Health and safety

GRI 103-1, 403-3, 403-4, 403-5, 403-9

Our occupational health and safety management system is constantly working for a collaborative environment, so that employees feel involved and engaged with their job. An example of this is the PPE approval process, through which employees actively participate in tests: the results from their assessments are decisive when it comes to authorizing (or rejecting) the personal protective equipment, considering aspects such as comfort and durability.

Employees also have access to health and safety matters through committees and official communication channels. They may freely express their opinions and concerns. Our health and safety team also works together with other business areas on contractual arrangements with suppliers, validating documents and integrations.

We currently have three committees to address health and safety issues: the COVID-19 Committee, consisting of senior managers and health & safety specialists; our Remote Work committee consists of specialists from Human Talents, processes and SESMT, and the Employees Committee, including representatives of all of the organization’s workforce. COVID-19 Committee meetings are held daily, while the Remote Work Committee meets once a week. The resolutions of these committees are submitted to the Employees Committee on demand, although the latter meets frequently, too.

Our Safety League works to develop a risk management culture for personal and business safety at all levels of responsibility (for both employees and suppliers), to generate a changed mindset and new habits, and to add value for the business by adopting good safety practices. Our change management model focuses on matters such as occupational safety, information security and infrastructure, as well as cross-sectional sustainability issues. This initiative impacts rules, policies and procedures while also defining and communicating responsibilities and supporting safety management structure, in addition to monitoring and control measures and initiatives.

We also count on a Specialist Occupational Health and Safety Engineering Service (SESMT), which has a multidisciplinary team (consisting of safety technicians and engineers, doctors, nurses, social workers, nutritionists, speech and hearing specialists, psychologists and physiotherapists), and Internal Accident-Prevention Committees (CIPAs), whose mission is to observe and report situations of risk in the workplace and propose ways of minimizing them. Members of the CIPAs are nominated by the company and elected by the employees, and there a CIPA in every operating unit with more than 50 employees. In 2020, 90% of employees were represented by CIPAs. Other important teams for this issue are the Ergonomics and Healthcare Committee, created to undertake ergonomic analysis of workstations, and the Fire Brigade, which complies with Rule 23 and technical instruction of the fire service of each regional office, and carries out simulated evacuations in accordance with state legislation.

The health services offered help mitigate health risks for employees and prevent aggravated symptoms and pathologies. The health area consists of specialists (occupational physician, nurses and managers) in compliance with regulations and other legal requirements. Access to health services may be in-person (for buildings that have medical rooms or partner clinics) or remotely, through official communication channels (Workplace, Workchat and e-mail) and the health programs we offer: Algar + Saúde, Dr + Saúde, Telemedicina Saúde 24h, Gympass, Psicologia Viva, Momento Universo, and other programs.

Safety Training

Each employee’s training is based on their activity and related risks. In the case of technicians who work on operational demands in the field, their specific skills involve work with energized equipment (NR-10), work in confined spaces (NR-33) and work at heights (NR-35), as well as other jobs, depending on their specific requirements. Employees working on customer service are given specific training on ergonomics as per Annex II to NR-17. In general, all employees are kept informed of good ergonomic practices (whether at home or in the company’s environments), identification of risks in work environments (even when working from home), precautions when dealing with COVID-19 and how to proceed if there is a workplace accident.

Due to the current pandemic scenario, the initiatives taken to disseminate safety culture during the year (2020) were almost entirely virtual (videoconferences and content posted on Workplace). Highlights included ‘safety pills’, meetings on safety at home, mandatory training sessions using semi-presence or distance learning formats, meetings to practice workplace gymnastics and ergonomic advice meetings.

Workplace Accidents

As a result of our health and safety guidelines and training, there were no deaths or serious accidents in our operations in 2020. We logged 21 accidents, 3 of them involving third parties and caused by incorrect handling of equipment, tools and materials, various falls (from roofs, stairs, indoors), driving vehicles and travel in general and the presence of venomous animals. These accidents represented 218 working days lost out of a total of 10,228,923 hours worked. The mean frequency was 2.06 and the severity index 21.40.

As risk mitigation measures, we have personal protection items against COVID-19, monitoring fleet vehicles with anomalies showing in their records and speed controls, using maneuver bars between spans (avoiding the need for work in height in many cases), adoption of lifelines and anchoring devices for use on roped kit. During the COVID 19 pandemic period, we also provided all protective items to mitigate exposure to the virus (surgical and antiviral PFF2 masks, hand sanitizer, surgical gloves and shoe cover).