ITC believes its workforce is a key asset contributing to the Company's long term standing as one of India's most admired organisations. The Company believes that a safe and healthy work environment is a basic requirement for ensuring employee well-being and that best practices in occupational health & safety enhance the Company's overall performance. This helps in attracting and retaining quality talent, and enhances the equity of the Company as a responsible Corporate.
ITC's approach towards best-in-class occupational health and safety standards is articulated in the Board approved EHS Policy that emphasises on continual improvement and is based on an environment, health and safety (EHS) management system developed in accordance with internationally recognised standards, supported by continued investments in state-of-the-art technology and quality human resources.
As a first step, EHS requirements are integrated at the design stage itself for all new investments in the built environment. The design reviews cover building & structural stability, fire & life safety measures, electrical systems, segregation of man-material movements, work place lighting, ventilation & hygiene requirements, noise & dust controls, water and energy use optimisation, traffic safety, etc. The process of incorporating EHS at the design stage not only helps in eliminating/ reducing hazards but also optimises the overall infrastructure as well as operational costs.
As a next step, compliance with EHS standards during the construction phase is ensured by implementing appropriate project EHS management systems. This includes adequate training of all employees including service providers' employees, enforcement of the use of safe equipment/ tools/ tackles, development of and adherence to safe work procedures/ method statements, observance of good housekeeping & storage practices and usage of personal protective equipment. Pre-commissioning audits of all large projects are carried out by Corporate EHS (CEHS) to ensure that all equipment and systems have been procured and installed in conformance with agreed standards and a formal clearance is required to be provided before the project can be operationalised.
At the operational stage, all ITC factories, hotels, warehouses and offices have established EHS management systems with designated roles and responsibilities and competent resources to comply with Corporate EHS Guidelines. Each ITC Unit has EHS Committees to promote active participation of employees in EHS management. The EHS Committee meets at least once every quarter to review the EHS performance of the Unit. Health and safety topics are also covered in the long term agreements with trade unions. During 2015-16, 2 such agreements had been signed.
ITC Corporate EHS Guidelines also require raising of awareness amongst employees, their families and surrounding communities regarding off-the-job safety aspects such as home safety, safe use of LPG in kitchen, HIV/ AIDs, hepatitis, dengue, malaria and road safety. As part of ITC's preventive medical programme, various categories of employees based on their age and exposure to occupational hazards, undergo periodic medical check-ups.
Compliance is monitored through internal audits by CEHS across ITC establishments on a periodic basis and forms part of the report back to CMC (monthly) and the Board (quarterly), together with accident statistics, their investigation and subsequent closure. In addition, Business units adhere to international standards such as OHSAS 18001 and ISO 14001.
The EHS resources of the Divisions provide the support necessary to ensure proper implementation of the ITC EHS policy, while the Unit Heads and the Divisional Management Committees are responsible and accountable for ensuring compliance. The CEHS function is responsible for reviewing and updating standards and guidelines on EHS policies, for providing guidance and support to all concerned and for monitoring compliance at the corporate level.
In 2015-16, the total number of on-site Lost Time Accidents (LTA) in ITC was 18 (against 11 in 2014-15). All of these 18 accidents occurred to male employees and out of these 18, 5 accidents occurred to ITC employees and balance 13 accidents to the employees of service providers, as depicted below.
Though there has been reduction in the on-site accidents of ITC employees over the years, the on-site accidents of service providers' employees increased to 13 from 4 in 2014-15. Analysis of root causes of the accidents shows scope of improvement in supervision of service providers' employees and system of risk identification & control. Accordingly, necessary actions have been implemented across the Units. In addition, appropriate interventions have also been taken at multiple Units in line with ITC's overall approach to inculcate a sense of ownership at all levels and create an organisation-wide safety culture.
There were two very unfortunate fatal accidents during 2015-16, one involving an ITC employee and other to an employee of service provider. In the first case, an ITC employee got exposed to toxic gases (generated from manufacturing process) while carrying out maintenance of a gas handling system. The other fatal accident happened in a construction site of an upcoming ITC Unit wherein an electrical panel fell upon an employee of service provider while he was shifting the same.
Detailed investigations were carried out to identify the root causes and accordingly, appropriate interventions had been taken to avoid similar incidents in future. These interventions included refining the risk assessment process, improving emergency response system and strengthening of supervision of service providers' employees.
Lost day rate, defined as the number of days lost due to accidents for every 2,00,000 person hours worked, for ITC employees over the years is depicted below:
Injury rate, defined as the frequency of injuries in relation to total time worked, for ITC employees also shows a significant improvement. Since 2004-05, there has been a substantial reduction in the injury rate from 0.21 to 0.01 in 2015-16 (an improvement of 95%).
This year onwards, ITC has started reporting on the safety performance (lost day rate and injury rate) of its service providers' employees working within ITC premises. In 2015-16, the lost day and injury rates for employees of service providers were 40.0 and 0.05 respectively.
The following ITC Units achieved 'Zero On-site Accident' status in 2015-16:
Over the years, the number of Units delivering "zero on-site lost time accidents" performance has progressively increased and more importantly, have held on to their performance. Out of the above 44 units, 28 Units have been consistently achieving "zero lost time accidents" status for the last 3 years.
In line with its commitment to ensure the safety of employees, ITC has also initiated adequate measures for its employees working off-site. In ITC, off-site is defined as all places other than the premises where posted, while on official duty, including commuting to and from residence to place of work. Since over the years the majority of the road accidents have involved 2-wheeler riders, a user interactive 2-wheeler rider's safety programme was developed and rolled out in 2011-12, which has now been translated into Hindi and other vernacular languages to extend its reach. This programme, in 2015-16, has also been rolled out amongst supply chain stakeholders, by imparting this training to wholesale dealer personnel connected to ITC's Trade Marketing & Distribution vertical.
The total offsite lost time accidents in 2015-16 were 24 including 3 accidents to women employees. Out of these 24 accidents, 22 were road accidents and 15 accidents involving 2-wheeler riders. This year also witnessed 3 accidents to four-wheeler users. During 2015-16, ITC developed a user interactive training module, specifically for four-wheeler users.
A healthy workforce is an important contributor to ITC's competitiveness and sustainability. All Units maintain a conducive work environment meeting Indian/International standards on hygiene, lighting, ventilation and effective controls on noise and dust. Units are provided with occupational health centres with adequate medical staff to monitor occupational health and provide immediate relief, when required. In addition, at least 2% of total employees are professionally trained as first aiders.
Identified medical examinations are conducted at specified intervals for various categories of employees based on age as well as exposure to occupational hazards. Accordingly in 2015-16, 14,486 employees underwent preventive medical examinations and there were no occupation related illnesses identified in any of ITC's Business Units.
ITC remains committed to protecting its employees from the threat posed by various serious diseases including HIV/AIDS. During 2015-16, the awareness/ counselling sessions conducted for the employees and communities around ITC's Units covered a total of 11,708 people, out of which 10,408 were employees of the Company, while the remaining were local community members.
Based on the root-cause analysis of accidents over the years, the approach to safety has been redefined with the focus now on fostering a culture of safety and the use of behavioural architecture techniques. In line with the Company's EHS policy, the approach is to institutionalise safety as a value-led concept with focus on inculcating a sense of ownership at all levels, leading to the creation of a safety culture. Periodic reviews are undertaken to ensure that training and other communications are relevant and take into account the local socio-economic context to ensure the transition from "awareness developed" to "changed behaviour". During 2015-16, the safety culture initiative has been further extended to 4 more manufacturing Units. In addition, the initiative has also been rolled out in the Divisional Head Quarters (DHQ) of Paperboards and Specialty Papers Business with an objective to develop a cohesive safety culture across factories and offices. Continuing this approach, ITC has plans to extend this initiative in the Corporate Head Office.
While ITC will continue to focus on strengthening the engineering control measures through 'design for safety', pre-commissioning/operational audits and training interventions, based on the encouraging results achieved, ITC plans to expand the coverage of behavioural based safety and custom-made risk based training programmes to other units. This approach which combines empowerment and ownership with targeted interventions and strict accountability should help ITC in its journey to achieve the "Zero Accidents" goal.