Health & Safety

Keeping our people safe is our greatest responsibility

The health and safety of our employees, visitors and partners is of critical importance. Recognising our responsibility to identify and mitigate health and safety risks, we aim to conduct our operations in a manner that safeguards the health and safety of our employees, those with whom we do business, visitors to our business premises and the communities in which we operate. We believe that all incidents are preventable. We aim to improve our health and safety management systems continuously with a view to causing zero harm.

The Swire Pacific Zero Harm Framework focuses on five areas: management commitment, a safe workplace, safe behaviour, continuous improvement of management systems and effective injury management.

Ensuring a healthy and safe workplace

Each operating company has an occupational health and safety (OH&S) policy, which is monitored by our Internal Audit Department.


Establishing a strong safety culture, where employees take responsibility for their own safety and the safety of others, is key to achieving zero harm. We aim to identify and manage potential hazards before an incident occurs by reporting near misses and conducting regular safety audits.

The Swire Pacific Health and Safety Committee reports to the Group Risk Management Committee, which in turn reports via the Audit Committee to the Board. The members of the Health and Safety Committee are senior representatives from each of the five divisions who are responsible for health and safety. The committee is responsible for developing group health and safety policy and guidelines, monitoring divisional performance, promoting education and training, sharing best practice and developing internal health and safety capabilities. In order to evaluate our performance, we record lost time injury rates and lost day rates and set annual targets for improvement. The divisions report on safety quarterly to the Group Risk Management Committee and the Board receives regular updates on safety from the Audit Committee. There is a separate China health and safety working group, which deals with health and safety in Mainland China, where regulations can vary between provinces and change regularly.

The annual Swire Pacific Health and Safety Conference took place in November 2016. The theme was “Safety is good for business”. The conference addressed human factors, the Internet of Things in the workplace, proactive change management, health and safety management and techniques in risk management and incident investigation. It was attended by representatives from group companies in Hong Kong, Mainland China, Taiwan, Singapore and the USA.

Moving Towards Zero Harm

At Swire Pacific, we track our safety performance by measuring our Lost Time Injury Rate (LTIR) and the Lost Day Rate (LDR). LTIR is the number of injuries per 100 full-time equivalent employees. LDR is the number of work days lost to injuries per 100 full-time equivalent employees.

In 2016, our LTIR decreased to 1.62 from 1.64 in 2015 (a 1.2% annual decrease and a cumulative 41% decrease over the past 5 years). In 2016, our LDR decreased to 46.77 from 53.99 in 2015 (a 13.4% annual decrease). Cathay Pacific, Swire Properties, Swire Beverages and Swire Pacific Offshore all reported significant LDR reductions in 2016. During 2016:

  • Safety became the first agenda item for key management and committee meetings within the Group
  • Swire Beverages adopted interview-style job safety analyses to identify hazards with a view to improving workplace safety
  • Cathay Pacific and HAECO engaged in campaigns to reinforce safe behaviour and reduce injuries related to manual handling
  • All HAECO group companies in Hong Kong achieved OHSAS18001 safety management certification
  • Swire Properties and Swire Resources reviewed each other’s safety procedures in order to share best practices
  • Rehabilitation service providers were appointed to improve staff injury management and to implement a return-to-work programme

Regrettably, there was one fatality in 2016. An employee at Qinyuan Bakery in Mainland China was struck by a vehicle while he was delivering goods to a store. Following a full investigation, road safety procedures were improved and relevant training enhanced to raise staff safety awareness.


For more information on how Health and Safety is managed in some of our operating companies please check out our Marine and Trading and Industrial Division pages.

Sustaining a Life Well Balanced

We care about our employees’ mental as well their physical well-being. Under our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), we have a 24-hour Professional Personal Counselling and Consultation (PPCC) hotline for colleagues to use in order to help them deal with stress management, relationships, parenting, coping with trauma and grief and preparing for retirement. Employees approaching retirement age are invited to pre-retirement workshops. The PPCC (and the coaching service referred to below) are conducted by experienced counsellors, social workers and clinical psychologists. All information is kept in strict confidence.

Under the EAP, seminars have been provided on the following topics: "Chinese Herbal Cuisine and Physical Health”, "Diet Wise – Spring & Summer Series", "Have a Good Night Sleep", "Say Goodbye to Sub-health", "Low Pressure Relaxation through Drama", “The Power of Positive Thinking” and “Back and Neck Care”.

Maintaining a sustainable balance between work and non-work elements of-life is important for wellbeing. Swire Pacific encourages an approach to work which fits with this aim. We provide a free coaching service which advises employees how to cope with the challenges they may encounter in their life within and outside Swire.

We encourage our employees to lead active lifestyles through participation in physical well-being programmes arranged by our Staff Association. There are family outings to Ocean Park and Disneyland in Hong Kong and inter-company sporting competitions. We sponsor Hong Kong's King of the Hills Mountain Marathon Series.


Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon Inflight Medical Support’

Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon Inflight Medical Support’

All Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon aircraft are able to call for aero-medical advisory assistance at any time by telephone. This ensures that, regardless of where an aircraft is flying, there is normally access to medical personnel who can offer assistance with the diagnosis and treatment of passenger and crew illnesses and injuries. All crew are trained in basic first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation. We carry automated external defibrillators (AEDs) on all our Cathay Pacific passenger aircraft, which all crew are trained to use. We will carry AEDs on all Cathay Dragon aircraft from later this year.


HAECO Xiamen – Safety Management via WeChat

HAECO Xiamen – Safety Management via WeChat

HAECO usually provides safety training in classrooms or workshops. This is labour intensive, limits the number of staff that can be reached and can lead to inconsistent messages.

In 2016, HAECO Xiamen started to provide safety management training via WeChat. The following safety management tools are made available in this way: safety news, safety culture surveys, safety suggestions, a safety knowledge competition, a safety inspection record, a training schedule and behaviour observations. This has facilitated fast and consistent communication of safety messages to over 4,500 staff. It saves 4,500 sheets of paper per year and reduces administration by the equivalent of three full-time employees.




In 1923, schools were established to provide free education for the children of Swire’s workforce at the Taikoo Sugar Refinery and Taikoo Dockyard. The school now named the Taikoo Primary School is currently a Government-run public school, but continues to receive financial support from The Swire Group Charitable Trust and senior Swire management continued to sit on the school’s board.

Photo circa 2002


Our summer internship programme gives exceptional students the opportunity to gain experience of working with us. Interns first learn about what we do and our values. They are then posted to operating companies to work on business projects.

Photo credit: JS&SHK Leadership Development


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