Health and safety

A healthy environment contributes to productivity

Health and safety illustration

Helping employees stay safe, fit and healthy is a top priority. It contributes to productivity, reduces absenteeism and creates a good working environment for our employees. As part of this commitment we gained OHSAS 18001 accreditation, the International Occupational Health & Safety Management standard, in October 2013.

This year the average accident incident rate for the mobile business (the number of accidents for every 1,000 employees) fell to 0.48, a reduction from 0.51 the previous year. Since the mobile and fixed parts (formerly Cable and Wireless Worldwide) of the company have integrated, the accident incident rate is 1.44. This increase reflects the more diverse activities of the integrated business within Vodafone UK. We continually review the management of risks in the business through training and adoption of new processes and procedures.

In 2013/4 Vodafone UK achieved the RoSPA Gold Medal for Occupational Health & Safety. We also achieved UVDB Verify and SafeContractor accreditation, and joined the CHAS Contractor Accreditation Scheme, a requirement of many of our customers.

This year, we recorded one fatality. This involved an employee of a third party company working on a fibre service contract on our behalf. Following a full investigation, Vodafone UK worked closely with our fibre services suppliers to ensure high standards of safety were enforced and maintained. It has also resulted in the introduction of a seventh Absolute Rule which has been implemented globally: never undertake any street or underground work activities unless competent to do so.

Safety and wellbeing at work

Auditing our suppliers

Our suppliers go through a robust selection process before being asked to work for us and we make sure standards remain high. We ask independent bodies to carry out health and safety audits with key suppliers. So far, they have all completed the audits successfully.

Working with our employees

All employees must complete health and safety training, helping them work safely and minimising their impact on the environment. In particular, we emphasise the importance of our seven Absolute Rules regarding health and safety.

Our absolute rules

All employees and contractors working for Vodafone must:

  • Always wear seat belts when travelling in, or operating, vehicles
  • Always use suitable protective equipment, a safety harness and fall-protection equipment when working at height
  • Never work under the influence of substances (alcohol or drugs) that are illegal or in excess of legal levels, or where this impairs the individual's ability to perform tasks
  • Never carry out work on electrical equipment, circuits and gear, unless qualified
  • Never exceed speed limits or travel at speeds that are dangerous for the type of road, vehicle, or conditions
  • Never use a hand-held phone while driving, and only make calls by pulling over or using hands-free devices, when it is safe to do so
  • Never undertake any street or underground work activities unless competent to do so


We offer a range of wellbeing and occupational health services to help employees stay healthy and productive. We also help towards rehabilitation and getting employees back to work after long-term absence. Our Employee Assistance Programme provides professional and confidential counselling, 24 hours a day, 365 day a year. Employees can also use our on-site GP and nurse services at our Newbury, Stoke and Newark sites.

At our Newbury HQ, Bracknell and Manchester hubs, we partner with Nuffield Health to provide an on-site fitness and wellbeing centre that includes a gym and 45 classes a week. We also provide health assessments, physiotherapy, complementary therapy and a 20% discount on membership at 64 Nuffield Health fitness centres across the country.

All our office locations provide a multi-choice restaurant and coffee shops.
In our Newbury HQ we have a hair and beauty salon and a shop offering fresh fruit and vegetables, fresh bread, ready meals, household essentials and dry cleaning.

Our commitments


  • Develop an integrated wellbeing programme linking physical, social and emotional elements
  • Promote and monitor compliance with Absolute Rules amongst employees and suppliers


  • Develop the programme further, increasing our offering for graduates
  • Increase graduate hires to 120 from 2015
  • Make ‘giving something back’ a core part of the programme


  • Introduce more apprentices to Vodafone in 2014/2015