Occupational Health and Safety

We have specified our principles for promoting the health of the workforce in our corporate policy regarding occupational health and safety. This policy was revised during the period under review. The revision once again makes clear that occupational health and safety have a high priority for our company. That’s because occupational health and safety are key corporate values for us.

In addition, we make sure that the personal protective equipment is actually used and that our Group Cardinal Rules are reliably observed. The latter apply especially to work areas where accidents were very frequent in the past. We will continue to pursue our stated objective of minimising the risk of accidents and injuries and the risk of occupational illnesses by means of effective prevention measures.

Occupational health and safety management systems, such as those in accordance with the internationally accepted OHSAS 18001 standard, have already been implemented in most of our plants. These systems require a structured approach from the location managers with planning, clear work regulations, responsibilities, and controls to ensure an ongoing improvement process and thus prevent accidents. In 2015 several plants in Sweden and Malaysia introduced new management systems in accordance with OHSAS 18001, while other plants were able to renew their certifications. As a result, 77% of our operational locations worldwide have externally certified occupational safety management systems. Additional locations will introduce management systems in 2016.

Management Responsibility for Occupational Health & Safety

Although we have been continually improving occupational health and safety at a technical and organisational level for a number of years, we still have to report serious accidents – including some fatalities – that are often caused by human error. We therefore continued the Group-wide Safety Leadership Initiative we started in 2012 to make managers at all levels aware of their ­management responsibility with regard to occupational health and safety. For example, the “Leading with Safety” project was launched in Canada and the USA in order to efficiently reach all leadership levels.

Since 2011 we have been conducting an annual "Safety Week" in order to raise awareness among employees as well as subcontractors for workplace safety and risky behavior. At numerous local events we emphasize that workplace safety is everyone's responsibility, and can only be attained if we work together. Our "Safety Week" events often provide an opportunity for families, customers, and neighbors to get involved.