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Security, health and wellbeing at work at BBVA

BBVA has established a set of general principles to fulfill its commitment to the security, health and wellbeing of its professionals. Global guidelines that can be adapted to each one of the countries where it has a presence according to regulations and local needs.

Continuous improvement of the workforce is one of the principles that does the most to help promote the security, health and labor wellbeing at the bank. This standard aims to reflect the organizational model for the prevention of labor risks, as well as the functions of the Prevention Service in order to provide advice and support for the company based on the type of existing risks when it comes to the design, introduction and application of the plan, the assessment of the risk factors that can affect the security and health of the workforce, their training, the planning of preventive activity and the determination of the priorities for their adoption, information and training of the workers and the health surveillance of employees related to risks derived from work, etc.

The principles that govern the standard can be summarized as follows:

  • Promoting the security, health and wellbeing of employees through the continuous improvement of work conditions.
  • Establishing a risk prevention system that has efficient means to accomplish its aims and comply with current legislation and other requirements endorsed by the company.
  • Promoting a true preventive culture in which the security, health and wellbeing of employees is integrated into the human resources and business strategies.
  • Developing action plans designed to continuously improve the security, health and wellbeing of employees in all areas of corporate management, quality, security and environment, as a fundamental variable for the advancement of preventive management.
  • Integrating preventive activities into all activities and decisions.
  • Promoting activities that preventing risks starting from the corporate design phase.
  • Developing initial and continuous informative and training activities related to preventing and promoting safe behaviors and work habits and to promoting interest and cooperation among all employees.
  • Fomenting the consultation and participation of employees in the management of labor risk prevention.

Furthermore, BBVA carries out all of these activities in a framework of respect for social aspects and the environment in order to obtain the highest levels of security, health and wellbeing at work and the protection of the environment. Working with security is a condition of employment, and any breach of external or internal standards that could cause harm to health is considered serious. In addition, the bank promotes the principle of equality among women and men, considering sex related variables in both data collection and processing systems and in general studies and research related to the prevention of labor risks in order to detect and prevent possible situations in which the harm caused by the job can appear to be connected to the sex of the employees.

Psychosocial risk assessment standard

Similarly, BBVA has established a set of basic principles for the assessment of possible psychosocial risks in order to serve as an instrument for the detection of possible situations related to this type of risk and to help to properly plan corrective and preventive actions that may be needed.

The bank has established a series of general principles that are applicable to all countries where it has a presence so that each geography adapts its standards to local regulations, but analyzing six risk factors at a minimum:

  • Supervision and participation, and interest in the employee. This factor considers the degree of decision-making autonomy the employee has; in other words, whether the extent to which the decision-making power is distributed between the employee and management in terms of several aspects related to the participation in and execution of the work is appropriate. It is evaluated on the one hand, based on the employee’s assessment of the level of control the direct bosses have over the execution of the work; and on the other, based on the level of effective participation the employee has in the various aspects of their job and of the organization within the framework of all the issues that can affect security and health at work. In addition, the degree to which the company expresses personal concern for the employee over time is evaluated, including aspects related to their training and development, as well as the sources of information that the organization puts at their disposal to keep them informed about these issues.
  • Personal relations. This factor refers to those aspects of the work conditions that are the result of established relationships in the work environment. It measures the quality of personal relationships through communication with other employees. The analysis is based on the employee’s assessment regarding the possibility they have to communicate with other people while performing their job, as well as their assessment of the work environment, group relations and the quality of the relations.
  • Autonomy of the work. This assesses the impact of the autonomy the employee has over their temporary autonomy (the discretion granted to the professional over managing their time at work and rest, their ability to manage the distribution of their time, autonomy to be able to establish or modify their pace of work, to enjoy their leaves of absence and to distribute their own breaks throughout the day) and their decision-making autonomy (workforce’s ability to influence the development of their everyday work, ability to make decisions regarding the tasks to be done, their distribution, the selection of procedures, methods or resolution of incidents).
  • Definition of the role. This factor considers the problems that can result from the labor and organizational role given to each employee and is assessed based on two fundamental factors: the ambiguity of the role (the employee has in inadequate information about their labor and organizational role) and the conflict associated with the role (when conflicting work requests exist or conflicts between obligations assigned by different people).
  • Importance of the work. This refers to the degree to which the set of tasks the employee carries out activate a certain variety of human skills, respond to a series of needs and expectations and allow for their psychological development. It covers the perception of recognition, that the work carried out has meaning and utility in itself, for the employee and for the company as a whole. It is related to other aspects of the content of the work (design of a variety of tasks with meaning) and importance of the work for others.
  • Mental load. This is the intellectual effort that the professional must put forth in order to meet the series of demands their nervous system receives while working. It includes aspects such as the intensity or effort to concentrate and the constancy with which this effort must be maintained, time pressure, amount and complexity of the information and difficulty of the task.