Deutsche Telekom systematically monitors the performance of its Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) activities worldwide.
Deutsche Telekom operates a Group-wide Health, Safety and Environment Management System. This approach ensures that activities designed to safeguard employees and the environment are systematically and continuously improved. The internationally recognized standards OHSAS (Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series) 18001 and ISO (International Organization for Standardization) 14001 serve as the basis for this approach. Planning and management take place at Group Headquarters. Regular auditing An important instrument in this management system is the regular auditing of health, safety and environment activities. These audits are actually appraisal procedures that are used to evaluate processes to determine whether they satisfy defined requirements and guidelines. The audits are conducted at several different levels – for example, so-called internal local audits are conducted at the base level so that the national companies (NatCos) can identify and evaluate potential for improvement in their particular areas. At the next higher level, central internal audits are performed by Group Headquarters. External audits take place at the highest level and are handled by an independent institute that examines compliance with legal and internal Group directives. This institute also issues official certificates of compliance. The central internal audits are key factors for ensuring ongoing and consistent improvements because they can be used to compare the performance of various units and NatCos. Exchanging information about successful best practices is a great way to promote the optimization of business processes. The central internal audits are conducted in the NatCos at least once every three years. Audit results are documented in a detailed report which also includes recommendations for improvement – these reports are signed off by the management of the NatCo. Possible improvements The following examples illustrate what kinds of improvements are possible: In one NatCo responsibility for occupational health and safety matters was not assigned to the relevant departments, but rather to one person, who unfortunately was not granted the disciplinary authority needed for the tasks. This individual had to depend on other managers and their willingness to cooperate in getting the job done. After an audit was conducted and discussed with management, the situation was changed. Now every superior is responsible for ensuring that his employees participate in legally mandated occupational health and safety training courses.
In another NatCo, proposals designed to increase employee satisfaction were reported to Group Headquarters. The proposals included the introduction of flexible working hours and sites (including the option of sometimes working at home). However, the audit revealed that this project never progressed beyond the initial planning phase, so it was restarted. The results of the audit In July 2013 an audit was conducted in Brazil at T-Systems do Brasil Ltda. The purpose was to give the colleagues there advice on how to improve their HSE performance and assist them in identifying issues that required immediate action. As always, the audit began with an initial meeting with management. The discussion focused on the need for TSI Brazil to have a certificate because many customers demand this. T-Systems Brazil serves customers in diverse industries – automotive, manufacturing, finance, retail, logistics, services and petrochemistry. International enterprises like Daimler, VW, Audi, Continental, Allianz, Bosch and Shell are among the customers. The results of the audit were to be included in a detailed report complying with recognized standards, so that an external certification organization could evaluate the information and thus substantiate that T-Systems conducts systematic audits based on the principles of continuous and consistent improvement. Participation All key departments participated in the audit: Legal Affairs, Human Resources, Procurement, Facility Management, Production (operation of data centers), plus the Process and Quality department. It soon became clear that TSI Brazil was doing an outstanding job in terms of Health, Safety and Environment Management. For example, the modern data center is operated at high levels of energy efficiency, which contributes to climate protection. When it comes to work safety, first responders as well as fire prevention and evacuation volunteers are found in every building, and employees know these people by name. Signs including photos and contact data for these colleagues are posted in building areas where employees can easily see them. Reports also indicated that employees regularly participated in fire drills and evacuation exercises to make sure that everyone leaves the premises as quickly as possible should an emergency arise. What's more, attention is also given to psychological stress among employees. In addition to various projects designed to reduce workloads and pressure, each site has specially trained personnel who can assist employees in coping with stress. Firmly integrated All of the initiatives, projects and processes clearly proved that the principles of Health, Safety and Environment Management are firmly integrated in business processes, and that management recognizes this as an important element of core business – this is evident in the regular HSE discussions that take place at executive level. To sum up: Health, Safety and Environment is promoted by colleagues in Brazil with the same high motivation and professionalism that we experience in Germany.