Putting safety first
We work to eliminate workplace hazards by engaging managers, unions, and both policy and health and safety committees in the development, implementation and monitoring of the safety management system. We also train team members to identify and control their workplace hazards and set performance targets for hazard control programs. In addition, we continually monitor the effectiveness of the safety management system at both the workplace and corporate levels and investigate all reported health and safety complaints and accidents to ensure emerging safety issues are addressed.
Safety performance results are reported every quarter to the Human Resources and Compensation Committee of TELUS’ Board of Directors (prior to May 2011 the results were reported to the Audit Committee). We have had no work-related deaths in the past five years. In 2011, as indicated in the chart below, TELUS realized 158 lost time accidents (LTAs), which represented a frequency of 0.74 LTAs per 200,000 person-hours worked, in comparison to our goal of 0.82 LTAs. This is 17 per cent lower than our 2010 result and 8 per cent lower than our target of 0.82. LTAs, -- our lowest level in four years. TELUS International had no work-related injuries in 2011.
More than half of the LTAs in 2011 were sprains and strains. Preventing these types of injuries is fundamental to the ergonomics program strategy. Ergonomics standards are incorporated into a wide range of procedural guidelines, such as lifting and moving objects, operating tools and equipment, driving tips, working with laptops, stretching and rest pauses. To help reduce the number of LTAs related to sprains and strains, training for manual material handling has been provided to all field technicians.
Our LTA frequency in 2011 was 33 per cent lower than the latest (2009) U.S. telecommunications industry average of 1.1 LTAs per 200,000 person-hours worked. It is also at least 60 per cent lower than the latest (2008) Canadian national average of 1.82 LTAs per 100 workers. (For the Canadian national average, one worker is considered to be one person working all year on either a part-time or full-time basis.) We believe our lower-than-average results are attributable to our efforts to engage and train team members and to work with various health and safety committees in developing, implementing and monitoring our safety management systems. In 2012, our goal is to reduce the number of accidents and injuries and maintain our current 0.74 LTA ratio.
Lost time accidents per 200,000 hours worked (year-over-year)1
|1||Data presented is for TELUS Canadian team members tracked in primary Human Resources Management system.|
In 2011, the TELUS absenteeism rate (which includes paid and unpaid time off work due to personal illness or work-related injury) was 7.2 days per full-time equivalent position, compared to 7.6 days in 2010. Our 2010 and 2011 rates are well below the 2010 average for Canadian organizations with more than 500 employees, which was 9.2 days per full-time team member. TELUS’ 2011 absenteeism rate is also well below the Statistics Canada average for unionized organizations, which was 10.9 days in 2010.
In 2011, we continued to address and reduce absenteeism by:
- Continuing to educate and inform team members through wellness programs such as Healthy Measures, onsite health awareness events, and stress management workshops
- Increasing the focus on prevention and early intervention of short-term disability claims through the Healthy Minds program
- Ongoing refinement of occupational health and safety programs and training targeting work-related injuries
- Revising policy and process documentation related to short-term disability claims to create greater clarity around roles and responsibilities
- Ongoing attendance management training and improved access to absenteeism data for front-line managers
- Regular reporting of sick absence data to the Human Resources and Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors
- Conducting a detailed audit of 2011 short term disability and workers compensation claims data
- Improving data collection methods and standardizing short-term disability claims tracking based on audit results.
|1||Data presented is for TELUS domestic team members tracked in primary Human Resources Management system.|
|2||Data presented is for Canadian organizations with more than 500 employees and indicates average absenteeism for unionized organizations. 2011 data will be available June 2012.|
In 2012, we intend to build on the successes of specific pilot programs within our Healthy Living offering, with a continued focus on mental health. TELUS is also committed to improving the short-term disability process from the team member’s perspective. Engagement of team members will take the form of an anonymous survey and a general report back to invitees of findings. Through training and communications, effort will be made to increase team member and managers awareness of their roles and responsibilities in support of attendance management.