Heightening awareness of occupational health and safety
From instructions and training to OHS software
As a production company, occupational health and safety or OHS is especially important to KHS. This applies in particular to our manufacturing and assembly departments and during our commissioning or service assignments. We constantly monitor and invest in occupational health and safety measures in order to give our workforce the best possible protection against health hazards with the help of training courses and modern technical systems. Even if we have been able to further lower the number of accidents in the past few years – our goal is Vision Zero – unfortunately there were several accidents at work at our KHS factories during the reporting period.
We systematically analyze every single industrial accident that results in lost time. Additional protective measures are then derived from this and we check that our occupational health and safety processes are adhered to. Although we have continued to further improve our technical occupational health and safety measures, accident analysis reveals that an increasing number of accidents is caused by incorrect behavior. It is often personnel themselves who are not always aware of a potentially dangerous situation. This is why we focus on continuously strengthening people’s attitudes towards occupational health and safety. The aim here is to change habitual patterns of behavior that can cause mistakes and accidents.
Our OHS measures are based on Salzgitter AG’s group guidelines on occupational health and safety. KHS GmbH’s occupational health and safety management program has been ISO 45001 certified at all German production sites since 2019. Our factory in India also has an OHS management system in place. Internal audits and various other measures ensure that our Group-wide OHS regulations are complied with. Occupational health and safety is managed at a local level at our plants in Germany, meaning that each production site has its own occupational health and safety officer. The head of the KHS Occupational Health and Safety Department coordinates our local OHS officers and makes sure that all guidelines and requirements are uniform. This ensures that all of our factories have the same high standard of occupational health and safety. The head of Occupational Health and Safety is in regular contact with the Salzgitter AG Occupational Health and Safety Work Group, enabling experience in this field to be shared across all Group companies.
Quentic OHS software: always up to date
As our executive managers act as role models, how they behave is extremely relevant to occupational health and safety at KHS. They therefore sign what is known as a transfer of duties when they join KHS; this regulates all standard responsibilities with respect to occupational health and safety, environmental protection and energy management. These responsibilities also include instructing employees and ensuring that first aiders are appointed. Moreover, executive managers draw up hazard assessments using the Quentic OHS software. This was introduced in Germany in 2019 and helps us to identify and assess hazards so that we can take suitable measures to minimize these.
Accidents, near-accidents and entries in the accident log are recorded digitally so that executive managers and OHS officers receive direct notification and can follow up any incidents accordingly. Lost-time accidents and accident log entries with a high risk potential are systematically analyzed with the help of the software. This means that a digital file is created for each incident. The aim of accident analysis is to derive protective measures to prevent accidents of a similar nature occurring.
Quentic is also used to prepare and maintain hazard assessments. To this end, all hazard assessments are split into five categories:
- Hazards posed by the main activity
- All hazards on the plant premises or in the vicinity of the workplace
- Organizational hazards, such as regular instruction and first aid
- Hazards for pregnant women and those breastfeeding
- Psychological stress.
With Quentic executive managers and OHS officers have clear and targeted access to information contained in the hazard assessments and to all accidents.
Occupational Health and Safety Committee
There is an Occupational Health and Safety Committee (OHSC) at every German site that convenes regularly. At these meetings all incidents are discussed and strategic measures decided upon. Here, the appointed committee members have the chance to examine occupational health and safety at work from various perspectives, optimize processes and develop measures for the implementation of OHS objectives.
Travel risk management
We run a travel risk management program specifically for installation sites outside Germany and travel to and from the same that enables all risks to the employees concerned to be assessed in advance. Any measures deemed necessary can then be derived based on this information. Further travel risk management measures include our HSE (health, safety and environment) manual for installation sites, HSE audits on installation sites and the provision of support for employees regarding medical issues and travel safety by our external services provider International SOS.
All employees in focus
We implement an extensive range of measures to help sensitize our personnel to issues of occupational health and safety on a continuous basis. These include in particular:
- Topic of the month: this is a one-pager that centers on various issues of occupational health and safety and environmental and energy management. It is distributed to all executive managers every month and discussed with employees during team meetings. Furthermore, what we call sustainability days are regularly held at our German production sites, during which occupational health and safety issues are also addressed.
- Training programs for various employee groups in the company: our Fit4KHS seminar provides new personnel with all of the relevant information they need, including on occupational health and safety. We also run other training courses that deal with travel safety.
- KHS executive managers play a key role when it comes to occupational health and safety: in cooperation with our Occupational Health and Safety Department they are offered more in-depth further training through KHS campus. Examples include our Fit4Leadership seminar series and courses on OHS software and an OHS-compliant style of management.
Responsibility for employee health
During the reporting period the corona pandemic greatly compromised our corporate health management program. KHS GmbH reacted to the outbreak of Covid-19 by introducing a catalog of appropriate measures, thus protecting people’s health and ensuring that they were guarded against infection during this difficult epidemiological situation. Examples here include the setting up of a corona crisis management team, establishment and continuous updating of a company hygiene concept, free corona vaccinations and regular information bulletins for employees.
Regarding general health, we also motivate our employees to make use of KHS’ in-house fitness and prevention program. In 2019, for instance, we were able to conclude our healthy backs in the workplace program: a health manager visited every single workplace at KHS and advised employees on ergonomics and the daily processes they execute at their workstation. The departments and OHS officers then logged, prioritized and implemented the tips for improvement received from the health manager.
With all of these measures, our aim is to promote and improve the health of our personnel. In addition to offering seminars on stress management, resilience and mindfulness, employees suffering from psychological stress can also contact our occupational health service. This is responsible for workplace integration management following psychological treatment.
We also provide ideas for active lunch breaks to encourage active health care. This had to go digital during the corona pandemic. Our digital active lunch break was received extremely well across all of our production sites and was also offered in 2022 independent of corona restrictions. In addition, the company health management program steering committee also meets at least once a year to debate new measures and ideas that further foster the occupational health and safety of KHS employees.