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Corporate practices: AstraZeneca’s policy for preventing illnesses and accidents banks on one-on-one coaching

The company’s motives. The department in charge of production for AstraZeneca in Sweden was worried about the increased number of accidents and occupational diseases on the sites. The problem was even trickier since the quest for productivity gains, which had become necessary because of Asian competition, was another potential risk. In 2004, the group decided to implement a policy based on its new program, called SHE (safety, health and environment). The goal was to cut the number of accidents by half and increase the number of incident reports, via active contribution from collaborators. To achieve this objective, employees’ attitude in the face of risk and safety needed to change so they could see their professional environment as a place to share experience at all levels: AstraZeneca sought to develop a culture where every individual takes responsibility, protects others and is protected by others, and actively works for a safe and secure working environment instead of a chauvinist culture in production where individually taking risks was encouraged.

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