Safety is critically important at Compass Group. We take the utmost care to reduce the risk of incidents and injuries in the working environment, and to make sure that we maintain the highest standards of food hygiene and safety. Our safety performance continues to improve and we believe that caring for ourselves and each other is what will drive us to further improve our global performance in both personal and food safety.

We’ve worked hard to create a culture that takes safety very seriously, and to train our people to adopt behaviours that focus on keeping them free from harm. All management and Board meetings throughout the Group feature a health and safety update as one of their top agenda items.

The CR Committee reviews the Group’s Health, Safety, Environment and Quality (HSEQ) policies annually to ensure that they continue to reflect our aims and aspirations, and meet with current legislation.

Three priorities drive our health and safety strategy:

Personal safety

Our model of personal safety is collaborative, creating a stronger safety culture. Reminding our people of the reasons why it is important to stay safe: that their family, friends, colleagues and community rely on them.

Food safety

Ensuring we serve safe and nutritious food is of paramount importance. We continue to develop our processes and invest in simplifying and improving our operational food safety systems around the world. Our frontline teams have regular food safety training at site level and food safety performance is tracked and monitored. 


We have simplified a number of our most important safety standards and processes this year in order to make it easier for our teams around the world to put our policies into practice. By reducing complexity, we have helped our people to be more efficient and productive as they build and reinforce our safety culture.

Global HSEQ policy and standards

To ensure best practice and drive continuous improvement, we operate global policies and minimum operating standards and behaviours that have been steadily embedded across our business.

Global best practice sharing

Supporting the Executive Board and CR Committee is our global HSEQ Leadership Forum, made up of technical specialists from around the business. The Forum is responsible for defining policies, setting standards, measuring compliance and sharing best practice across the Group. We also use this body to share lessons learned from incidents globally to determine if any improvements to policies and standards are required.

Performance improvement 

All countries report their health and safety and food safety performance on a monthly basis, and their performance is directly linked to the global leadership team bonus criteria.

Workplace Health & Safety Policy Statement


Food Safety Policy Statement


Case studies

Mirjam Halkes

Being part of an international safety community – and really getting to know each other face-to-face – has made it easier to reach out and share insights and best practices. As a direct result of the first summit, I initiated a programme of Safety Walks for the managing director of the Netherlands business – he even has his own safety shoes now and is setting a great example. And without the support and knowledge of my international colleagues, I might not have pushed to run a pilot of the ‘See Care Share’ programme in Belgium. I believe working well together can unlock business opportunities. A number of our clients have relationships with us in more than one country, so it is important that we are aligned. The safety summit gave us a chance to talk about shared health and safety challenges, and collaborate on a global set of standards and KPIs. These sessions make me even more proud to work for Compass and I always come home with renewed energy for my job. 

Jonathan Davies

At Levy UK, our approach to safety has always been given priority: we have good levels of compliance and adhere to various ISO standards. However, I wanted our people to understand why safety is important, and not just blindly comply. Across 2019, we held four one-day leadership sessions involving 65 leaders and senior managers from within Levy UK. The ‘See Care Share’ model has genuinely shifted our culture from one which viewed safety as a process, to one where everyone acknowledges and embraces the fact that they have a duty of care. They wanted to more actively participate in taking care of their colleagues and customers. Supported by a coach, our leaders reflected on their personal style and how they behave on site. They made changes to ensure they were listening to our unit teams and taking action on their feedback. Health and safety is sometimes seen as a rather dry subject, but this process genuinely got people engaged, enthusiastic and – most importantly – communicating on a much more personal level.

Safety First in Australia

Around the world, every 15 seconds, over 150 workers have a work-related accident [ILO 2016]1. At Compass, we are committed to prioritising safety in everything we do. We proactively identify potential safety risks and, in 2016, our team in Australia piloted two new proactive approaches as part of their commitment to Safety First.

To reduce the risk of cuts and serious hand injuries, all employees handling knives or equipment with sharp edges are required to wear a cut resistant glove or a chain mesh glove when operating a meat slicer. To reinforce this important safety message, we produced a short training video called Knife Handling and Care.

Additionally, A PErforM Risk Assessment was undertaken on how linen is loaded into onsite laundry vans. The assessment monitored a typical routine of collection and manual loading / unloading. At each stage, the HSE team identified potential risk factors such as trip/fall hazards from carrying loads from one level to another. Following this assessment, we identified that installing a tailgate lifter and keeping the linen in the trolleys without unloading into the van by hand would significantly reduce the manual handling risk of the task. This also makes it easier for delivery, as our team members no longer have to manually carry the linen but can instead push it along in the trolley.

Safe driving campaign in Argentina

Globally, road traffic injuries claim more than 1.2 million lives each year and have a huge impact on health and development [WHO 2016]. They are the leading cause of death among young people aged between 15 and 29 years, and cost governments approximately 3% of GDP [WHO 2016]2. We recognise that driving is one of the most dangerous activities associated with our employees’ daily lives: a quarter of all road traffic incidents involve somebody who is driving on a work-related journey at the time. Therefore, as part of our commitment to Safety First, we are dedicated to improving road safety to ensure our people are safe at all stages of their day.

Our HSE team in Argentina has developed a Safe Driving toolkit, with 10 Safe Driving Rules – this includes powerful images, easy to remember phrases and statistical facts to build long-term awareness. These messages are published around our sites. Tips include: “Schedule your trips to avoid driving at night”, backed with statistics such as “Did you know, that driving between 12 am and 6 am in the morning triples the risk of a traffic accident in relation to the rest of the day?”.