Schaeffler’s future corporate success depends on the qualification, motivation, and lasting health of its employees. Demographic change has resulted in the company having to develop effective health promotion programs for its aging workforce.
In order to adequately cope with these health-related demands, the company is pursuing a sustainable and proactive occupational health and safety policy. Through its far-reaching activities in the areas of health management and occupational health and safety, the Schaeffler Group is committed to enabling a “healthy life for all” (SDG 3).
The Schaeffler Group’s occupational health management program (OHM) is based on the framework guidelines of the Luxembourg Declaration on Workplace Health Promotion of the European Union. It is an essential element of the HR strategy and is used worldwide. In addition, it is continuously being further developed, especially in countries where there are no state regulations related to occupational health management. In 2017, the OHM was rolled out successfully in Germany and cooperation with health insurers and pension plans was accelerated.
The aim is to create basic conditions that promote the health of employees – through ergonomic and safe jobs and through physically and mentally supportive course offerings. The occupational health management program is systematized according to the following concept: “Analysis > Strategy > Implementation > Evaluation.” Site-specific customized health programs were established, which take into account the respective circumstances of the working environment. A standard analysis tool for surveying employees was developed and used for this purpose.
The newly developed workplace register for ergonomic workplace design, devised within the scope of the “Factory for Tomorrow” initiative as part of the “Agenda 4 plus One,” was rolled out at two sites. It is a database solution that identifies and displays the causes of ergonomic stress in the workplace. With the help of this tool, employees’ skills can be matched with the requirements of the workplace. This makes it possible, within the framework of inclusion, to identify jobs for employees with impaired physical abilities that are appropriate for their performance capabilities and medical condition. At the same time, this register supports the targeted reduction of stress-inducing workplaces. The system is expected to be rolled out in 2018 at all German locations, with worldwide rollout to be completed by 2021.
Ensuring Occupational Health and Safety
The Schaeffler Group has set itself the goal of reducing occupational accidents annually by 10% (parameter: AccR = injuries resulting in lost working hours per one million hours worked) to reduce costs. Building on the vision of “zero occupational accidents within the Schaeffler Group,” the personal responsibility of each employee is also emphasized as a part of this. Regular information events, training courses, and advanced training are held in the field of occupational health and safety to further this. For example, Schaeffler Brazil offers an annual campaign week promoting environmental protection, as well as health and safety awareness. In 2017, the slogan was “Care is in your hands,” and a total of 2,686 internal and external employees took part. The highlight of the week was the “Risk perception simulator,” in which the employees put on 3D virtual reality glasses and then had to identify various hazards in a virtual production plant.
Within the framework of the team leader concept, new team leaders around the world receive training (EHS crash course) relating to their core tasks in accordance with uniform minimum standards for occupational health and safety training. As a result of such prevention and awareness-raising measures, it was also possible in the period under review to reduce the frequency of accidents by 15% – from 8.36 to 7.09 AccR – and thus significantly exceed the annual reduction target. This positive global development is overshadowed by a fatal workplace accident that occurred when work equipment brought in by an external company exploded.
Compliance with regulations pertaining to occupational health and safety is being continuously examined and safe and employee-compatible working conditions are being further developed. The comprehensive EnEHS management system, which takes into account international OHSAS 18001 standards, is used to ensure their consistent practice.