Our Corporate Safety Action Plans are at the forefront of our maturing safety management system.
WHY IT MATTERS G R I 103
Health and safety is important because it protects the well-being of team members and customers. Workplaces that neglect health and safety may lose team members, decrease employee engagement, risk prosecution and may increase costs and reduce profitability.
WHAT WE ARE DOING
Bell seeks to provide a safe and healthy workplace where team members come to work knowing they are part of a team where we all embrace safety as the way we work, not just as an add-on. Dedication and leadership are bringing safety to the top of everyone’s mind at Bell as we continue to develop programs to address the hazards and mitigate the risks present in our workplaces.
Our management system aligns with ISO 45001. Health and safety programs are integrated into Bell’s business units and subsidiaries that have designated health and safety coordinators. This structure seeks to ensure compliance with operational requirements and continuous reporting to the Health and Safety governance team.GRI:2018 403-1
We leverage our team members to support local Health and Safety committees across Canada, as well as corporate health and safety committees which partner with the unions. As required by regulations, these committees have representation from operational and clerical functions, and meet and perform workplace inspections. The Health and Safety governance team collaborates with these committees for the development and implementation of prevention programs.GRI:2018 403-4
For more information on our health and safety management system, see the Health and safety information sheet in the Key documents section.
We maintain a focus on prevention by continuously improving hazard identification procedures and assessing the different functions of the company for risk. We create synergies and align practices across all lines of Bell’s business, as well as evolve our health and safety programs as we acquire new businesses.GRI:2018 403-2
Much of our attention in 2020 was directed at addressing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business. For a detailed description of these efforts, please see the Our response to COVID-19 section.
In 2020, we improved our incident management and investigation program by providing accident investigation training for all 350 frontline managers and members of joint local health and safety committees. We also improved our process for workplace hazard resolution by ensuring a more stringent monitoring of open reported hazards. This reduced our resolution delays by a further 8%.GRI:2018 403-5, 403-7
In the same year, we trained over 700 safety committee members, managers and coordinators on our standardized hazard identification and risk assessment process. In addition, 48 job functions were identified and targeted for hazard identification and risk assessment, of which 26 were completed in 2020, including for COVID-19. The corporate Health and Safety governance team continues to support the planning and completion of standardized risk assessments. Our goal is to complete these assessments in 2021. Our overall time lost accident frequency rate in 2020 was 1.15, trending down by 11% since 2019. Total reportable health and safety cases decreased by 6% in 2020 when compared to 2019, and there were no fatalities.GRI:2018 403-9
This decrease is mainly attributable to the implementation of a series of operational and mitigation measures. Operational measures include the provision of anti-slip footwear combined with an extensive safety communication plan. Mitigation measures include providing training and awareness, access to videos on safety methods for loading and unloading ladders from vehicles and snow removal, and vendor performance monitoring.
Other factors likely contributed to the decrease reported above. A milder winter with fewer icy condition reduced injuries related to slips and falls and heightened situational awareness to health in general due to the COVID-19 pandemic public health messages helped maintain an increased level of vigilance. People generally behaved in a more cautious way in order to avoid overwhelming the medical system. We observed a 23% reduction in medical treatment cases compared to 2019.
For detailed information about our health and safety programs, see the Health and safety information sheet in the Key documents section on our website.