Employee safety is an integral part of an employer’s responsibility. Novartis Group companies are committed to providing our associates with safe workplaces.

Reducing incidents is a priority and there is a focus on continuously improving our control systems to prevent incidents and verify our operations are safe. When incidents occur, it is important to understand the causes, share the learnings and ensure corrective actions are implemented to prevent reoccurrence. Events which have the potential to cause a Serious Injury or Fatality (SIF) receive a special focus and lead to targeted improvement plans.

Occupational Health & Safety Performance


Lost time injury and illness rate (LTIR)


Total recordable case rate (TRCR)

Work-related injuries and illnesses are measured and reported as two distinct indicators:

  • Total recordable case rate (TRCR): the total rate of injury and illness cases with and without lost work time, per 200’000 working hours, for Novartis employees and Third Party Personnel.
  • Lost time injury and illness rate (LTIR): the rate of absenteeism cases due to occupational injury and illness, per 200’000 working hours, for Novartis employees and Third Party Personnel.

Good safety performance is linked to a supportive culture where associates are empowered to speak up and stop work if there is something wrong. Workshops are conducted across the organization to further emphasize accountability and the importance of safe behaviors.

We are tracking events with SIF potential to understand trends and potential gaps in our risk management processes. As a result of systematic improvements in processes and protective measures, these indicators are consistently below the average for similar industries.

Contractor management and driver safety are critical elements of our SIF prevention program. Contractors are selected and evaluated based on their safety performance while our driver safety program focuses on raising awareness about distracted driving which is the main cause of road accidents.


Handling biological materials is an integral and essential part of research, development and manufacturing programs at Novartis. Biological materials can include human or animal pathogens, and experimental or transgenic animals.

We take great care to ensure we prevent material misuse. Our biosafety program sets out standards, tools and practices for associates to manage potential risks when handling biological materials. We regularly assess compliance through audits at sites conducting biological activities.

Novartis also supports the goals and objectives of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) as well as the protocol on compliance with the convention.