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Enhancing the quality of people’s lives and contributing to a healthier future are key to Nestlé in Central and West Africa and worldwide.
The company aims to do this by starting with the safety and health of its people, the employees, from creating a culture in which safety and health are top priorities, to helping them make more informed decisions about their own health.
Its ongoing efforts are part of its three long-term ambitions and 42 commitments, in support of the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which were recently announced in the new report ‘Nestlé in society: Creating Shared Value and meeting our commitments 2016’.
Four Golden Rules of Safety
Nestlé is committed to ensure all its employees are covered by a certified safety and health management system, and looks to achieve a uniform level of safety and zero work-related injuries and illnesses.
Last year, the company’s Safety and Health Roadmap was updated to set out high-level priorities to be met by 2018, focusing on keeping everyone engaged, managing key risks and backing management processes.
One way Nestlé in Central and West Africa is making progress in this area is by launching its four Golden Rules of Safety at its sites across the region.
Employees are being encouraged to keep all walking pathways clear, always use the handrails when using the stairs, not to use multi electrical connections, and never use mobile phones while walking or driving.
Nestlé CWAR has also launched a road safety programme for employees in the region to increase safe driving in its operations.
Employees in Francophone and Anglophone countries are already benefiting from the initiative, in which measures and monitoring have been introduced to enhance safe driving and reduce road accidents.
In Cameroon, the company is also a founding member of Safe Way Right Way, which aims to teach more people about road safety.
As part of the initiative, more than 120,000 drivers in the region attended education and awareness sessions that highlighted the dangers of speeding, drink driving, driving while tired and using mobile phones while driving.
It encouraged employee drivers to wear seat belts, motorcyclist employees to wear helmets and to carry out periodic vehicle checks.
In Burkina Faso, the “I am Choco, I wear my helmet, and you?” campaign is being launched to teach people how to avoid road accidents. The campaign, supported by the National Road Safety Office and the African Institute of Management of Burkina Faso, aims to educate 10,000 young people on road safety.
Safe work sites
The company aims to ensure its employees are safe and protected through its global external audit programme, CARE. It carries out verifications to make sure operations comply with local legislation, the Nestlé Code of Business Conduct and the Nestlé Corporate Business Principles, including those relating to safety and health.
The CARE audits, which are carried out every three years by an independent company, look to provide employees with efficient, safe and improved work sites and help to identify any workplace gaps.
Nestlé CWAR also carries out machinery line assessments, safety and health compulsory training, trains leadership teams at its distributions centres, and provides safety visits for each employee every year.
Healthy workplaces and employees
Nestlé continues to support its people by advocating for healthy workplaces and healthier employees.
By encouraging them to learn more about health and well-being, they in turn can make more informed decisions about their own health, diets and lifestyles.
By 2020, it aims to offer employees education, early screening and programmes that support healthier lifestyle choices in the region and across the globe.
In Central and West Africa, the ‘Nestlé CWAR Parental Policy’ was launched for all employees in 2015.
Based on the International Labour Organization (ILO) Maternity Protection Convention and the global Nestlé Maternity Protection Policy, it includes 14 weeks paid maternity leave with the right to extend maternity leave by up to six months, flexible working arrangements and a conducive work environment to breastfeed. Nestlé CWAR currently has four breastfeeding rooms available at its sites for breastfeeding mothers.
These measures apply to all employees who are primary caregivers of their newborns, including fathers and adoptive parents.
Leading healthier lives
Nestlé CWAR is also training employees to lead healthier lives through the Nestlé Nutrition Quotient programme (NQ), which aims to make sure everyone has good nutritional knowledge and can apply the NQ learnings in their day-to-day roles.
Launched in 2007, the e-learning programme covers basic nutrition science, regulations and the components of a healthy, balanced diet.
For those employees without computer access, Nestlé CWAR provides in-class training, and organises factory site campaigns with educational posters, activities and handouts that employees can take home to their families. All participants are tested before and after NQ training is delivered to measure progress.
At the end of last year, Nestlé CWAR focused on training all its employees at least once in this module.
Health campaigns in the region
The company also launched health campaigns to make employees more aware of health-related diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and malaria.
In partnership with the Ministry of Health in Cameroon, a pilot malaria prevention programme was introduced in 2013 in the country to target full eradication of the disease in employees by 2016. It was also rolled out to Gabon, marking a 95% success rate.
Nestlé CWAR provided cardiovascular and diabetes testing to employees free of charge at some of its sites in the region. In addition, they were given regular medical check ups by healthcare professionals to monitor any health issues.
World Day of Safety and Health at Work
Nestlé CWAR’s efforts to boost the safety and health of its employees highlight the importance of the ILO’s World Day of Safety and Health at Work.
This year’s theme focuses on the critical need for countries to improve their capacity to collect and utilize reliable occupational safety and health data, to help meet the UN Sustainable Development Goal 8 of “inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all”.