The reason there are not even more accidents and diseases caused by work is because systems of prevention are in place which have been built up over generations, health and safety experts say.
According to them, attention to health and safety is not just about being socially responsible. It also makes good business sense and employers should regard it as just as important as the achievement of any other key business objective
One such place which is a harbinger of safety is Nestlé, where authorities have established a culture based on the values of trust, mutual respect and dialogue.
“We aim to make sure we stand by these values to meet the needs of the billions of consumers in Central and West Africa and worldwide, and to our 6,798 employees in the region,” the company said in statement on its website.
According to the world's leading nutrition, health and wellness company, Health and safety remains important for everyone at Nestlé Central and West Africa Region (CWAR), regardless of what they do or where they work.
It focuses its resources on visitors to its facilities, and increasingly on those who work for its partners, up and down the value chain.
“Today we are ensuring that robust safety and health management systems are in place, covering all employee populations so there is the same level of safety and protection across all our businesses in CWAR,” it said.
Ensuring basic health and safety protection
Nestlé launched a road safety programme in CWAR for employees to increase safe driving. Main driver employees in Francophone countries have already taken part and this year the company is rolling out the initiative to cover Anglophone countries.
The company is also a founding member of Safe Way Right Way in Cameroon, which aims to teach more people about road safety.
“We’ve already reached about 120,000 drivers in the region. In 2013 we introduced a pilot malaria prevention programme to employees and their families in Cameroon; our training and preventative tools, like providing mosquito nets, resulted in a 27 per cent drop in malaria cases a year later. In Gabon, the programme marked a 95 per cent success rate. We are set to roll out the initiative across the region by the end of 2017,” Nestle said.
Health campaigns have been launched in a bid to make its employees aware of health-related diseases such as HIV/AIDS. They are also being offered free cardiovascular and diabetes testing and medical checks by healthcare professionals at some of our sites.
“We activated an ‘Ebola Virus Disease Protocol’ with the IFRC to monitor the disease since the outbreak in 2014; We’ve reinforced hygiene measures and communication at all our sites, provided sanitary packages to employees in Ebola-affected countries such as Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, and offered psychological support,” the statement said.
Providing a conducive environment for employees
Last year the Nestlé CWAR Parental Policy was launched. It is based on the International Labour Organization Maternity Protection Convention.
Under the initiative, employees are offered a number of benefits including minimum of 14 weeks paid maternity leave, employment and health protection, and access to breastfeeding rooms during work hours.
Nestle carried out activities across all our sites during World Breastfeeding Week in 2015 to raise the importance of breastfeeding among employees.
Nestlé’s Amos Amegayie Elorm, a Safety, Health and Environment officer in Ghana, is helping to improve workplace conditions to make sure our employees are safe and healthy.
“We strive to provide a conducive environment for our 6,798 employees in the region, regardless of what they do or where they work and are also making sure that the safety and health of our visitors to our facilities, and those who work for our partners, are met,” the company stated.
Efforts are underway to close any gaps, monitor third party practices and review existing assessments.
Improving the working environment at its sites through activities such as ergonomic assessments also enables Amos and his team to help employees avoid any injuries and boost their well-being in the workplace.
The company promised to ensure that robust safety and health management systems are in place in all our operations in Central and West Africa, covering our employees so there is the same level of health and safety protection for all.
Source: The Finder
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