Health, Safety and Wellbeing

Mars Associates perform quality check of gum on the manufacturing line
We strive to keep an incident-free workplace and are making good progress

Health, Safety, and Wellbeing

Providing a safe and healthy workplace is not just our responsibility, it is a business imperative. This involves everything from maintaining high safety standards in our factories to promoting healthy living among office-based Associates. All our sites are designed and operated to create a safe and positive working environment.

We strive to keep an incident-free workplace and are making good progress. To help us, we expect all our operations to reach the highest standards in our Safety, Environmental Affairs and Security (SES) management system and to engage every Associate in the process.

Managing Occupational Safety and Health

Mars manufacturing sites use sophisticated engineering, manufacturing, and logistics techniques, and many Associates use complex machinery and materials every day. Every Associate, trade contractor, and temporary worker is responsible for doing his or her job safely, and Mars is responsible for providing appropriate workplaces, equipment, and training.

We provide additional training for Associates with jobs requiring special skills. Courses include manual handling, working with machinery, energy and hazardous materials, and emergency preparedness. We regularly conduct skills surveys to ensure Associates feel able to carry out their work safely.

We raise awareness of the importance of safe behavior using a range of tactics such as clear signage and near-miss reporting, as well as more creative communications campaigns and safety plans.These programs are developed locally to reflect local needs. Programs like the Wrigley CARES initiative encourage Associates to take responsibility for their own safety and the safety of fellow Associates and to point out unsafe situations in a sensitive way.

A unique component of our approach is that our occupational health teams work closely with our safety teams to prevent injuries. Sites are routinely visited by a nurse, and larger manufacturing facilities have health centers on site. All Associates at our manufacturing facilities have their general health monitored throughout their careers. They also have specific monitoring for hearing loss and other risks associated with manufacturing in order to prevent health problems or diagnose and treat them as soon as possible.

We assess site performance through our Safety, Environmental Affairs and Security management system, which meets recognized international standards such as the Occupational Health and Safety Advisory Services 18000 (OHSAS) series. It reviews each site’s systematic approach to managing health and safety processes, such as training, risk management, Associate engagement levels, and incident rates. Nine of our sites have achieved OHSAS 18001 certification.

It is our long-term goal to be an incident-free workplace. To improve our performance we are making a continued effort to reinforce safety as a responsibility that all Associates share, and to further strengthen our safety-management practices.

We provide consistent safety training and communications across our sites and have verified the effectiveness of our training through behavioral observations and skill surveys. We are enhancing our management system with even higher standards and improved auditing.

Wellbeing at Work

We want Mars Associates to be motivated, productive, happy and healthy. We are committed to supporting their health and wellbeing through programs that are focused on improving nutrition, diet and physical activity. We are also keen to give them the right tools and resources so they can maintain a positive work-life balance.

Our approach to how we do this differs from country to country, and depends on local cultures, behaviors and health requirements. At our main headquarters and US offices, we run programs to encourage:

  • Healthy diets: through nutrition and diet seminars and classes, online and print education materials, subsidized fruit and healthy meal/snack options in workplace cafes, nutrition information on menus, cooking classes, links to local fresh food markets and personalized nutrition services.

  • Active lifestyles: through online resources on healthy living, workplace gyms, personalized exercise plans, gym membership subsidies, workplace exercise clubs, on-site sports teams and sports challenges, and promoting active habits such as using stairs and walking and biking to work.

  • Healthy behaviors: Through regular healthy living and nutrition campaigns, prizes celebrating health-related progress, work-life balance and counselling sessions and by publishing articles written by senior Associates that describe healthy habits.

These programs are available to all Associates. In the US, our Associates’ families can also take part in health coaching and nutrition and diet activities based on their participation in the Mars Medical Plan.

See below for some of our regional activities

Asia, India, and the Middle East

Associates receive a full annual medical checkup health report. Our Wellbeing Week includes free yoga, tai chi and aerobics sessions, free massages, and a presentation on managing stress.


Mars Australia’s “Believe” program, available at Mars Chocolate, Mars Food and Wrigley Australia, has three tiers depending on Associate’s’ needs. Level 1 is an interactive online tool that provides Associates with a 52 week personal fitness and lifestyle improvement program, Level 2 is a 40-minute, one-on-one health and fitness assessment, and Level 3 provides additional personal coaching and support for people with complex health risks. By doing this, we can better understand Associates’ health requirements and provide support where they need it most.


Mars sites in the UK run annual Wellbeing Weeks where we carry out cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes checks. In addition, we run Focus Health Weeks to educate Associates on common illnesses and lifestyle factors.

In Netherlands, we help Associates understand the link between their own wellbeing and performance at work, offering web-based surveys, coaching and development, and lifestyle interventions.

In Germany, our Clever Naschen (Smart Snacking) initiative offers nutritional advice, encourages Associates to cycle to work, and labels healthier options in the onsite canteen.

Associates can participate in a wide range of wellbeing activities in Central Europe, including health risk assessments, personal nutrition consultations, family events and the Mars ’Lympics, an annual multi-sport team competition.

North America

We motivate North American Associates to improve their health through various ways, including increased communication with senior leaders and line managers. We are assessing all our sites on how well they provide access to physical activity, nutrition advice, help to stop smoking, and stress management. Many of our new sites, such as the Chocolate site in Topeka, Kansas, our Drinks campus in Westchester, Pennsylvania, and our remodeled Petcare site in Orangeburg, South Carolina, have been designed to include dedicated spaces to encourage physical activity.

Our onsite wellbeing program, HealthTracks, runs competitions, challenges and educational programs to inspire Associates. It also provides access to preventive care examinations, a health risk assessment, health coaches, and disease management experts through the Mars medical plan. Our health and wellbeing targets in the US include:

  •   At least 50% participation rate in the HealthTracks program
  •   At least 65% completion rate for both the annual comprehensive physical exam and health assessment
  •   100% of our US business sites identifying segment wellbeing leaders and champions.

HealthTracks has helped Associates manage their biometric numbers and prevent chronic disease through a focus on good diet and nutrition, physical activity, tobacco cessation and related health behaviors. We monitor and share the health and business outcomes of this program through an annual scorecard, which also benchmarks our population health data compared to other workplaces. For example, for more than 8,000 Associates participating in the program between 2013 and 2014, we found that:

  •   The number of Associates who became “tobacco-free” increased by 1.17%
  •   Stress management levels improved by 1.31%
  •   The number of Associates considered “low risk” increased by 1.9%
  •   Blood pressure awareness was up by 38%, and since 2011, participants’ average blood pressure improved by 10%. The number of Associates sticking to their blood pressure medication rose by more than 20%.

Supporting Parents in the Workplace

We are committed to supporting parents inside and outside the workplace. All of our US, Australia and UK sites are breastfeeding-friendly, and we offer similar facilities in our offices around the world. For breastfeeding mothers, we provide private rooms, fridges for storing milk, flexible working arrangements and regular breaks for feeding.

The Mars Maternity Leave Policy outlines the benefits on offer for expectant mothers. The amount of paid leave available varies between markets and is also dependent on individual situations.

  •   In the UK, our maternity policy offers six months’ leave on 90% pay, and a further six months unpaid (three of which are paid by the government).
  •   In Australia, we offer up to 24 months of parental leave, including 13 weeks of paid leave for either male or female Associates.
  •   In the US, parents are eligible to receive six work weeks of paid time off at 100% of their pay, including any applicable punctuality bonus, after their attending healthcare provider releases them to return to work. In many cases, this adds up to a minimum of three months, since the six weeks paid leave follows short-term disability leave due to childbirth.
Mars Associates in Olen participate in run as part of Wellbeing Program
UB Fit 360-degree Wellbeing Program Energizes Olen Associates

In 2011, the Fit-Bus, a mobile Flemish government health program, visited our rice production plant in Olen, Belgium to offer full health and wellbeing check-ups. Experts were on hand to offer health tests and give individual advice on maintaining a healthy diet. There were also opportunities to sign up to exercise teams and take part in cooking workshops.

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