Corporate Responsibility

Living a safety culture in the workplace

"Stumbling, slipping, falling" is the most common cause of occupational accidents, at just under 35 percent, according to the employers' liability insurance associations. However, the Heraeus occupational safety campaign does not only focus on such typical danger points. All employees receive regular news on each focus topic centrally via the "Heraeus touch" employee app, as well as additional information via local flyers, videos, and posters. In addition, the "Site Safety Days" with live demonstrations take place at the sites, which were partially replaced by digital events in 2020 due to COVID-19.

For example, a typical two-month occupational safety series in 2019 and 2020 was Focus on Safety, which was supplemented at German locations by an idea contest as an employee campaign. Employees were called upon to submit ideas on how to specifically prevent occupational accidents at greater heights at Heraeus. A jury awarded a prize to the best idea. In this case, it came from two employees of the Global Business Unit Heraeus Noblelight in Hanau. 

The LED production team there builds around 30 UV LED systems per year for one customer. These are fully tested and approved before they are delivered to the customer. For this purpose, a cooling water line for a cooler must be installed and dismantled each time. Previously, for various reasons, the location for these cooler connections was such that when you climbed up the ladder to connect the water connections, you stood directly under the connection tap. This meant a risk of head injury every time and possibly a fall from the ladder. The two staff members had the simple but clever idea of purchasing bump caps, whose reinforced shells protect the head from injury. A closer look at the room also revealed the possibility of positioning the cooler systems differently. The new floor markings for the location of the systems now ensure that the ladder is no longer positioned exactly under the water connection tap. 

In 2020, responsibility for occupational safety communications was transferred to the Global Business Units. The Global Business Units continue to access centrally prepared focus topics and information. The employee app Heraeus touch continues to provide all employees with global information on topics relevant to occupational safety, with a constant stream of new preventive focal points.

Impressively long accident-free

As in previous years, special Site Safety Days were held at several locations in 2019. The offer included live demonstrations and information stands, which gave all employees, from production to administration, interesting insights. Internal and external experts were on hand to answer questions about safety and provide information about risks, some of which are commonplace. Various locations were also able to celebrate the fact that a practiced safety culture in the workplace and the commitment of colleagues lead to impressively long accident-free periods. These included Heraeus Electro-Nite in Hartland, USA, with 1,780 accident-free days, Heraeus Electro-Nite Peru with 1043 accident-free days, Heraeus Electro-Nite in Peru with 1,043, the electrical, instrumentation, and control technology team in Hanau with 1,150 accident-free days, and Heraeus Singapore, whose site has been accident-free for more than nine years with 3,346 days (as of December 31, 2020).

Due to the pandemic, only a few Site Safety Days were held in 2020. Nevertheless, the topic of occupational safety was repeatedly addressed locally. Short Safety Moments regularly provide food for thought in internal meetings and employee events.