HEALTH AND SAFETY

HU.1.a. Health and safety systems

Does the company ensure that its workers are provided safe, suitable and sanitary work facilities?

ABOUT THIS QUESTION

The company should provide safe and healthy working facilities and take appropriate precautionary measures to protect workers from work-related hazards and anticipated dangers in the workplace. Furthermore the company should ensure that any residential facilities provided to workers are safe and sanitary and meet their basic needs. Safety precautions will depend upon the industry and country of operation, company concerns and the needs of vulnerable workers, such as pregnant women.

The question applies to workers directly engaged by the company  and workers engaged through third parties to perform work related to core business processes for a substantial duration (contracted workers operating within company premises).

 

The question relates to the right to life, liberty and security of person and the right to health. It is based on general principles contained in the following: Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), Article 25; International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966), Articles 7 (b) and 12 (2b); Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1979), Article 11 (1f); ILO Hygiene (Commerce and Office) Convention (C120, 1964); ILO Occupational Health and Services Convention (C161, 1985), Article 5 (b); Tripartite Declaration on the Responsibilities of Transnational Corporations (1977), Article 38. IFC Performance Standard 2: Labor and Working Conditions.

 

ANSWER THIS QUESTION

First answer the following indicators (step 1) and then the main question (step 2).

Step 1. Answer the following indicators:

The company has effective health and safety procedures in place, which comply with industry, national and international standards.

Responsibilities for health and safety tasks are clearly defined.

The company routinely monitors its production processes, machinery and equipment to ensure that they are safe and in good working order.

Workers and managers are trained to respond to workplace emergencies; first aid kits and fire extinguishers are readily available; and escape exits are clearly marked and free from obstruction.

The workplace is maintained to ensure clean and comfortable conditions including a suitable temperature, ventilation and lighting; suitable washing and sanitation areas appropriate for both genders.

Residential or overnight facilities are safe and sanitary and meet the basic needs of workers including with regard to safety, space, temperature, lighting, ventilation, food, water, sanitary facilities, privacy, and affordability.

The company provides safe drinking water for workers and facilities for clean and sanitary food storage and eating.

Where relevant the company has put in place special health and safety precautions for pregnant women, employees with disabilities, night workers, young workers and other vulnerable groups.

Step 2. Answer the main question:

Does the company ensure that its workers are provided safe, suitable and sanitary work facilities?

 

HU.1.b. Protective equipment and training

Does the company ensure that workers are provided with the protective equipment and training necessary to perform their tasks safely?

ABOUT THIS QUESTION

All workers must be trained for all tasks for which they are responsible prior to new assignments. Workers should not be exposed to harmful processes, chemicals, substances or techniques. When exposure is unavoidable, all workers exposed must be provided with the necessary protective equipment at no cost. Workers should be protected against processes, substances and techniques, which are obnoxious, unhealthy, toxic or harmful, including but not limited to the following: harmful chemicals or biological agents; noise; toxic fumes, emissions, smoke, gases, smells, or other forms of air pollution; vibration; radiation; electrical shocks and currents; flames; incendiary or explosive agents; snow, ice, or other slippery surfaces; extreme temperatures; falling objects; asbestos, coal, and other substances that cause respiratory ailments if inhaled or ingested; bright light or sun; dangerous machinery (e.g. saws, presses); lead and benzene; cigarette or cigar smoke; flying debris, particles or sparks.

The question applies to workers directly engaged by the company and workers engaged through third parties to perform work related to core business processes for a substantial duration (contracted workers operating within company premises).

The question relates to the right to health and is based on general principles contained in the following: Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), Article 25; International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966), Articles 7 (b) and 12 (2b and c); ILO Occupational Safety and Health Convention (C155, 1981), Articles 16 (3) and 21], ILO Hygiene (Commerce and offices) Convention (C120, 1964), Article 17. IFC Performance Standard 2: Labor and Working Conditions.

 

ANSWER THIS QUESTION

First answer the following indicators (step 1) and then the main question (step 2).

Step 1. Answer the following indicators:

The company has a procedure to ensure that all workers are provided, free of charge or deposits, with the protective equipment necessary to safely perform their job functions.

The company is committed to ensuring that workers use the protective equipment provided and understand why it is necessary to use the equipment.

The company ensures that all workers have the necessary training to safely perform their job functions and keeps workers fully informed, in a language and form understandable to them, of the health and safety procedures.

An accurate record is kept of who has been trained and for what tasks.

On a regular basis and when assigned to new tasks, workers receive training in the safe use of equipment and processes.

A company function or member of staff is responsible for keeping informed of scientific and technological developments regarding health and safety risks and protective equipment.

Step 2. Answer the main question:

Does the company ensure that workers are provided with the protective equipment and training necessary to perform their tasks safely?

 

HU.1.c. Employee involvement

Does the company actively involve workers in health and safety work?

ABOUT THIS QUESTION

The best way to protect the workers against accidents and reduce sick leave is to involve them in the health and safety work. Workers should be heard either directly or through safety representatives appointed by the various staff groups. The company should set up a health and safety committee with persons representing both management and workers. The committee should handle complaints regarding health and safety, work with risk prevention, monitor accident statistics and take actions to prevent recurrence. The risk of accidents should be minimised by documenting accidents, adapting processes to prevent recurrence and an effective emergency plan. The procedures must comply with the national and international standards in the sector in which the company operates.

The question applies to workers directly engaged by the company and workers engaged through third parties to perform work related to core business processes for a substantial duration (contracted workers operating within company premises).

The question relates to the right to health and is based on the framework for worker involvement provided by e.g. the International Labour Organization (ILO), in the Convention on the Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health, which requires employers to give employees information, instruction and training on health and safety issues. This basic form of worker involvement is a prerequisite for engaging in consultation with employees. “Best practice” worker involvement in health and safety implies changes in behaviour by managers and workers that lead to safer and healthier workplaces.

 

ANSWER THIS QUESTION

First answer the following indicators (step 1) and then the main question (step 2).

Step 1. Answer the following indicators:

The company consults employees on health and safety issues either directly or through a freely elected safety representative(s) for relevant groups of employees.

A health and safety committee has been established including employee safety representatives and representatives from management.

Health and safety accidents are reported and investigated including involving the relevant worker(s), and actions are taken to prevent recurrences.

Health and safety near-misses (accidents not resulting in injury) are reported and investigated to help improve safety.

Health and safety accidents are monitored including hours lost as a result of injury or illness and e.g. compared to total hours worked (lost time injury frequency).

Step 2. Answer the main question:

Does the company actively involve workers in health and safety work?

 
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