Keeping our people safe is a fundamental responsibility
Health and Safety is a core part of our sustainable development policy. Protecting the health and safety of our workforce is fundamental to our businesses achieving long-term success and to upholding our commitment to sustainability. 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, contractors, suppliers, customers, and 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 the ultimate aim of 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 quarterly on safety to the Group Risk Management Committee and the Board receives regular updates on safety from the Audit Committee. There is a separate Mainland 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 2017. This year’s theme was “Embedding Safety Culture”. Health and Safety representatives from the divisions gathered to share best practice in workplace safety and to benefit from relevant expertise in the group with a view to improving our safety culture. We discussed rehabilitation programmes intended to contribute to the safe return of employees to work and to improve relations with employees generally. The conference was attended by 65 representatives from group companies in Hong Kong, Mainland China, Taiwan, Singapore and the USA.
A thriving safety culture
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 2017, the LTIR increased to 1.73 from 1.62 in 2016. This represents a 6.8% increase from 2016. This is mainly due to increased LTIR at the Cathay Pacific group. This reflected more manual handling injuries suffered by ramp workers and injuries to Vogue Laundry staff at its new production site. Total LTIR has reduced by 33% over the last five years.
In 2017, the LDR increased by 27%. This reflected some lengthy recovery periods for Cathay Pacific, Swire Properties and HAECO employees. Total LDR has reduced by 9.8% over the last five years.
LTIR at Swire Pacific (Number of injuries per 100 FTE)
LDR at Swire Pacific (Number of injuries per 100 FTE)
The Health and Safety Committee is identifying metrics which are leading indicators of safety. Such leading indicators can help to improve health and safety by pointing to appropriate preventative measures.
Swire Properties conducted safety observations in its properties in Hong Kong and shared relevant best practices
Independent third party audits were conducted on the safety management systems at four properties in Hong Kong and Mainland China
Cathay Pacific introduced PROACTIVE, a magazine devoted to safety and intended to inform employees about safety activities and issues
Cathay Pacific, HAECO and Swire Coca-Cola USA implemented enhanced manual handling processes intended to reduce related injuries through training and the application of proper lifting techniques
Most HAECO group companies adopted standardised incident investigation techniques. Relevant training was provided to health and safety representatives
HAECO Landing Gear Services designed (and started to use) a device to cool staff when they are painting
HAESL developed a corporate safety video for visitors and contractors working at their facility
Swire Beverages conducted safety reviews at all their newly acquired plants in Mainland China and the USA
SPO reviewed their safety risk assessment process, conducted training and extended the process to their fleet
Qinyuan Bakery developed a driving safety manual for its delivery drivers
Regrettably, there were four fatalities in 2017. Two were in Hong Kong, one in Mainland China and one in the USA. Three were vehicle related incidents. They occurred at Swire Waste Management Limited, Cathay Pacific Services Limited and Swire Coca-Cola, USA respectively. The fourth was a fall from height incident at Swire Cold Chain Logistics (Nanjing) Company Limited. Full investigations of each incident were conducted. A safety management assessment was conducted by a consultant as a post-incident measure for Swire Cold Chain Logistics (Nanjing) Company Limited. Relevant job safety procedures have been improved and training has been given to raise staff safety awareness.
In 2017, Swire Beverages undertook road traffic management pilot projects in their Nanjing and Hangzhou bottling plants. The projects’ objective is to put in place a system to direct onsite pedestrians and traffic safely. If successful, these traffic management systems will be implemented in all Swire Beverages’ bottling plants in Mainland China.
In 2017, Cathay Pacific started to develop a ground operations monitoring programme. The programme gathers information about normal work on and around ramps. It is intended to allow safety issues to be identified before rather than after the event. It is being implemented this year.
Sustaining a life well balanced
In addition to workplace safety, we place great emphasis on the health and wellbeing of our employees. We care about our employees’ mental as well as physical wellbeing. Under our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), we have a 24-hour Professional Personal Counselling and Consultation (PPCC) hotline for employees 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 on 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 wellbeing 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.
Road safety in Mainland China
In Mainland China, more than 9,000 Swire Beverages sales representatives (including those under contract) travel to customer locations, mostly on electric motorbikes. Helmets are often not required by law in Mainland China. Swire Beverages provides free helmets to its sales representatives – warm ones in winter and cooler ones in summer. Courses on safe driving are also provided. Staff are encouraged to use their helmets outside working hours and to extend their safety awareness.
Innovating a safer work environment
In 2017, two Swire Properties employees won Merit Awards at the 9th Outstanding Occupational Safety and Health Employee Award Scheme organised by the Hong Kong Occupational Safety and Health Council. Cheung Chi-tak, a technician at Island Place, Hong Kong, developed a practical and effective strap for small tools, which wraps around the user’s waist to keep the tools from slipping and falling. Frederick Leung, a technical officer, won an award for promoting the use of new, safer stepladders to be used by employees working at height.
Emergency response system
The Cathay Pacific Crisis Response Centre has the facilities and logistical capabilities to manage a global crisis response. The centre’s corporate emergency plan is regularly tested. The arrangements include a centralised command protocol, local response teams, telephone enquiry and support centres, and biennial training for special assistance volunteers. There is a 24/7 notification system for activating a crisis response.
Incidents are classified and managed by an incident management team under an incident management protocol.
Each Cathay Pacific outport (there are more than 100 of them) participated in at least one emergency exercise simulation in 2017.
There are more than 1,000 employees in Cathay Pacific’s care team. The team assists affected passengers, employees and families during a crisis. A further 8,000 volunteer employees can supplement the work of the care team during significant events.