Our use of cookies

We use necessary cookies to make our site work. We’d also like to set optional analytics cookies to help us improve it. We won’t set optional cookies unless you enable them. Using this tool will set a cookie on your device to remember your preferences.

For more detailed information about the cookies we use, see our cookies policy

Analytics cookies

We’d like to set Google Analytics cookies to help us to improve our website by collecting and reporting information on how you use it. The cookies collect information in a way that does not directly identify anyone.



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. The pandemic has reinforced the critical importance of our safety culture – it has been key to operating successfully.

2020 Highlights

  • Introduced audited assurance schemes for COVID-19-secure venues
  • Implemented enhanced hygiene protocols and operating procedures as well as digital solutions to reduce the need to touch surfaces
  • Launched our first Global Allergen Management Plan
  • Global Food Safety Incident Rate decreased by 43% since 2016
  • Global Lost Time Incident Frequency Rate decreased by 42% since 2016

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.

Personal Safety

Our model of personal safety is collaborative, creating a stronger safety culture. COVID-19 may have presented us with new challenges, but our approach remains the same: keeping our people, clients and consumers safe is always our top priority.

Food Safety

Food supply chains are increasingly global and complex, but the unprecedented events of 2020 underlined how important transparency and agility are in reducing vulnerability and increasing resilience. We aim to redefine and streamline our supply chains, buying from a smaller number of tried and tested partners, ideally as close to home as possible. 

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. 

Global HSEQ Policy and Standards

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


We have simplified a number of our most important safety standards and processes to make it easier for our teams around the world to put our policies into practice (see Governance section below for further details). By reducing complexity, we help our people to be more efficient and productive as they build and reinforce our safety culture.

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.

Safety Governance

Our safety culture empowers every one of our people to take responsibility for their own safety, and the safety of their colleagues. This is cultivated by our network of Safety Leaders operating at every level of our business.

Implementing our Global Standards and Policies

At a Group level, we have created three documents to support our regions on safety:

  • Global Safety Standards
  • Global Supply Chain Integrity Standards
  • Global Allergen Management Plan

These documents detail the minimum standards expected of each market on a range of safety issues, and contain examples of best practice (see Sustainability Report 2020 for more information). Local safety leaders are responsible for assessing compliance with these documents and developing an improvement plan. Regional and Group leaders validate this self-assessment and rank it according to maturity. The expectation is that every year country teams will be able to demonstrate continuous improvement.

Safety Management Systems

Each country has a bespoke Safety Management System. This is created by conducting a thorough risk assessment before putting in place processes, policies and standards that mitigate those risks. Where required by local regulation, or by our clients in that market, the Safety Management System is ISO certified. Compliance with the Safety Management System is monitored by audits. These include external audits either commissioned by us or conducted by regulatory bodies, as well as internal audits.

Safety Targets

Countries are required to report monthly to Group on their lost time incident frequency rate (LTIFR) and their food safety incident rate (FSIR). The management bonus scheme is linked to these indicators.


Workplace Health & Safety Policy Statement


Food Safety Policy Statement


Case studies

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?”.


Safe Sphere - creating safe workplaces

Our clients in Asia Pacific were the first to be affected by COVID-19 and the first to emerge from lockdown and begin navigating the ‘new normal’. We wanted to reassure people that it was safe to return to their workplace restaurant and devised SafeSphere, an internally audited assurance scheme that demonstrates when a site has met a set of stringent safety standards.

“We worked with a team of external partners to devise SafeSphere so that we could offer ourclients the gold standard in managing a site safely in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. A key part of the programme’s success is its visibility to consumers and clients: in these anxious times, it is important to show consumers everything that is being done to keep them safe.”  Judy Hanson, Health and Safety Leader – Asia Pacific.

The programme has been well received by our clients, with one in India remarking: “SafeSphere is a wonderful programme that focuses on safety without compromising on the ability to ‘enjoy the food’. A client in New Zealand said: “Compass introduced 21 minimum standards to ensure a safe and sanitised environment so everyone could feel safe and protected at our venues. This has been a really welcome initiative at a time when consumer confidence has been understandably low.”


Establishing protocols to manage covid-19

In February, the UK government requested our help to create a quarantine centre in Milton Keynes for British people being evacuated from Wuhan. We worked with the NHS and Public Health England to transform Kents Hill Park conference centre into safe and secure accommodation and our healthcare business, Medirest, provided advice on infection control. We introduced a zoning system to help us move food safely between the Compass controlled ‘green zone’ where food was prepared, into the NHS controlled ‘red zone’ where medics in full protective clothing were taking care of the evacuees. Our approach was meticulously documented and then shared so that others could follow our lead.

“Our experience at Kents Hill Park enabled us to establish protocols that we then shared with other teams, both within and outside Compass. In April, we supported the opening of the Nightingale Hospital at the ExCeL Centre in London and were able to apply what we had learned in Milton Keynes to this project.” Mark Armstrong, HSE & Technical Services Director.