Backed by our global Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) Policy, which requires the integration of safety and health considerations into all our activities across the company, we work continuously to ensure that the risks are understood and managed responsibly.
We have a set of mandatory global standards and procedures that establish the minimum SHE performance requirements for particular risk areas. In the area of safety and health, there are currently 25 global standards including fire safety, process safety, industrial hygiene, control of chemical exposure, biohazard, ergonomics and driver safety. In each of these areas, specialist networks have been established to help communicate and implement the global standards, share learning and address emerging issues.
In the area of health and hazard assessment, we have a global team of specialists in charge of characterising the hazards associated with all AstraZeneca pharmaceuticals by evaluating their toxicological, pharmacological, physical/chemical and environmental properties. The purpose is to keep AstraZeneca personnel, third parties, the environment and the public safe during the manufacturing and R&D process and movement of materials. This information is communicated to company sites and functions and to third parties in various formats (safety data sheets, material safety data sheets, dangerous goods documents, supply labels, etc), which must be in compliance with existing national/regional regulations. Additional risk assessment tools, such as an internally developed hazard group and risk calculator and occupational exposure limits for all APIs, support local sites in providing a safe working environment for our employees.
Our health and wellbeing programmes help employees to understand their personal health risks and are designed to empower staff to proactively manage these risks and generally improve their health and wellbeing.
In 2013, we took the opportunity to review and update our safety and occupational health risk profiles, and further develop our roadmap of the activities and deliverables required to ensure we meet our 2015 objectives. We identified the need for improvement in several risk areas, whilst continuing to maintain tight control of our major safety and health risks in existing and new facilities. Driver safety continues to be a key risk area for improvement. Other areas include slips, trips and falls and working with machinery and we are using in-depth root cause analyses to make sure that we take the most appropriate actions for improvement. In occupational health, stress management and ergonomics remain a particular focus. In this section, we describe the steps we are taking to drive further improvement in key areas of our safety, health and wellbeing activity, together with details of our performance to date.