This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Read our private policy>

Health and Safety First

In all countries and regions where we operate, we have implemented effective management system, and established a corporate-level global safety incident ownership mechanism. In addition, we have developed and enforced the EHS Absolute Rules, strengthened managers’ involvement in onsite projects, and built a positive safety-first culture. These actions have minimized safety risks and protected the health and safety of our employees, subcontractors, and other partners.

We have assigned great importance to operational safety, and developed a highly efficient safety management system in all areas of operations, including building a safety-first culture, manufacturing safety, working environment safety, fire control safety, food safety, road traffic safety, and engineering delivery safety.

Employee health and safety is at the core of our operations. We have established the OHSAS18001 management system, enforced safety management requirements in all countries and regions where we operate, and implemented comprehensive safety management systems, processes, and regulations to build a strong safety-first culture. Our management practices cover all aspects of employee safety: safety management systems, manufacturing safety, working environment safety, road traffic safety, and engineering delivery safety. These practices have effectively safeguarded our employees, subcontractors, and other stakeholders.

Implementing the EHS Absolute Rules to Minimize EHS Incidents

Research by third parties reveals that the majority of safety incidents are a direct result of dangerous behavior. It thus makes sense to minimize dangerous behavior in order to effectively reduce EHS incidents.

We have evaluated our business scenarios and EHS risks, and analyzed our EHS incidents and cases as well as those of peers. Following this, we have established the EHS Absolute Rules at different levels (e.g., engineering delivery, administrative service, capital construction, R&D, manufacturing, and corporate) in accordance with industry best practices (e.g., Vodafone), customer requirements, and applicable laws and regulations.

By disseminating information, providing training, and integrating business processes, we have promoted the rules on a global scale. These rules have been turned into EHS Management Redline requirements, and all employees are required to comply with them. Following these measures, we have managed to minimize dangerous behavior and, more importantly, the number of EHS incidents.

Drawing Competition: “Being Safe” – As Seen by Our Children

In August 2015, our New Zealand Representative Office held an EHS drawing competition themed “Being Safe” – As Seen by Our Children.

The competition was open to the children (under the age of 18) of all employees in New Zealand. Participants submitted a drawing which reflected the theme “Being Safe” (e.g., at home, at work, during sports, on the road).

This event garnered much interest from local staff and their families, as evidenced by the flood of submissions reflecting how children view safety. The winning entries were turned into a calendar and distributed to all staff as a Christmas gift. As a result of this event, local employees and their families learned more about safety issues, both at work and in life, and enhanced their own safety awareness.

Selected entries

Manufacturing Safety

At Huawei, the core goal of manufacturing safety is ensuring employee health and safety anytime, anywhere. In 2015, we ensured a high level of manufacturing safety, with no major manufacturing incidents occurring throughout the year. Last year, our Manufacturing Department refined its manufacturing safety management by developing and releasing 31 rules, regulations, and technical specifications. One example is the Baselines for Safety Design (Design for Serviceability) for the Manufacturing Department. To systematically attain our manufacturing safety goals, we executed skill improvement projects, and teamed up with external safety consultants and experts to complete a safety improvement project.

To strengthen the safety-first culture, we required all employees to sign a statement regarding their safety responsibilities; urged workshop directors and higher-level managers to develop and implement action plans for safety assurance; and launched the Manufacturing Safety Month and safety lectures. These initiatives increased safety awareness, improved the company’s safety leadership, and contributed to our safety-first culture.

Safety Improvement Project With Assistance from DuPont Experts

Our Manufacturing Department has optimized its EHS management by benchmarking itself against leading EHS practices, analyzing gaps, and rolling out multiple improvement projects.

We hired leading safety management company DuPont as our advisor, who helped us systematically review and optimize our safety management. As part of this collaboration, we organized three onsite consultant-led coaching sessions and eight training sessions, and trained over 1,000 managers and EHS professionals. Together with DuPont, we identified 173 key EHS items for improvement, and introduced industry-leading safety management methodologies, including Safety Training Observation Training (STOP), Job Safety Analysis (JSA), lock-out and tag-out, and territorial management. Our EHS initiatives reinforced onsite safety management capabilities and laid a solid foundation for future improvements.

Working Environment Safety

Creating a safe, comfortable working environment to ensure employee health and safety is an ongoing mission. In 2015, we continued launching projects to upgrade water purification systems in our campuses across China as well as modernize offices in hardship regions outside China.

Modernizing Office Facilities Outside China

In 2015, 34 Huawei representative offices outside China initiated projects to modernize their working environments, and spent over US$100 million on employee health and safety.

Specifically, we established standards for improving office environments, safety and fire control, dormitories, canteens, and vehicles. We also released specifications for leased offices as well as regulations on malaria prevention and treatment. In Nigeria, Nepal, Laos, Pakistan, and many other countries, we installed drinking water purification systems, fitness equipment, and sports facilities.

These efforts have been recognized by our employees, who now enjoy greatly modernized work and lives. In 2016, we will continue these initiatives to create a safer and more comfortable environment for our employees, especially those in hardship regions.

New office in a representative office outside China

Fire Control Safety

We have continuously implemented a fire control ownership system, organized training sessions and drills, and performed both routine checks and spot checks (e.g., checks on labs and gas use) to promptly identify and eliminate fire risks. In 2015, we released the Guide to Fire Risk Control, and designed a comprehensive approach to prevent fire risks in buildings throughout their lifecycle. We also engaged internal experts and third-party consultants to review our fire control designs, conduct acceptance and testing on fire control facilities, test fire control systems annually, and evaluate management systems.

Food Safety

We strive to provide our employees with a diverse range of safe, nutritious, and healthy foods. Outside China, we have effectively managed 140 canteens through our Staff Life Management Committee and minimum standards for canteen safety management. In 2015, all overseas canteens completed self-check and issue resolution; 16 national level-A canteens were constructed; and 19 national canteen modernization projects were completed. In China, we increased the variety of foods, urged 17 suppliers to obtain the ISO22000 certification, and adopted video monitoring technology to link our canteens in Shenzhen and Dongguan.

Road Traffic Safety

In 2015, we continued to optimize our road traffic management system by implementing standards for vehicles and driver qualifications, offering driving safety training, organizing Road Safety Week, and providing incentives to drivers with solid track records. In hardship regions, we bought or upgraded in-house vehicles and rented vehicles (e.g., sports utility vehicles and pickup trucks) based on delivery and onsite operational requirements. We also added in-car emergency kits to better protect our employees.

New vehicles for the Ghana Representative Office

Driving safety training at the Thailand Representative Office

Engineering Delivery Safety

Huawei delivers projects and services in over 170 countries and regions around the world, and provides telecom services to hundreds of customers, including those in war-torn and hardship countries and regions. In 2015, our delivery workload increased by 13.9% compared to the previous year. This growth posed huge challenges to delivery safety management. In response, we have set the corporate goal of 0 injuries and 0 fatalities for delivery projects, and adopted effective measures to guarantee delivery safety. For example, we have provided all employees and subcontractors with required safety information, publicity concerning our safety-first culture, training, guidance, working equipment, and incentives. We have assigned safety owners to every delivery project. Any key safety events are reflected in managers’ performance reviews. We have also made continuous efforts to improve our leadership and ensure that safety management tasks are implemented from the top down.

Ensuring Systematic, Standardized EHS Management in Delivery Projects Worldwide

In 2015, we appointed EHS managers for 16 regional offices and the local representative offices, and released a solution for EHS management maturity assessment. EHS-related performance appraisals were completed in 16 regions to evaluate various issues, including EHS incidents, early warnings, and tracking; manager involvement; EHS Red and Yellow Cards; customers’ EHS complaints; and EHS exam performance. The quantitative appraisal results of regional offices were published internally. This encouraged regional offices to identify management gaps, and contributed to EHS management globally.

Quality is a critical factor in the selection and qualification of our suppliers and subcontractors. Our Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) System helps us manage subcontractors’ qualifications and performance. Our Supplier Corrective Action Request (SCSR) System allows us to reward or discipline subcontractors according to their performance. With the iResource System, we can record the skills, qualifications, training, and key events of subcontractors’ employees. These three systems enable us to adopt digital means to efficiently manage subcontractors’ qualifications, selection, training, routine operations, and rewards/discipline.

Utilizing EHS Management Tools in Delivery Projects

We believe that management tools can help us effectively monitor risks at all stages of a delivery project to maximize management efficiency and minimize safety incidents. In 2015, we deployed the Smart QC tool and the On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) system to manage EHS in delivery projects. These tools produced impressive results.

  • In 2015, we developed the Smart QC phone app and piloted it in 206 delivery projects around the world. This tool helped us visibly manage and review onsite operations. We will further roll out the app as part of more projects in 2016.
  • In 2015, we established a cross-departmental OBD workgroup and installed the OBD system in 446 new vehicles used for all projects (12) of Vodafone subsidiaries. We also released monthly driving behavior monitoring reports, a practice which has been adopted in 79 countries and regions.
  • System statistics show that, in 2015, the number of drivers who scored 90 points or higher in their driver behavior assessments increased month by month. No delivery project involved any major road accidents throughout the year. We also actively participated in Vodafone’s quarterly safe driving forum. Our case study How Huawei Uses the OBD System in Vehicles has been recognized by Vodafone as a best practice for driving safety management.

How Smart QC is used

Enhancing Communication and Cooperation with Customers to Strengthen EHS Management in Delivery Projects

At the 8th Vodafone and Huawei Group EHS Summit in Shenzhen dated August 19, 2015, Huawei presented the EHS management business plan for 2016-2018 which will not only focus on the traditional high risk areas, but also the new risks brought by the new business areas such as the data center, managed service, and fiber optical project. We will also focus on the promotion of the EHS culture as well as the IT solutions for the EHS management such as OBD and Smart QC.

Vodafone fully supported the presented business plan, and highly recognized the effort Huawei had put on EHS management as well as the significant improvement Huawei had made to change from following customer requirements to having Huawei’s own management system and proactive EHS management practices to protect the lives. Meanwhile, Vodafone suggested that Huawei set up the minimum requirements on EHS management across all the markets, in order to align the target and realize our EHS objectives.

Vodafone representative giving a speech at the EHS Leadership Training Session

8th Vodafone and Huawei Group EHS Summit

Product Safety

Huawei has developed strict systems for product safety control, and enforced strict product safety standards. Our goal is to deliver safe, dependable products and services to customers and consumers. As part of this goal, we are committed to researching and innovating product safety technologies, and adopting best practices. Reducing electromagnetic radiation remains one of our focus areas, and we have increased our research into dermatological reactions. We have also worked with leading international organizations on the issue of noise control, to ensure that our products conform to every noise standard. And we have adopted a user scenario-based approach to product safety design, thereby ensuring that our products are easy to install, easy to use, and meet all relevant health and safety standards.

Electromagnetic Radiation

Huawei has developed strict standards for controlling electromagnetic radiation levels. Our ongoing research and innovation helps to ensure that our products conform to all legal and technical standards. Base stations are becoming smaller, lighter, and are being installed closer to ground level. In response, we are building additional electromagnetic radiation protection into their design, and carrying out more research and testing. This allows us to deliver both excellent communications services and product safety. We have helped our customers to carry out many electromagnetic surveys of residential areas, and engaged with public concerns over electromagnetic radiation. The widespread adoption of smartphones has also brought forth new challenges in consumer safety. In addition to our base stations, Huawei products for consumers, homes, and enterprises all satisfy the relevant standards for electromagnetic radiation.

Dermatological Safety

The explosion of new smart devices in recent years has brought consumers a rich range of new experiences, but has also created health and safety challenges. In non-ICT industries, there are existing standards for allergens, such as those for textiles and children’s toys, and EU directives for medical devices. However, in the communications industry, there is not yet a widespread understanding of the issue of allergic reactions, and dermatological worries are particularly acute for wearables and children’s products.

We are well aware of the potential risks to health posed by allergic reactions, and are managing the dermatological safety of our products. We have invested in research with the Japanese Dermatological Association and the Japan Medical Association Research Institute (JMARI), which is laying a solid foundation for reducing the risk of allergic reactions.

In 2015, we worked with the TÜV SÜD, SGS, and other specialist organizations to develop an allergen standard for smartphone accessories, referencing the standards already available for medical equipment, toys, and textiles. We also developed manufacturing control mechanisms, and established the Huawei Device Anti-allergen Team to set our internal standards for allergens and control processes. We aim to raise awareness of allergy issues within the communications industry, and are working with industry partners to draft standards. We are committed to minimizing the negative impact of communication products on human health and safety.


Huawei has a specialist ergonomic design team, which promotes safe product design based on real user scenarios. Ergonomic design is built into every phase of product planning, design, development, and testing, so that our products are adapted to users’ engineering habits and technical needs while reducing health and safety risks at the installation and usage stages.

As of the end of 2015, we had collected user scenarios in 25 countries and regions, including major telecom carriers across Europe, North America, Latin America, Africa, and Asia. We increased our focus on Africa, gaining deeper insight into local engineering delivery practices and user habits. With innovative designs based on real user scenarios, we have been able to deliver products that are easy to use, easy to install, and better meet ergonomic requirements.

Optimizing Ergonomic Design to Prevent Safety Risks

The Huawei Distributed Converged Cable Access Platform (D-CCAP) has been developed using the Data over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS) to integrate into FTTx systems, supporting simplified network roll-out and management. The solution reduces health and safety risks during installation and usage, and ensures a clearer, smoother audiovisual experience for Internet users. The solution has been implemented in 30 countries and regions around the world. Its excellent ergonomic design elements are as follows:

  • Adaptable: The multifunctional installation brackets provide 100% support for installation on cables, in equipment cabinets, on exterior walls, or on simple poles. Such a high degree of adaptability avoids the need for network reconstruction.
  • Pre-assembly: Units to be installed on cables can be pre-assembled, freeing up the hands of the installation engineer. Single engineer installation allows for faster rollout.
  • Modular: One of the common problems faced by customers is that they cannot easily swap out single pieces of equipment, but must remove entire units. The modular design of the D-CCAP solution allows for the easy swapping of equipment by a single engineer, so that equipment can be maintained and upgraded without replacing entire cables.

D-CCAP equipment in a ground cabinet in Denmark

D-CCAP suspended installation in Malaysia

Noise Reduction

As part of our commitment to ongoing improvements in product quality, we are always working to decrease product noise levels, thus minimizing our impact on the environment. We have carried out ongoing noise level surveys, and have made significant improvements in the design of many products. For example, at one data center, a noise survey and diagnostic analysis led us to design improvements into the ventilation pipes and sound baffles in the switches. As a result, noise was reduced by 6.5dB (A). We also redesigned the fan housing of a router to achieve a noise reduction of 6dB (A), with no reduction in cooling power.

We track the latest developments in noise reduction technology, and have close links with universities and research institutes working on noise control. The Huawei Environmental Acoustics Lab has long been ISO/IEC 17025 certified by both the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) and the China National Accreditation Service for Conformity Assessment (CNAS), and is recognized by major testing and certification organizations such as UL, MET Laboratories, and National Technical Systems (NTS). The lab supports our efforts to measure, locate, and control environmental noise with some of the world’s most advanced noise testing equipment.