Occupational health and safety
Schaeffler’s future corporate success depends on the qualification, motivation, and lasting health of its employees. The management of the Schaeffler Group attaches the greatest importance to maintaining the health and physical safety of its employees. For this reason, the occupational health management program (OHM) and occupational safety are essential elements of the global HR strategy. This also applies in countries where there are no government regulations.
Actively promoting health
The OHM is based on the framework guidelines of the Luxembourg Declaration on Workplace Health Promotion of the European Union. The starting points are ergonomic workplace design as well as courses to promote physical fitness and a healthy lifestyle.
The demographic development is leading to a profound change in the workforce structure. As the average age of the workforce increases, additional efforts are needed to maintain good health and performance throughout their working life. Accordingly, Schaeffler’s health and safety policy aims not only at safe jobs, but also at health-promoting conditions in the work environment and personal lifestyle.
Reducing stress in the workplace
In 2018, the Schaeffler Group’s Executive Board decided to introduce a workplace register under “Agenda 4 plus One” with the “Factory for Tomorrow” initiative. This database identifies and makes visible ergonomic strains in the workplace. The ongoing work to reduce improper physical stresses particularly supports the goal of enabling employees to live a healthy professional life until they retire. After a successful pilot phase in 2017, 20 locations in Germany had the new management tool at the end of 2018. The tool is scheduled to be available worldwide in 2021.
The company pools health-promoting measures for individual employees by target group in the “Boxenstopp” (pit stop) program. In addition, there is a wide range for groups with similar activities and health risks.
Concrete measures have been taken at selected locations to promote and maintain employee health. Schaeffler ran the “Fit4Shift” training program at seven German locations tailored specifically to shift workers. It helps to prevent health problems such as sleep disorders and stress.
Company bicycles were acquired at the Sorocaba, Brazil site in the reporting year. They are designed to provide employees with healthy and efficient mobility on site. This measure, originally a suggestion from the company’s own “ideenreich” (imaginative) program, led to a measurable increase in employee satisfaction.
Maintaining a balance
Performance and time pressure as well as conflicts in the workplace can have a negative impact on employee health. Schaeffler wants to counteract these effects preventively and proactively. Managers can significantly contribute to this by helping their employees to better cope with stress. Therefore, the company developed the “Healthy leadership” seminar program especially for this target group. Participants are guided to reflect on how to deal with their own health. They also learn how leadership styles affect the motivation, ability to work, and commitment of employees and what they can do to align their needs and goals with the organization’s goals. In addition, a training session was designed that is aimed at executives as well as project and technical managers. It is called “Staying balanced by recognizing and strengthening mental resources” and will help participants to better survive stressful situations in everyday life. They learn to rethink their own behavior in stressful situations, to develop new coping strategies, and to correctly assess their options for action, including when it comes to their own health. Schaeffler successfully piloted both programs at selected locations in Germany in 2018. In the same year, “Healthy Leadership” was moved to the Schaeffler Academy, and “Staying in balance by recognizing and strengthening mental resources” followed in 2019.
In addition, Schaeffler provides its employees at German locations with the Schaeffler Health Coach, which is a comprehensive health portal.
You can find more information in the magazine section under How we are using digital media for the health of our employees.
Uniformly high occupational safety standards worldwide
In order to comply with legal requirements and to further develop internal processes and standards for occupational safety and health, the Schaeffler Group uses a comprehensive “Energy, Environment, Health and Safety” (EnEHS) management system. It takes into account international occupational safety standards among others. The coverage rate1) according to the OHSAS 18001-standard, which was replaced by the ISO norm 45001 in 2018, is 88.7%. All Chinese production sites are already certified according to this new standard. The other production sites will be switched over within a three-year transitional period.
According to the EnEHS management system, all executives and employees are required to comply with occupational safety regulations. Executives are advised by specialists in occupational safety at the respective production sites when carrying out their responsibilities. The results of the discussions are reviewed regularly with the responsible members of the Executive Board with regard to residual risks, suggestions, and risk assessments. If necessary, further action will be taken. In this way, the EnEHS management system is being developed continuously.
In the reporting period, the accident rate2) 3) was reduced by 12.7% from 7.1 to 6.2, thus exceeding the annual reduction target of 10% for the second year in a row.
1) Relating to employees.
2) Accident rate (AccR) measurement = occupational accidents from one day of absence per 1 million hours worked.
3) Employees incl. temporary staff, apprentices, and interns.