personal risk than office-based employees. We have appropriate procedures in place to manage this. We provide agents with comprehensive induction and guidance on dealing with difficult situations they may encounter. We provide safety alarms and always advise them to be aware of their surroundings and the people in the area. Close communication between agents and their field manager provides a further safeguard.
During 2012, we also carried out over 35,000 risk assessments at the agency level.
Health and wellbeing
We appreciate the company and employee benefits of flexible working. Through our flexible working policy our businesses aim to help employees maintain a healthy balance between work and home life by offering part-time and flexible working, compressed hours, home working and supporting short career breaks.
We have a flexible working policy and a number of initiatives are underway across the Group, such as a teleworking pilot in Hungary. Varying by market, we also offer health checks, flu vaccinations and vitamin kits. We also provide defensive driving classes, especially for field staff who regularly use cars as part of their job.