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We all have the right to work in a safe environment. Our philosophy of Zero Harm is simple: everyone goes home safe, every day, everywhere.

Our approach

The safety of our people is our highest priority. Wherever a Diageo employee or contractor works - whether in a brewery, distillery, winery, hotel or office - our Zero Harm programme is designed to ensure they can go home safe, every day. Safety is central to our values and our culture, and our safety model followed at all our sites is based on strict health and safety controls, robust risk assessments, and a desire to improve safety standards continuously.

The four pillars of Zero Harm

Zero Harm is based on four pillars: prevention, culture, compliance, and capability. It requires a partnership between individual employees, managers, and the business as a whole to achieve the objectives of each pillar.


We take a proactive approach to risk reduction by identifying and controlling hazards through global programmes such as risk assessment, incident reporting, trending and root cause analysis, as well as our global hazard reporting tool (Safety Improvement Reports).


Zero Harm relies on the engagement and behaviour of every employee. We use the Diageo Safety Culture Framework and consultation processes to assess and influence safety attitudes and behaviour at every site, placing particular emphasis on our leaders being role models for best practice. As required by our global risk management standards, we have a safety committee for every operation / production site and most of our offices.


Our global risk management standards (GRMS) are designed to ensure that employees at every site have access to best practice guidance on health and safety. Managers at each site are required to ensure compliance with GRMS and legal requirements. This is assured for every site through regular formal independent assurance audits.


To help ensure our people have the skills they need to deliver Zero Harm, we set global competency standards supported by global safety training programmes. Sites are also required to assess contractors' safety management systems and competencies to ensure they are sufficient to deliver Zero Harm.

Focus on the highest risks

This year we introduced a radical new component to Zero Harm, a Severe and Fatal Incident Prevention programme (SFIP), specifically designed to identify and eliminate the highest risks in our operations. It is our response to the fact that steady progress in reducing lost-time accidents between 2007 and 2011 was overshadowed by a number of work-related fatalities. SFIP includes a concise list of global protocols specifically intended to prevent severe and fatal incidents, and has been designed as a result of an analysis of our key risks and the root causes of previous significant incidents. It ensures that proven elimination and best practice approaches are implemented globally, thereby removing local inconsistencies in risk assessment and capability and dramatically increasing control effectiveness around these key risks:

  • Driving on public roads
  • Work at heights
  • On-site traffic
  • Hazardous energies
  • Electrical systems
  • Confined space entry
  • Explosive atmospheres
  • Asphyxiating and toxic gases
  • Lifting operations.

This 'root cause analysis' and hazard elimination process, alongside continuous adaptation to emerging best practices, will be an ongoing activity.


It is with great sadness that we report the death of one of our colleagues in a work-related incident in June 2012. The Guinness Nigeria employee was involved in a head-on collision with another vehicle while driving on a public road. At the time of writing, the local authorities are still carrying out inquiries. Although we await their findings, we have completed an initial internal investigation and we believe that road condition and driver behaviour were key factors.

We recognise that driving on public roads is a key risk to the safety of our people and, in 2012, introduced much stricter standards for safety through our SFIP programme. We cannot control all risk factors on a public road, but we are committed to providing employees with the best practice required to prevent tragedies like this from recurring.

Overall in 2012, our lost-time accident (LTA) frequency rate was 2.14 accidents per 1,000 employees, a reduction of over 40% compared to 2011. LTAs have fallen by 57% since our baseline of 2010, well ahead of our target set in 2011 of reducing LTAs by 20% each year until 2015. We have also seen an increase to 74% in the number of manufacturing sites with no LTAs. While these improvements show good progress, our aim is always to prevent all accidents at our workplaces. Over the next 12 months we will focus on embedding our SFIP programme, the deployment of an updated behavioural-based safety approach, and reviewing our contractor management processes.

Lost-time accident frequency per 1,000 full-time employees (2007 - 2012)1
2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
North America 38 29.3 23.2 9.98 5.06 4.15
Europe 11.1 8.4 5.1 5 5.29 2.41
Africa 22.6 19.91 4.15 2.87 1.48 1.69*
Latin America and Caribbean 8.53 4.87 3.47 2.78 3.42 1.44
Asia Pacific 5 2 1.4 1.97 1.41 0
Diageo (total) 16.5 12.4 7.4 4.96 3.73 2.14
  1. Number of accidents per 1,000 employees and directly-supervised contractors resulting in time lost from work of one day or more.
Number of days lost to accidents per 1,000 full-time employees (2010 - 2012)
2010 2011 2012
Diageo (total) 190.71 158.79 106.63
Fatalities (2007 - 2012)
2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Diageo (total) 1 4 0 2 4 1

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