Occupational Health and Safety
Protecting employees from health effects of COVID-19
The safety and health of its employees is a top priority for NORMA Group. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, NORMA Group has therefore taken measures to protect its workforce and contain the spread of the virus. The measures are managed by a global COVID-19 Task Force. The task force is responsible for implementing safety measures in accordance with the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) and regulatory requirements at local and regional levels as well as for their central control and monitoring. The measures range from standardized emergency plans and internal COVID-19 guidelines that regulate workplace behavior to conducting vaccination campaigns. They are adapted regularly in line with the current local conditions. Regular reporting also ensures transparency regarding current infection and quarantine cases and enables rapid intervention.
Global management approach to occupational safety
In addition to the acute measures to contain the effects of the COVID-19 crisis, NORMA Group has been pursuing a Group-wide approach to occupational health and safety for years. Regular risk assessments at the production sites show that machinery and vehicle traffic are the most important factors here. However, against the background of the systematic Group-wide approach to safety and health management, NORMA Group considers these risks to be low overall.
Laws and regulatory frameworks provide clearly defined standards for occupational health and safety at the Company. But in many cases, NORMA Group goes significantly beyond merely meeting requirements. In light of the subject’s importance, it is addressed in the HEALTH AND SAFETY POLICY, which is valid throughout the Group. In the policy, NORMA Group commits to providing a safe and risk-free working environment for all employees and any other stakeholders affected by its business activities. Through supplementary programs, the Company aims to ensure that all workplaces offer the highest level of safety to avoid accidents. In particular, the locations make technical arrangements and conduct training courses to prevent accidents at work. These high standards apply to temporary workers as well as to regular staff. In addition, NORMA Group also includes health and safety certifications in its supplier scoring process. SUSTAINABILITY IN PURCHASING
Certification of all manufacturing sites
Throughout NORMA Group, all manufacturing sites have local health and safety representatives, who – along with the respective plant management and safety committees – ensure the implementation of health and safety standards and serve as experts for questions on the topic. At the end of 2021, 21 of 27 of the production sites that had been part of NORMA Group for more than 12 months were externally audited and certified according to the international standard ISO 45001. Compared to the end of 2020, the absolute number of certified sites increased by one.
ISO 45001 prescribes conducting regular assessments at site level to identify risks for the occupational health and safety of workers. On this basis, regular internal audits are carried out in order to identify potential for improvements and to define appropriate measures. Progress resulting from these measures is tracked regularly. NORMA Group has finalized the transition of its OHSAS 18001:2007-certified manufacturing sites to the new ISO 45001:2018 occupational health and safety standard.
Health and safety governance at global, regional and local levels
The success of NORMA Group’s health and safety management is assessed by regular reporting by the global health and safety management team to the Management Board. Thorough root cause analyses are derived from this at the site level, and countermeasures are defined. Progress on the measures is also reported to the Management Board.
In addition, every region has introduced a regular Health and Safety Circle that requires all locations to conduct self-assessments on the current status quo of their health and safety activities. Participants include the health and safety managers of each location in the respective region as well as the regional and global health and safety management team. Usually, the circles also invite participants from other regions to increase the sharing of best practices on a global level.
Accident rate as the important key performance indicator
Introducing management systems for occupational safety is not an end in itself. To monitor their effectiveness, NORMA Group monitors the accident rate, which counts the number of accidents per 1,000 employees that result in a loss of work of more than three working days. In 2021, the accident rate per 1,000 employees was 6.2, which means a significant increase compared to 2020 (4.2). The increase in the accident rate can be attributed in part to the Apollo project, in which production was transferred from the Gerbershausen site to the sites in the Czech Republic and Maintal. This involved interruptions to standard operating routines, the induction of new employees as well as the commitment of existing employees. As a measure, we have placed additional focus on these sites by introducing the Safety Top Focus program, which includes risk monitoring and controls with oversight by top management. As in previous years, there were no fatalities. The goal is to further reduce the accident rate in the coming years. By the end of 2022, the notifiable rate of accidents per 1,000 employees per year should be at least below 4.5. CR TARGETS
NORMA Group also monitors the number of medical treatments or accidents that result in a work loss of less than three days (medical treatment rate). In 2021, this figure stood at 27.4 treatments per 1,000 employees. The rate increased slightly compared to 2020 (25.1). The main reason for the 8.9 % increase in the Medical Treatment Incident Rate for Group level in 2021 compared to the previous year is due to an 18 % increase in the medical treatment cases in the EMEA region, resulting in a 14 % increase in the treatment rate. The Americas region has a slight increase in the medical treatment cases of 5 %, but an improvement in the medical treatment rate of -6%. The APAC region remained unchanged. The primary drivers of the EMEA increased was driven by sharp increased from NORMA Lifial, NORMA Czech, and NORMA Germany GmbH.
In order to focus on preventive rather than reactive measures, NORMA Group also monitors the number of “near miss” events, which are occasions where an accident nearly happened but was just avoided. Incidents, medical treatments and near misses are reported to line managers, who report this information to local health and safety representatives.
These contents are part of the Non-financial Group Report and were subject to a separate limited assurance examination.