Given the different requirements in the individual divisions and companies of the Salzgitter Group occupational safety needs to be regulated on a decentralized basis. We define Salzgitter AG's policy on safety, along with the components and standards for occupational safety management, in a groupwide corporate policy. Each company is required to define goals, key areas and programs and to monitor the effectiveness of measures taken. Proof of how efficient the approach adopted is must be presented in the form of a certified occupational safety management system. As a result, we have achieved a high level throughout the Group and created the basis for steady improvement.
Safety levels can only be optimized by communicating occupational safety goals as well as hazards and safety measures effectively. Modeled on the Trading Division's "Schutzschicht" campaign, which was awarded the top prize by the German professional association of wholesalers and warehousing, we initiated a communication campaign entitled "Safety at Work Comes First" in the Tubes Division. The various safety issues, such as fire drills or the wearing of personal protective equipment, are promoted in turn at the German-based companies of the Tubes Division, changing at two-month intervals. Over this period, the chosen issue is focused on in the respective company and flanked by instructions for the employees.
Technology and organization are important prerequisites for achieving a high level of occupational safety. Another key factor is ensuring employee conduct and behavior that is sensitized to safety issues and foresighted. With a campaign that spans companies, new approaches are used in order to focus attention on topics concerning occupational safety. The main emphasis here is on employees and their activities since, with their knowledge and motivation, they not only take care of themselves but also of their colleagues within the team.
Our occupational health management program is based on a holistic approach, with the core objective of raising our employees' awareness of healthy living. Our focus here is not only on primary prevention and precaution, but also to an increasing extent on therapeutic and rehabilitative measures. In 2004, we committed to the "Luxembourg Declaration on Workplace Health Promotion" in the European Union. The intention of this declaration is not only to prevent occupational ill health but also to actively enhance health-promoting potential and to improve well-being at the workplace. With this in mind, we have developed numerous measures as part of the "health, fitness and ergonomics" cluster of activities in GO. Assistance on offer in the Group companies ranges from the "Salzgitter AG Health Check" to company-owned gyms or in cooperation with external partners in the individual companies and campaign days focused on health and a prophylactic approach.
An important aspect of our health management program is to help prevent ill-health occurring in the first place. Sometimes, however, this is not enough: individuals suffering from long-term illness need special support to find their way back into everyday working life. They are given this support through measures designed to suit the respective individual and that always incorporate service offerings focused on the workplace and diagnosis of the illness. Returning to the workplace is also given the highest priority here. Closely linking up all service providers ensures that measures can be offered promptly and systematically coordinated.
The fact that we are on the right track is not only shown by the feedback we receive from the employees involved but also by the first evaluation results. Salzgitter AG and BKK Salzgitter have won four awards in recent years for the health concepts described above, including the “Psychische Gesundheit“ (physical health) award conferred by the BKK Bundesverbands (federal association of statutory health insurers) in 2012.
The Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs has recognized the Salzgitter model for the reintegration of ill employees as exemplary (Committee Bulletin 17(11)1002).