Avon is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for Associates, contract employees and visitors. To underscore this commitment, in 2006 the company developed and implemented the Global Safety Strategy, which has six dimensions, outlined below.
Avon considers management involvement to be of critical importance in furthering safety and health throughout the company's operations. Managers, supervisors and team leaders at its manufacturing and distribution centers participate in a two-hour Safety Leadership session to gain insight into safety basics and their individual and collective role in promoting safety in their areas of responsibility. Since 2007, more than 50 sessions have been conducted at 30 Avon sites, and more than 600 people have participated. We believe this has been a significant contributor to improved safety at Avon. In addition, safety is included as a performance metric and reward system for management.
The foundation of Avon's safety and health programs at individual sites is ensured through compliance with local regulations, and by conducting risk assessments of tasks performed; developing safe operating procedures (SOP); and providing new hire safety orientations, job training, and training for specific topics such as ergonomics, electrical and chemical safety, among others. The company works to identify improvement needs and incorporate proper safety and fire protection features into new designs from the beginning. Avon facilities also have robust fire protection and prevention programs, as well as emergency plans with routine drills conducted. Safety and housekeeping inspections by local teams and periodic site visits by regional and global staff also help identify improvement needs.
Associates participate in an evacuation drill at an Avon facility in Turkey.
In 2007, Avon established measures to consistently capture and report workplace accident information across global manufacturing plants and distribution centers. The company uses this data to publish quarterly global safety reports, allowing leadership to recognize excellent performance and identify areas for improvement.
In 2010, Avon accomplished its goal of a total recordable case (TRC) rate of "below 1.0" for the Supply Chain operation overall. As a result, the company established a new goal to achieve a TRC rate of 0.5. As of the second quarter in 2011, Avon achieved an overall TRC rate of 0.6 for the global supply chain operation. This trend shows a 78 percent reduction in TRC from 2007 through the second quarter of 2011 and reflects nearly 350 fewer injuries every year. Additionally, the number of Avon sites reporting a TRC rate below 1.0 increased from 72 percent in 2009 to 85 percent in 2010. Despite all safety efforts, Avon experienced one traffic-related fatality in 2010, involving an Associate on the Sales Team in Brazil.
The TRC rate indicates the total number of "Avon Reportable" cases (lost time plus medical treatment beyond first-aid), per 100 full-time Associates.
In 2010, Avon introduced the Site Safety Programs Review (SSPR), a self-assessment safety review, with weighted scores to reflect the relative importance of 22 individual topics. This annual program provides Avon with a systematic means for continuous improvement and helps ensure that a minimum level of safety programs is established at Avon sites in all countries. Beginning in 2012, SSPR scores will supplement TRC rates in measuring and comparing safety performance across Avon sites.
Frequent communication is one approach Avon takes to raise safety awareness among Associates. The company ensures extensive communication through the Global Safety Network, comprised of 130 Safety & Health (S&H) staff at global, regional and site levels, as well as the group of site leaders, to encourage sharing of knowledge and best practices. Updates and training are often conducted through webinar sessions and an internal Global Safety & Health website can be accessed for safety information or downloadable forms, checklists and relevant articles for S&H staff.
At the site level, extensive safety communications are provided during group meetings, weekly mini-meetings held by supervisors, and through digital display screens and bulletin boards. Employee suggestion programs are encouraged at Avon sites and there have been times when the safety committees have developed creative approaches to promoting safety. For instance, Associates at a U.S.-based manufacturing facility created an entertaining video called "Safety Never Sleeps" to communicate the importance of safety and several sites have programs called "Caught in the Act - Doing Something Right" to focus on the positive aspects of safety awareness.
All Avon Associates, from management to technical staff, are required to know the company’s general safety policies as well as job-specific safety practices. Avon also works to build the capacity and capabilities of the S&H team, by providing professional development resources, guidelines and checklists on the intranet. Periodic conferences are held to provide networking opportunities to the S&H staff. Several of the S&H staff at Avon hold degrees in Occupational Safety & Health, professional certifications such as Certified Safety Professional (CSP), and variety of technical licenses and certifications. Avon encourages continuous learning for S&H professionals to ensure they are most effective in guiding their teams in improving safety.
As a global company, Avon works to ensure all sites meet regulatory safety standards. However, these regulations can vary by region and country. Avon is establishing stringent internal safety requirements to address these differences and ensure consistency in safety processes across the company's global operations. The company has published 20 "S&H Bulletins" to convey its global minimum standards. In addition, Avon works closely with property loss control consultants to incorporate adequate fire and property protection features in design and construction of new buildings, based on international standards such as the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) in the USA and Atmospheres Explosives (ATEX) from the European Union (EU). Five Avon facilities have achieved internationally recognized OHSAS 18001 certification.