Ensuring health and safety in the workplace

Last Updated: 22/03/2018

No-one should be hurt working or shopping at Tesco

Looking after the health and safety of our customers and colleagues is a responsibility we all share at Tesco. Our priority is to run every one of our businesses with the utmost concern for the safety of the people and communities we serve, and those who work for or with us.

Whilst we face different legal obligations on safety in the various locations in which we operate, we don’t just settle for that. With thousands of people interacting with our business every day, our Safety Standards must be the very best.

For our colleagues and customers, they rightfully expect nothing less than a safe place to work and to shop. Developing and maintaining a culture where safety is inherent in everything we do. Through consideration of the safety of our customers and people in all business decisions, we aim to continue to make Tesco the safest place to shop and work in retail.

Our approach

Advice and support in occupational safety and health, as well as fire safety engineering is provided by specialists within the People Safety Department. Business policies and procedures that affect people safety risk are managed by safety professionals within this team, who have post graduate qualifications in safety as well as being Chartered Members of the Institute of the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).

Accountability for health and safety risk management sits at the top of the business and is led by our Chief Executive Officer. We have a robust governance structure with oversight in each business unit managed through a Safety Committee chaired in each case by a senior director with delegated responsibility for safety. Our Executive Committee and Board receive a detailed update on our performance every year as well as through the Group Risk and Compliance Committee.

Our system for identifying and escalating safety beaches and accidents is group wide and all serious incidents are escalated immediately to our CEO and to members of the Risk and Compliance Committee. As well as the important visibility of avoidable incidents this is the mechanism by which we search for the root cause and put in place steps to prevent recurrence. 

All of our largest distribution centre operations in the UK and Thailand are certified by BSI to the international safety standard OHSAS 18001. In the UK we are part of the UK Government Primary Authority scheme for every part of our retail and distribution operation and together with Luton Borough Council who are our partner authority we strive to continually improve safety compliance.

2016/17 performance

Frequency rates for customer injuries (per million transactions at the checkout)

  • Tesco UK and ROI: 21.6
  • Central Europe: 1.4
  • Malaysia: 1.3
  • Thailand: 0.4

Frequency rates for work related injuries to retail colleagues (per 10,000 head count)

Lost time more than 1 day

Tesco UK and ROI: 37.3

Central Europe: 51.4

Malaysia: 16.6

Thailand: 9.8
No lost time or less than 1 day

Tesco UK and ROI: 171.5

Central Europe: 50.4

Malaysia: 3.9

Thailand: 8.1

Frequency rates for work related injuries to distribution colleagues (per 10,000 head count)

Lost time more than 1 day

Tesco UK and ROI: 50.7

Central Europe: 93.2

Malaysia: -

Thailand: 6.1

No lost time or less than 1 day

Tesco UK and ROI: 188.7

Central Europe: 132.6

Malaysia: 6.5

Thailand: 61.7