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Health and safety

We seek to promote the health and well-being of our employees and sustain their long-term performance ability, which in turn necessitates a safe workplace. We are therefore constantly working to further strengthen our health and safety culture.

The lost time injury rate (LTIR) is the indicator used to gauge the success of our occupational safety efforts. It is a global measure of the number of accidents resulting in at least one day of missed work per one million hours worked. We determine the Group-wide LTIR both for our employees and supervised temporary staff. Our objective is to lower LTIR to below 1.0 by 2025.

Generally, before starting an activity anywhere in the world, we perform a hazard assessment to identify risks and do everything possible to eliminate them before commencing the activity or commissioning a plant. If this is not feasible, we put measures in place to minimize the likelihood of risks and their potential impacts. Hazard assessments are the responsibility of our individual sites and are therefore conducted by them.

Since the start of 2022, we have been developing a Group-wide health strategy for our employees to enable them to maintain and promote their health.

Roles and responsibilities

Our EHS (Environment, Health and Safety) management system is the responsibility of Corporate Sustainability, Quality and Trade Compliance, which in turn reports to the Chair of the Executive Board. This Group function sets objectives, oversees the respective initiatives globally and conducts internal EHS audits. Local EHS managers and their teams ensure that our individual sites comply with all occupational health and safety laws and regulations. They are also responsible for local projects, campaigns and programs.

Employees concerned about their health or safety are permitted to temporarily step back from their work until the issue has been resolved. Globally, across the Group, they are encouraged to report such concerns via our compliance hotline.

Our commitment: Standards and policies

Our Corporate EHS Policy (Corporate Environment, Health and Safety Policy) describes our fundamental approach to occupational health and safety. It is an integral part of our EHS management system and undergoes an external ISO 45001 audit every year. As part of a Group certificate, our occupational health and safety management system was ISO 45001-certified at 61 sites at the end of 2022.

Our Group-wide Health Policy specifies our approach to ensuring workplace safety for our employees while also promoting their health and well-being. In this policy, we set out our Group-wide approach to health and safety management, which is aimed at preventing workplace accidents and occupational illnesses.

It is our aim to ensure that environmental, health and safety aspects are also respected in our partnerships with contractors throughout the entire relationship, from starting a job to completion. This objective is reflected in our Contractor EHS Management Standard.

Accident rates

Our employees are required to immediately report any relevant occupational accidents to Corporate Sustainability, Quality and Trade Compliance, where the incidents are assessed. If necessary, we then implement additional safety measures at our sites. This procedure is now practiced across all of our production facilities around the world. We track the following occupational safety data across our sites worldwide:

  • The LTIR measures the accidents resulting in at least one day of missed work per one million hours worked. In 2022, our LTIR of 1.2 remained unchanged in comparison with the previous year. The majority of incidents resulting in lost time were slips, trips and falls, along with contusions and lacerations from the operation of machinery and equipment. Once more, in 2022, we recorded no fatal accidents.
  • We use our Environment, Health and Safety Incident Rate (EHS IR) to track accidents.
  • Alongside this indicator, in the United States we also use the Occupational Illness Rate to monitor work-related illnesses and their long-term effects.

A work-related accident is an injury that results from the type of work, in the course of doing said work, and that has no internal cause. Work-related accidents are considered relevant if they occur on the premises, on business trips, during goods transport, as a result of external influences (e.g. natural disasters), or due to criminal acts involving personal injury. Commuting accidents and accidents during company sporting activities are not included. First-aid incidents are generally not included in the LTIR since these usually do not result in more than one day of missed work.

Clear rules of conduct

Group-wide, all new EHS managers must complete a three-day EHS onboarding that covers topics such as occupational health and safety as well as our BeSafe! safety culture program. Through this initiative, we raise employee awareness of occupational hazards and teach them rules for safe behavior. In addition, we regularly provide occupational safety training at our sites covering both legal requirements as well as the specific local risks.

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