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Health and Safety First

In all countries and regions where we operate, we implement an effective environmental, health, and safety (EHS) management system and corporate-level global accountability mechanism for safety incidents. We enforce our EHS Absolute Rules, strengthen manager involvement in project operations, and cultivate a robust safety-first culture. These actions enable us to minimize safety risks and protect the health and safety of our employees, contractors, and other stakeholders.

Global Safety Management System

We have incorporated occupational health and safety requirements into our operations, and taken concrete action to deliver on our commitment to occupational health and safety assurance. These efforts are conducive to our role as a responsible corporate citizen – and to our business development. We believe employee health and safety form the foundation basis of Huawei's survival and development, and are also crucial for our competitiveness.

In 2016, we continued to uphold our principles of putting safety first and caring for employees. We deployed and optimized our EHS management system in accordance with OHSAS 18001 standards. Our subsidiaries in an additional 25 countries were certified in terms of health and safety management. To better protect the staff of both Huawei and our contractors, we improved our management standards for occupational health and manufacturing safety, and continuously reinforced health and safety management when we deliver projects.

We take EHS incidents very seriously and adopt multiple initiatives to mitigate risks. For example, we have an IT-based EHS incident management platform that enables incident reporting, investigation, and improvement. If an incident occurs, we follow it through until it is resolved and closed. We discipline managers who are involved in EHS incidents with significant implications, and we also reward best practices in safety management. Through a variety of safety management initiatives in 2016, we significantly reduced the number of EHS incidents, especially those with serious implications.

Optimizing the EHS Management System of Huawei North Africa Regional Office

In 2016, our Northern Africa Regional Office continued to optimize its EHS system based on OHSAS 18001 standards and with reference to local business activities. Major measures included bolstering EHS leadership and culture; incorporating EHS standards into operations; deploying IT tools for risk monitoring; managing supplier EHS; and adopting a six-step approach to real-time tracking of onsite EHS management. These efforts achieved a significant reduction in EHS risks across the region.

Building EHS leadership: 200+ onsite EHS inspections by managers at all levels

Building safety awareness and compliance with EHS Absolute Rules through safety-oriented activities

On November 30, 2016, Huawei and Egypt's Ministry of Manpower and Immigration held a signing ceremony for an EHS Comprehensive Cooperation Agreement in the Prime Minister's Office. In his remarks at the ceremony, the Minister praised Huawei for the work done in Egypt over the past 17 years, and for Huawei's continued investment in the telecom industry's management of EHS. The minister expressed his gratitude for our dedication to driving EHS standards in the telecom industry, and for having cultivated over 40 local contractors to comply with EHS requirements.

Egypt's Prime Minister witnessed the signing of the EHS Comprehensive Cooperation Agreement

Developing an OHSAS 18001 Management System in Huawei Southern-East Asia Regional Office

In 2016, our Southern-East Asia Regional Office began to develop an OHSAS 18001 management system, aiming to further improve and institutionalize EHS management, and standardize operations to achieve the target of "zero injuries and fatalities". The president of the regional office sponsored the initiative and the president's office led the establishment of a program to manage the initiative. With guidance from Huawei headquarters and external consultants, the regional office adopted quality management methodologies for effective and improved EHS management, propelling the development of its management systems to the next level.

By December 2016, all ten subsidiaries under the regional office had their management systems certified. They also released work mechanisms and a 2017 work plan to execute the management systems. An accountability system for safety was also in place to build safety awareness amongst employees. This has resulted in ongoing improvements to the management of work safety.

Huawei Nepal EHS training for contractors

Huawei Thailand EHS training by government experts

Manufacturing Safety

In 2016, we maintained our manufacturing safety levels. We achieved this by constantly optimizing how we manage manufacturing safety; enlarging the scope of our safety-enhancing processes and technology; and improving health and safety oversight. Our goal is to build safety awareness, manage minor risks, and prevent major incidents. We undertook multiple initiatives in 2016:

  • Increased expertise in safety assurance;
  • Refined design for manufacturing safety;
  • Released over 600 safety baselines;
  • Developed and utilized a safety process and technology system and a safety toolkit;
  • Ran safety design certification for over 20,000 units of equipment;
  • Published 16 safety management specifications and technical standards;
  • Carried out targeted projects for improving battery safety and precision manufacturing;
  • Refined our approach to mitigating health and safety risks;
  • Examined the compliance of positions involving health and safety risks;
  • Organized physical checkups for staff vulnerable to health and safety risks

Dealing with Safety Risk from Discarded Lithium Batteries

Huawei has initiated a program to minimize the risks relating to lithium battery disassembly, storage, shipping, and disposal.

The program enables the safe and hazard-free processing of discarded lithium batteries, including those from Huawei, electronic manufacturing services suppliers, and high-level repair centers. This is achieved through creating and adopting safety technology norms and standards; improving risk control technology for lithium batteries; developing and adopting solutions for new lithium battery discharge fixtures and safe processing of damaged lithium batteries; and minimizing shipment risks.

Building a Culture of Safe Manufacturing

Huawei works with leading companies to exchange ideas on safe manufacturing. This enables us to learn from others in the industry, build a culture of safety, and bolster our safety achievements.

In 2016, Huawei held an "Experience Sharing Forum for Advanced Safety Manufacturing Management" and an "Experience Sharing Event on Transportation Safety", which were attended by over 10 equipment manufacturing suppliers, equipment vendors, and security consultancies. Huawei also arranged training and educational tours for safety personnel to improve their safety awareness and capabilities.

Experience Sharing Forum for Advanced Safety Manufacturing Management

Office Safety

A safe, pleasant workplace can contribute to higher work efficiency. It is appealing to potential hires, and supports our brand as well as overall employee health and safety.

Working with a world-leading safety services provider, Huawei has established safety management baselines and standards for different country offices based on their specific business activities and risks. We have evaluated safety risks in 25 high-risk countries, and developed a safety management plan for each of them. Safety assurance services are now available in our overseas offices and staff dormitories. We have upgraded the safety protection systems for our facilities, and provided safety training and drills for our staff and their families. In addition, we run multiple social contribution programs in countries and regions where we operate, offering help to the needy and contributing to a safer society.

18 aspects of our safety management baselines: building safety via software, hardware, training, and social contribution programs

Improving Workplace and Living Facilities

In 2016, we pressed ahead with efforts to upgrade offices and living facilities in our subsidiaries outside China. Our goal is to create a safer, more convenient environment for our employees, especially those in hardship regions.

Backed by our corporate policies for hardship regions, we invested over CNY700 million in the phase-I project and over CNY500 million in the phase-II project. By the end of 2016, our phase-I project team upgraded offices, dormitories, cafeterias, vehicles, and safety and fire systems in 72 countries across more than 10 hardship regions, providing tangible benefits to our employees, both at work and in life.

Cafeteria in Huawei Zambia

Cafeteria in Huawei Uganda

Logistics Safety Support

EHS is part of our property service contracts, and we collaborate with suppliers so our subsidiaries can be served by EHS experts and capability. Our administrative service teams outside China are able to deliver 24/7 logistics support and safety assurance by adopting advanced approaches to manage facilities and safety, and respond to requests for logistics services. We have carried out safety checks in our cafeterias around the world, and took concrete actions to address the identified problems. In 2016, we installed the on-board diagnostics (OBD) and GPS systems in company-used vehicles at more than 80% of our subsidiaries. These tools effectively identify speeding and driver fatigue, making our vehicles safer and ensuring compliance with EHS standards. These tools also track the movements of vehicles and provide data for evaluation to ensure their effective utilization.

Project Delivery Safety

With a firm belief that health and safety matter most, we set a goal of "zero injuries and fatalities" for project delivery, and continuously optimize our EHS management around the world. Our accountability mechanism extends beyond project managers and requires managers at all levels to be responsible for safety. Our leadership development programs include the fulfillment of safety goals from the top down. We have also established an EHS management maturity model for our project delivery activities, and have adopted IT systems for automatic measurement and efficient digital management.Through these measures, we have increased our EHS maturity score from 1.93 in 2015 to 2.71 in 2016, an increase of 40%. Our major delivery EHS management initiatives in 2016 were as follows:

  • Improving expertise

We have continuously invested in safety assurance, putting the required tools, equipment, and human resources in place. We have assigned EHS managers to 1,000 large delivery projects in over 170 countries and regions, and issued over 44,000 safety qualification certificates to our partners. More than 12,000 Huawei delivery engineers have taken part in EHS-related online training and exams.

  • Applying OBD for road traffic safety

We developed a mobile app to improve onsite EHS management at 250,000 base stations. To improve road safety, we installed on-board diagnostics (OBD) systems that assist driver safety. A total of 8,000 OBD-aided vehicles were accident-free for 140 million kilometers.

  • Launching third-party checks

In terms of EHS management, we work closely with third parties that carry out independent onsite checks and proactively identify safety risks. As a result, our field offices are able to promptly fix their problems and protect the safety of our customers, Huawei staff, our partners, and other stakeholders in our delivery projects.

Earning Recognition for EHS Management

Our performance has been recognized by governments in countries where we operate. For example, in 2016, we received the Excellent Work Skills Improvement and Contribution Award from the Indonesian government as well as the Excellent Commitment and Improvement Towards EHS at Workplace Award from the Malaysian government.

Excellent Commitment and Improvement Towards EHS at Workplace Award in Malaysia

Strengthening EHS Communication and Cooperation with Our Customer

The 10th Vodafone and Huawei Group EHS Summit was held in August 2016. At the event, Huawei explained our achievements and commitment to managing EHS in delivery projects. To achieve these results, Huawei had continuously improved its leadership, organizational structure, expertise, and resource deployment. It had also reduced the occurrence of EHS incidents and achieved a record of zero injuries, fatalities, and serious incidents in Vodafone projects for 48 consecutive months.

At the summit, Huawei also shared its best practices of using advanced tools and platforms (e.g., OBD, Smart QC [quality control], and drones) to optimize EHS management. Vodafone highly recognized Huawei's positive practices and expressed interest in learning more about them and expanding them on a larger scale.

10th Vodafone and Huawei Group EHS Summit

Safe Products

Huawei has developed strict systems for product safety control, and enforced strict product safety standards. Our areas of focus continue to be reducing electromagnetic and laser radiation and improving electrical safety . Our goal is to deliver safe, reliable products and services to customers and consumers.

Electromagnetic Radiation

Huawei has developed strict standards for controlling electromagnetic radiation. Our ongoing research and innovation helps to ensure that our products conform to all legal and technical standards. Base stations are becoming smaller and 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.

In 2016, we hired world-leading scientists in electromagnetic field exposure and product conformity testing. By coordinating electromagnetic safety compliance, standardization, and supervision issues, they help us resolve product radiation problems at the R&D and market stages.

The increasing penetration of smartphones and new form factors of device products pose a big challenge to the industry. There is a trade-off between the control of a device's electromagnetic radiation level and the improvement of its signal strength. Stricter regulations on electromagnetic radiation of consumer products are being released in many countries. To conform to relevant standards, manufacturers have to invest a lot more in product R&D, manufacturing, and cost control. Huawei attaches great importance to consumer safety. We invest in product R&D and manufacturing to ensure our products are safe in terms of electromagnetic radiation. We have a dedicated lab that tests the radiation levels of our products, including mobile phones, tablets, and wireless routers. In addition, we collaborate with third-party verification organizations in major countries and regions to ensure that our products comply with security laws and regulations of different countries.

Electrical Safety

Huawei has established a systematic electrical safety assurance system, and we implement safety baselines, standards, and requirements at different stages throughout the lifecycle. To deliver safe and reliable products, we continue to invest in the research and application of key technologies relating to electrical safety protection and risk mitigation and detection, and we are actively involved in standards initiatives led by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

Huawei has a dedicated electrical safety lab that is certified by both the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) and the China National Accreditation Service for Conformity Assessment (CNAS), and is a long-term strategic partner of major testing and certification organizations such as UL, TÜV, and ITS. We perform product design and testing in strict compliance with international safety standards and differentiated national standards to ensure the electrical safety of our products.

Laser Safety

We strictly conform to the IEC 60825 security standards when designing, testing, and verifying all laser products. Huawei has a dedicated laser safety lab to strictly test the safety of all laser products, from optical modules to laser transmission systems. This enables us to ensure that users can use our products without concern for laser radiation.

All our laser products are certified by major international certification organizations such as UL and TÜV, which means the radiation levels of our laser products pose no harm to users. 

Laser safety testing

Ergonomics

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 2016, we had collected 115 user scenarios in 26 countries and regions, involving major telecom carriers across Europe, North America, Latin America, Africa, and Asia.


Applying Ergonomics in Product Design

Huawei FusionModule2000 is a next-generation modular data center solution. Its ergonomic design enables fast, on-demand deployment and easy O&M. Installation takes only one week, which is 50% faster than competitor products.

Huawei's smart modular data center

Noise Reduction

We have adopted multiple methodologies to greatly reduce the noise of multiple products. For example, we introduced industry-leading noise simulation technology into our company. A "whitebox" approach was used to study the factors that determine product noise. We also redesigned product shapes and sizes to minimize noise.

One example is our core router, which cancels noise by 10 dB (compared with 6.5 dB of the previous model) and reduces noise energy by 90%. In order to make this happen, we used noise simulation technology to redesign the router's ventilation pipes and noise cancelling module, without having a significant impact on the product's cost or size. The next generation of the core router is expected to achieve 12 dB noise reduction, thus reducing noise energy by over 93%.

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.