Occupational Health and Safety
Global management approach to occupational safety
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 beyond merely meeting requirements. Considering 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 and incidents. In particular, the site 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 2022, 24 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 2021, the absolute number of certified sites increased by three.
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 to identify potential for improvements and to define appropriate measures. Progress resulting from these measures is tracked regularly. NORMA Group leverages the development of the OHS to sustain safety performance.
Health and safety governance on the 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. Root cause analyses are derived from this at the site level, and countermeasures are defined. Progress on systemic measures is also reported to the Management Board.
In addition to regular EH&S regional staff meetings, the regions have the option to conduct a Health and Safety Circle meeting that requires its applicable locations to conduct self-assessments on the current status quo of their health and safety activities and strategic initiatives. Participants include the health and safety managers or representatives 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.
A key global level initiative that was started in 2022, driven from the Americas region, is implementing automated vehicle restraints and forklift dock guards to prevent the risk of potential catastrophic accidents at NORMA’s shipping and receiving docks. 98% of Americas active loading docks are now protected with the engineering safety controls including a handful of sites in the APAC and EMEA region. This effort will continue into 2023 and beyond until all docks are secure.
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 2022, the accident rate per 1,000 employees was 4.2, which means a significant decrease of 32% compared to 2021 (2021: 6.2).
A new systemic improvement measure introduced in early 2022 to attack the accident rate is the launch of Safety Top Focus program, which includes risk monitoring and controls and leading and lagging OHS indicators with oversight by top management for key manufacturing sites not meeting accident rate targets. The programs focus in 2022 is on improvement measures for high-risk areas and maturation of OHS management system fundamentals (e.g. Value-based Safety audits, etc.).
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 2023, the notifiable rate of accidents per 1,000 employees per year should be at least below 4.35. 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 2022, this figure stood at 21.3 treatments per 1,000 employees. The rate increased slightly compared to 2021 (2021: 27.4). The main reason for the 22% decrease in the Medical Treatment Incident Rate for Group level in 2022 compared to the previous year is due to a 33% decrease in the medical treatment cases in the EMEA region and 10% decrease in Americas region, resulting in a 22% decrease overall in the treatment cases. The APAC region had an increase in the medical treatment cases of 78%. The primary drivers of the APAC increase was driven by sharp increased from NORMA EJT(Changzhou) Co., Ltd. new plant and Kimplas Piping Systems Ltd.
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.