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Vodafone India appoints SECRET SNITCHES

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Vodafone India employees could find themselves kicked out of the company if they break a tough new set of safety laws, with specially-designated members of staff granted police-like powers to check compliance.

The firm’s global health and safety goal is to “drive a zero fatalities culture, mindset and behaviour”. Although adherence to the law in European countries is deemed enough, in regions such as India and Ghana, Vodafone requires compliance with International Safety Rating System (ISRS) Level 7 – hence the strict new set of staff controls, according to India's Economic Times.

The "Seven Absolute Safety Rule"s all appear to be centred around driving and carrying out electrical repairs. They include things like wearing a seat belt; not driving under the influence; not driving whilst using a mobile; not exceeding speed limits; using safety harnesses if working up a tall building.

It’s been a tough learning curve for some Vodafone employees, with three already fired for drink-driving and 27 called out for violating one of the seven rules, while 37 staff at the firm’s partners have been banned from working with the operator, the report said.

While improving safety standards in the workplace is no doubt to be encouraged, there may be some raised eyebrows about exactly how Vodafone achieves this – effectively conveying super-snitch status on certain members of staff. The rigorous new code apparently also applies outside of office hours, although it’s not clear exactly how this is enforced.

“This is now an integral part of our culture. We are happy to part ways with colleagues who simply don't get it," HR director Ashok Ramchandran told ET. "I'd rather have a live ex-colleague than a dead current-colleague."

According to Vodafone’s latest health and safety progress report for 2011/12, only two out of the 20 telecoms regions assessed by the company in India were accredited at ISRS Level 7, with another two at Level 6 and the remainder at Level 5. ®

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