Occupational Health and Safety

Occupational health and safety has top priority at Heidelberg Materials and is an integral part of our key corporate values. Our declared aim is to achieve “zero harm”. With effective preventative measures, we intend to minimise the risk of accidents and injuries as well as the risk of occupational illness. Our principles for protecting the workforce are specified in our corporate policy regarding occupational health and safety.

We work hard every day to achieve our “Zero Harm” goal, whether through extensive training activities or the optimisation of safety measures at our locations. 

 Dr. Klaus Hormann, Manager Group Health & Safety

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Responsibility and organisation

At Heidelberg Materials, all management levels are responsible for occupational health and safety. Our occupational safety organisation is subordinate to the Chairman of the Managing Board, to whom the Director Group Human Resources, who is responsible for Group Health & Safety, reports directly. The Managing Board members responsible for the different Group areas are in turn supported by H&S advisors who report directly to them.

Each country also has an H&S advisor reporting directly to the country manager, who coordinates the measures within the relevant country. The line managers at regional and local management level in a country are also supported by H&S advisors. Occupational safety measures form part of the personal goal agreements of the members of the Management Board and operating top managers in the countries. Last but not least, each individual employee, contractor, and visitor is responsible for following the occupational safety regulations.

Work management systems, such as those in accordance with the internationally accepted OHSAS 18001 or ISO 45001 standard, have already been implemented in 89% of our operational locations. These systems require a structured approach from the location managers with planning, clear work regulations, responsibilities, and controls to ensure an ongoing improvement process and thus prevent accidents.

Targets and commitments

We believe that injuries, occupational illnesses, and work-related health complaints are avoidable. That’s why we continuously strive to minimise the risks for our employees, contractors, and third parties and to achieve our goal of “zero harm”, which we reiterated in our Sustainability Commitments 2030. In all countries, occupational health and safety is subject to legal requirements that have to be fulfilled. Furthermore, as a member of the Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA), Heidelberg Materials is bound by their guidelines. These have been integrated into our internal standards.

As part of our Group guideline on occupational health and safety, we have defined a set of “cardinal rules” that are mandatory for all employees and contractors. They relate in particular to those activities that have been identified as main accident black spots. They are therefore also addressed in specific Group standards and must be translated into local regulations. Through intensive training measures, we ensure that everyone involved remains acutely aware of these risk areas, in order to decrease the number of accidents.

Management Responsibility for Occupational Health & Safety

In 2017, we once again underlined the importance of the exemplary role of line managers in occupational health and safety with a Groupwide training initiative. Participation in these training sessions was compulsory for managers from all levels, and we took this opportunity to introduce safety briefings as an additional Group-wide management instrument.

We train our employees in a wide range of occupational safety topics that are both legally mandated and defined internally. We make use of conventional training held in classrooms, training centres, or on site, in addition to e-learning courses, which are only ever used to supplement face-to-face training. Occupational safety topics account for around 54% of all training hours at HeidelbergCement, corresponding to an average of almost 11.3 hours per employee across the Group.