Health and safety

The safety and wellbeing of our employees and those in our care is one of our key priorities. Our goal is zero harm.
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The nature of our work and the environments we work in means that security and safety present a strategic risk to our business. We believe that setting the highest standards for health and safety across our industry helps to keep our colleagues safe and builds loyalty and commitment to G4S from our employees. Leading by example and having expertise in health and safety gives not only our employees, but also our customers and other stakeholders, confidence in the behaviour of the company they are dealing with. 

We recognise that our businesses operate in different contexts and face varying levels of risk. The group health and safety strategy sets the framework and provides a vision of how each business can progress from a level of compliance with health and safety regulation to a level of differentiation where we lead the industry in health and safety. All businesses within the group assess their performance against a set of core health and safety standards. Compliance is monitored and periodically audited with reviews of performance at regional, group and board levels via the CSR Committee. 


The process of building capability to continuously improve our management of health and safety issues, eliminating fatal incidents and potentially fatal risks, continued during 2015:

After the introduction of mandatory health and safety training for senior leaders in 2014, training was extended to the wider management population. This online course, which was developed based on the G4S health and safety management system and relevant operational scenarios, was completed by more than 1,000 managers in 2015. It focused on the role of the leader in improving performance, positively influencing safety culture and raising awareness of significant safety risks across the organisation 

A project to harmonise our approach to recording injuries across the group was initiated during 2015

‘Safety first’ bulletins were used to share the lessons learned following the investigation of serious incidents. The lessons were further embedded by revising the group’s health and safety standards to better address the risks that led to these incidents 

Themed programmes were implemented, targeting risk areas that are common to many of our businesses. As road safety policy remains the largest category of fatal incidents, a G4S road safety policy was issued to businesses in 2015. This follows on from the implementation of the Driving Force Rules the previous year. A number of businesses also ran local programmes on topics such as speed management and motorcycle safety

The health and safety management system was further developed, by providing guidance to businesses on topics relevant to G4S lines of business, for example guidance on the analysis of serious safety incidents related to attacks on security officers

During 2015, 46 of our colleagues lost their lives in work-related incidents, principally as a result of attacks by third parties and road traffic incidents. This is a tragic loss for their families, friends and colleagues and reminds us of the importance of our efforts when it comes to health and safety. 

All fatal and permanently disabling incidents are reported and investigated through a standardised process, which is led by the managing director of the business unit concerned. The implementation of action plans to prevent further incidents in countries where there have been multiple fatalities is monitored through in-depth visits and senior management follow-up as part of critical country reviews. 

Each G4S business is expected to have a process for reporting and investigating workplace injuries. Improvement targets are set at business level and are based on factors such as the business’s risk profile and local statutory reporting requirements. 

During 2015, the group’s lost time incidents was 0.36 per 100,000 hours worked, based on reporting that covered 88% of employees. During 2015, there have been two non-natural deaths in custody at G4S-managed prisons. All deaths in custody are investigated by the relevant authorities, which make a determination of the cause of death. One death has been classified as self-harm by the authorities. Pronouncement on the cause of the second death, whether it was due to natural causes or not, will be made by the coroner following completion of their investigations. 


Our main health and safety priorities during 2016 are to continue to drive behaviour change so colleagues across the organisation take personal responsibility for role modelling good health and safety behaviours and for ensuring compliance with the operational procedures designed to keep them safe. We will do this by: 

  • Conducting interventions to support selected businesses in delivering improved health and safety performance, including more involvement by the director of health and safety for the group, increased monitoring of progress with improvement plans as well as follow-up visits and critical country reviews where necessary 
  • Issuing additional formal guidance to businesses on managing risks pertinent to our industry 
  • Introducing further training modules on selected health and safety risks and controls that reinforce the responsibilities everyone has for ensuring these are complied with 
  • Including health and safety control self-assessments as part of the group risk and compliance 
  • Completing the next phase of the online incident management project


During 2015, G4S India ran a safety programme for employees using motorcycles,

More than 900 employees across the country took part and new personal protective equipment was introduced to improve the visibility of motorcyclists.



India Motorbike


In some markets it is a requirement for G4S security staff to carry firearms as a means of additional protection for themselves and their customers.


We have a comprehensive policy on firearms covering a range of issues relating to firearms safety, including their control, procurement, storage and transportation.
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