Most of our employees work in lower risk environments and are not exposed to significant occupational health and safety hazards. Nevertheless, we have a programme of initiatives in place to ensure that we continually improve our health and safety performance.
In 2017, the total number of incidents (accidents, occupational diseases, dangerous occurrences, fires and natural cause incidents) reduced by c.8% compared with 2016. However, when adjusted to take account of the reduction in staff numbers at year end, there has been a slight increase in the incident rate. We report health and safety incidents to the relevant authorities as required by legislation.
We are committed to protecting, not only our people, but the people in the communities in which we operate. In 2016, we launched an initiative to deploy defibrillators in all our buildings in the UK with 70 or more staff. Our CEO has since built on this drive by challenging the business to train 40,000 employees in the life-saving skill of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (known as CPR). More detail on this initiative is available below in our 2017 case study.
Following our delivery of two major remediation programmes (the health and safety framework, and fire safety) in India in 2016, an ‘in country’ validation exercise in 2017 confirmed the completion and sustainability of the actions we have taken. Additionally, our Insurers carried out audits in two of our major premises in India. Both reviews concluded that there is now an adequate framework for the management of health and safety.
In response to an increasingly flexible working environment and work arrangements, a new approach to fire marshalling in our large offices has been developed and agreed with our Primary Authority.
Read our health and safety performance in detail
Read our health and safety public policy statement
Awards and recognition
As part of the prestigious Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) Awards for Occupational Health and Safety, RBS received a major award in the Commercial and Business Services Sector. These competitive sector awards recognise the organisations that have demonstrated the best health and safety management performance within specific industry sectors. We also received our third consecutive gold award for how we manage the safety of people driving on business.
Through the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), RBS achieved a score of 76 points for Occupational Health and Safety (in 2017 the industry average score was 42).
All employees are required to complete mandatory online health and safety training, which covers the key risks for all employees including fire safety, display screen equipment, manual handling and slips, trips and falls. Additional health and safety training is also completed by all our people managers and building managers.
Specialist training includes:
- Emergency training including fire marshal and first aid training, carried out in line with local legal requirements.
- RBS has a driver safety programme which includes risk based training.
- Specialist health and safety training is carried out in higher risk areas or for higher risk activities in areas such as our Cash and Coin Centres.
- Bespoke health and safety training programmes are in place for key roles including – the Institute of Occupational Safety & Health’s (IOSH) Managing Safely for Property Managers, IOSH Directing Safely for our Projects Managers and Chartered Member IOSH and National Examination Board in Occupational Safety & Health (NEBOSH) qualifications for our Health and Safety professionals.
- In our Real Estate Asset Management team, the part of the business that manages distressed assets, training on health and safety protocols is delivered to all new asset managers.
In the UK our cash and coin centres continued to be accredited to OHSAS 18001.