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Health and safety

The health and safety of our employees and customers is important to us and significant attention is paid to delivering agreed standards and mitigating specific risks. Our standards clearly define the controls required to manage the risk that an incident could lead to personal injury and/or damage to property, the environment or the brand. They were reviewed in 2010 to ensure that they remain relevant to the markets in which we operate as well as maintaining an appropriate Group minimum standard, which is particularly important in markets without mature health and safety legislation.

Standard Chartered occupies many heritage buildings that can provide a challenge to implementing modern health and safety practices. Our risk assessments identified that we had inadequate fire escapes in a number of such properties, leading to a programme of work in 2010 to improve escape routes or, where providing safe fire exits proved to be a challenge, relocating business operations to alternative buildings.

Our inclusion in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index marked a significant achievement for Standard Chartered and we were proud to receive an exceptional score in the index. Our local teams have also been recognised for their leadership in the field including our team in India, who won the prestigious Golden Peacock Award for Occupational Health and Safety for the financial sector.

The security of all of our staff is a key part of our health and safety agenda. In a number of our markets, social tensions can mean that our security personnel are particularly vulnerable. It is important that we employ the best possible security guards and/or have contracts with the best security companies to ensure that all of our security personnel are trustworthy, treated fairly and trained appropriately. All security personnel are required to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner when dealing with others, and are expected to respect human rights.

When contracting with security companies, we take all possible action to ensure that agreed wages are fair and in line with country standards. Wage levels are agreed as part of the negotiation process and are subject to a formal annual review. We also take action to ensure that working time is controlled appropriately; security personnel are entitled to at least one day off a week and work no more than 12-hour shifts.

Annual Report and Accounts 2010