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Safety Culture

Every day, thousands of Compass colleagues provide millions of meals and essential services to people around the world. Keeping everyone safe is our top priority. It’s why we make strategic investments in safety systems and training, taking robust steps to ensure safe practices remain second nature to all of those working within Compass and across the value chain.

When we talk about a safety culture at Compass, we mean the mindset of zero complacency that is reinforced through a combination of rigorous Safety Management Systems and protocols, as well as training and awareness programmes. Our approach is based on prevention, intervention and collaboration; sharing lessons learned across 40 countries has been fundamental to maintaining our solid track record. Whilst each locality adopts processes and training specific to national/regional safety risks and legislation, all apply three key Group protocols.

  1. Operational Safety Standards
  2. Supply Chain Integrity Standards
  3. Allergen Management Plan

Personal Safety

Our safety culture emphasises the fundamental importance of incident prevention and intervention. Through awareness, information and training, we empower our people to take individual and collective responsibility for their own safety and the safety of those around them. In the last year, our Global Lost Time Incident Frequency Rate fell to 2.33, below the limit of 2.89. We saw a total of 1,779 global lost time incidents, a 50% reduction in incident numbers since 2017.

Food Safety

We have three Group-wide protocols which dictate our approach to food safety: Global Supply Chain Integrity Standards; Global Allergen Management Plan; and Operational Safety Standards. At the market level, our teams put these protocols into practice by turning them into procedures, systems and controls that reflect local legislative requirements.

Our suppliers undergo a rigorous approval process, with any areas for improvement rapidly remedied to mitigate wider risks. An increasing number of our businesses’ sites operate to ISO 22000 food safety management system standards. All employees handling food receive food safety training, including temporary and contract workers. Further training is delivered at a local level on food hygiene and allergens. 

We take a robust approach in response to any food safety incidents, with protocols in place to respond rapidly and to escalate any significant incident to Group level within 24 hours, and to report incidents to regulators where required.

Safety Governance

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.

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

Our Group level global standards and policies detail the minimum standards expected of each market on a range of safety issues, and contain examples of best practice. 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




In 2021, our global Coronavirus Response team continued to closely monitor developments, follow local and global regulatory health authority guidance and share learnings between the Group. Weekly global advisories from our Chief Medical Officer provided detailed, evidenced data on the pandemic situation for all of our operating regions. As with our wider approach to safety, the practical aspects of Covid-19 response and prevention have been devolved to local regions.

For example, across Asia Pacific we further rolled out SafeSphere, our pan-Asia portfolio of systems and solutions to support our clients, consumers and partners to navigate safe returns to business operations and work.

In Turkey, social distancing wristbands and necklaces were issued with two-metre alarms, while in Finland, we became the first operator in the restaurant industry to be MyCare infection prevention certified.


At Compass Group, training and awareness is critical when it comes to building a safety culture. Our ESS business in Kazakhstan is no exception. Here, digital tools have been proven to engage our people in safer practices, ranging from apps to accompany safety walks and for training announcements, publications and notifications; to a dedicated TV channel that enables training and discussion on safety topics.

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?”.