Health and Safety


At Sonae Sierra, we are committed to implementing a zero accident culture and we seek to ensure that our stakeholders’ health is never at risk. The continuous work we carry out through our Personæ project, has led us to implement and promote our safe conduct and risk reduction practices within the shopping centre, which have had exceptional results. These practices include Safety Preventive Observation (SPO), that audits the company and identifies unsafe working conditions.

As well as SPOs we hold regular Health and Safety training sessions for all our employees, shop owners and service providers in all the countries where we are present, as well as regular Health and Safety Meetings with our local stakeholders.

We are also aware that all visitors to our shopping centres must, on no account, be at risk of any health and safety issues. Considering the number of visitors we have on a daily basis, we are committed to enforcing rigorous control of our emergency evacuation plans, as well as carrying out regular emergency drills.

In order to guarantee solid compliance with our Health and Safety measures, Sonae Sierra has chosen to implement a Health and Safety Management System and the company abides by all regulations in the OHSAS 18001 international guidelines. At Continente de Portimão Shopping Centre, the director, Nélio Gonçalves, who is responsible for Health and Safety, as well as the entire management team are committed to developing and implementing Health and Safety policies, objectives and plans based on the current legislation and regulations and risk assessment, involving all people visiting or working at the shopping centre.

This system was certified in 2008 in corporate terms, and during the same year, Sonae Sierra’s first shopping centres in Portugal and Brazil were certified in Health and Safety in the Workplace.

Some of the most recent and/or important projects that have been developed in accordance with this plan are as follows:


  • Carrying out 2 drills per year, testing all predicted situations in the Internal Emergency Plan, such as fires, earthquakes, and flooding among others. Visitors and other external entities are invited to participate in one of these drills;
  • Revising the shopping centre’s Safety Plan, as well as preparing all documentation necessary for Self-Protection Measures included in the legislation for “Fire Safety in Buildings”;
  • Positioning First Aid Kits in strategic locations throughout the technical areas as well as the public mall areas;
  • Carrying out regular inspections of extraction systems (hoods) for all restaurants;
  • Placing poles at the escalator entrances in order to avoid accidents with prams and shopping trolleys, and placing informative signs regarding the use of the escalators;
  • Implementing Safety Prevention Observation measures (within the public and technical areas as well as in each individual shop);
  • Defining and monitoring “high-risk jobs” by issuing Work Permits;
  • Implementing the Automatic External Defibrillation (AED) Programme;
  • Maintaining a Hygiene and Sanitation Auditing Programme for all restaurants;
  • Maintaining and controlling a Pest Control Programme;
  • Celebrating the World Health and Safety in the Workplace Day, on 28th April, and raising awareness among employees and visitors alike, concerning accident prevention and work-related illnesses.
  • Implementing partnerships for health checks and advice for our visitors.

Some of Continente de Portimão Shopping Centre’s Health and Safety messages and activities:

For more information regarding our Health, Safety and Environment Policy, click here.