Workforce wellbeing & safety

What is Workforce wellbeing & safety at AstraZeneca?

Company efforts to create a healthy and safe working environment are conducive to a workforce thriving and maintaining a good work–life balance. This includes efforts to limit safety hazards for employees through proper design, engineering and preventative maintenance, and embedding a safety, health and environment (SHE) culture across the organisation.

Our approach

We take a holistic approach to workforce wellbeing and safety, considering both physical and mental health dimensions at work, in transit and at home. We strive to ensure that our employees have the resources not only to deal with, but to thrive in challenging situations.

Through our management system, we manage risks to maintain a workplace that is safe and healthy for our entire workforce and visitors. We have created a culture of continuous improvement so that we learn from any incidents. We seek to ensure that our suppliers embrace these same principles.

See our Workforce wellbeing model below:

Our key targets and progress

See the Sustainability Data Summary for all metrics and methodology

Our stories

Employees drive action on mental health

Local mental health initiatives implemented at various sites have inspired our global workforce wellbeing strategy. Employees have felt empowered to create their own initiatives such as an internal social media stream dedicated as a safe space to share mental health awareness stories. Here a few examples of mental wellbeing actions across the globe:

Trained aids

  • Our Mental Health First Aiders have had training in recognising mental health issues and have support and resources at their fingertips to direct people towards what will be most helpful.

Conversations on mental health

  • Employees have felt empowered to speak up and share mental health awareness stories on an internal social media stream dedicated as a safe space with the purpose of sharing vulnerabilities and strengths.
  • Colleagues across the UK came together in February to mark Time to Talk Day 2019. It is a UK-wide charity event that aims to get people together to discuss mental health. This supports breaking down stereotypes, removing stigmas and aiding recovery.

Creating a culture of safety

To deliver a culture of safety, we host workshops throughout the year. The Serious incident and fatality (SIF) prevention summit explained the importance of focusing on serious incidents, and the types of tasks and scenarios that could lead to a SIF event. Attendees learned the importance of fully investigating these events without blame and sharing the learning so they can be prevented.

After our SIF Prevention program was in place a trend of serious near misses was identified during the delivery and loading process at AstraZeneca and third party supplier warehouses. Near misses included trucks moving while still being loaded, pedestrians almost being struck by vehicles and miscommunication between drivers and those unloading vehicles. Following a review of all our warehouses, a standard was developed that included minimum requirements for securing vehicles, personal protective equipment for pedestrians, and driver and warehouse communication.

Recognizing wellbeing and safety excellence

We recognize excellence at our sites, including for wellbeing and safety initiatives. In 2019, our Puerto Rico site won the Stay Well category with a multi-faced approach. It opened a wellness club with fitness classes, held a health fair, and offered blood pressure and glucose testing clinics.

The Global Environmental Remediation Group won the Leading in SHE category for its safe process to remove decommissioned structures once used by a legacy company to help boats transport chemicals on the Ohio River in the US. The team successfully completed the project with zero recordable incidences for over 13,000 working field hours. It emphasized the right culture with safety kick-off meetings, twice daily briefings, mock emergency drills, and promotion of a stop work culture for all employees and sub-contractors.

Learn more about Workforce wellbeing and safety in our Sustainability Report.