Nowadays, a company must do more for its employees than merely ensure that their health is not impaired at work. Demographic change has made it necessary to help them remain healthy and productive for a longer working life. WACKER has signed the Luxembourg Declaration on Workplace Health Promotion in the EU. In doing so, we have undertaken to prioritize health and encourage employees to care more about their health. At the Domestic Group, employees can go for an extensive medical checkup every three years.
Robot Relieves the Strain on Employees’ Backs
Our employees’ health can be impacted by market changes. Take, for example, Burghausen and the huge rise in demand experienced there for our repackaged Elektroflux and welding-powder products. The change meant that 15-kg bags had to be manually packed into boxes. After inspecting the workplace, Health Services and the operations managers responsible introduced a technical innovation. A robot now lifts and packs the heavy bags. “Generally speaking, more and more people have backaches,” says Dr. Wolfgang Großwieser, deputy Health Services head. “Our employees are no exception. The robot helps us prevent chronic back problems at that facility.”
WACKER has taken key steps to standardize and improve its groupwide health-management system. In 2008, we adopted an occupational health and safety regulation, requiring every subsidiary worldwide to integrate specific minimum standards and activities into their occupational health and safety setup. The regulation defined 13 measures in total, ranging from workplace risk assessment, medical checkups and crisis management, to health promotion, addiction prevention and pandemic-preparedness plans. We will be reviewing the success of these measures in internal audits over the next few years. In 2008, our new medical center at Zhangjiagang (China) underwent an internal audit.
In 2008, Health Services at Burghausen set up an occupational psychology unit to record and assess workplace stress and devise strategies to enable employees to cope with increasing workloads.
The high quality of WACKER’s occupational health management system has been underscored by a comparison with other companies – a 2007 study by the German Europressedienst news agency ranked WACKER 4th out of 150.