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PLDT, Smart ramp up environment, health and safety awareness for employees

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TL;DR: PLDT prioritizes employees’ health and safety in the workplace by conducting emergency situation simulations and other EHS training.

PLDT and Smart advocated to its more than 18,000 partner employees the importance of occupational Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS) systems and practices to support the PLDT Group’s agenda of ensuring safe working conditions and supporting sustainable environmental programs and initiatives.  

In celebration of World Safety Day, PLDT and Smart undertook a group-wide campaign involving various business units to ramp up EHS awareness in the workplace for all employees.  

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“The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the whole world and significantly changed the way we work. As we combat the spread of this disease, we continue to identify and adopt all possible risk management measures to protect our people while we continue to serve our customers,” said PLDT Chairman, President, and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan.  

Anticipate, prepare, respond  

Aptly themed: “Anticipate, Prepare and Respond to Crisis. Invest now in resilient occupational safety & health and environmental systems,” the week-long activities were designed to help employees prepare and respond accordingly to different crises, promote employee and contractor engagement and involvement in dynamic, inclusive and sustainable programs on EHS.  

Employees also benefited from improving their personnel competence and leadership skills as well as enhancing emergency preparedness, response, and recovery programs within the organization. These further help minimize, if not totally prevent, accidents at work through risk-based education.

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“I believe that investment in knowledge is essential in building a resilient system to safeguard the health and safety of everyone. The company initiative on increasing EHS awareness aims to prepare our people on how to anticipate and deal with various threats. We need to be vigilant in order to remain strong and resilient in the face of all the challenges. Hence, we should actively integrate the concept of preparedness in each and every aspect of work,” Pangilinan added.  

EHS culture-building 

Activities and trainings were organized by different groups, targeting key stakeholders in the organizations.  

As arranged by the PLDT Sustainability Office, a webinar with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) – Global Compact Network Philippines highlighted the significance of EHS in helping attain the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs). 

Speakers from the World Safety Organization (WSO) were invited to give lectures on Basic Safety for Field Personnel and Contractors, Safety Leadership Training with Behavior-based Safety, and Emergency / Disaster Preparedness and Response Training, while IProve Global handled topics on Earthquake Rapid Assessment Training. 

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) – Occupational Safety and Health Center (OSHC) also conducted a webinar about Improvement Strategies on Workplace Control Measures for Infectious Disease. In relation to Basic OSH, Trainovate also facilitated a Training of Trainers for field supervisors.

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A1 Driving School’s talk on Defensive Driving Training was also a key discussion in the group’s critical operations, while the UP Los Banos College of Veterinary Medicine shared insightful advice on Animal Bite Safety Training particularly relevant for field-based employees.  

Apart from the virtual training events, program proponents also ran employee engagement activities via internal platforms to further promote consciousness on EHS matters.  

Raising the bar on crisis management and readiness 

“Environment, Health, and Safety Awareness Week was an opportunity for us to raise the bar higher for crisis management and readiness. It fostered engagement to ensure that we are all briefed on the significance of EHS not only in our organization but also in the community at large. We want to be equipped for combat against all kinds of present and future threats and be able to address incidents in a timely and appropriate manner, mindful of our environment, health and safety,” stated Smart Communications President and CEO Alfredo S. Panlilio.  

“As we strive to live smarter for a better world, we vow to never stop learning,” he added.  

The group-wide push for EHS awareness underscores the commitment of PLDT and Smart to attaining the UNSDGs, particularly SDG #3: Good Health and Well-Being, SDG #8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, SDG #11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, and SDG #13: Climate Action.

The group’s EHS initiatives also further underscore its commitment to build resiliency through human capital and strong communities, one of the focus areas in the company’s Sustainability Framework.

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