The health of our employees is extremely important. One of our corporate goals is to protect it. What is more, WACKER has signed the Luxembourg Declaration on Workplace Health Promotion in the EU. In doing so, we have undertaken to promote health and to encourage employees to improve their health.
Health protection focuses on avoiding adverse influences on employees at the workplace, for example due to hazardous substances. In health promotion, we focus on
- Avoiding back complaints and cardiovascular diseases in our workforce
- Boosting psychological resilience
- Facilitating age-appropriate work
- Providing suitable workplaces for employees with disabilities
The coronavirus pandemic has had a substantial impact on all our lives. We have adopted numerous precautions and measures to safeguard employees’ health, limit the risk of infection, flatten infection curves and thus keep the business running.
Our pandemic-preparedness plan minimizes health risks and business disruption in the event of a crisis. The plan defines how and when a central management team should coordinate emergency-response measures groupwide. It includes regulations on how to deal with employees who have fallen ill or have been exposed, as well as guidelines on business trips to affected regions, and rules concerning site access checks. WACKER has a supply of special equipment (such as face masks, gloves and disinfectants) to hand out to employees in the event of a pandemic. We offer all Group employees a free, voluntary influenza vaccination once a year.
Since its outbreak in 2020, the coronavirus pandemic has shaped everyday life in the WACKER Group. The company has so far managed to come through the crisis relatively unscathed by adopting comprehensive hygiene measures and an extensive work-from-home policy for administrative staff. One major task is centered on developing and implementing protective measures to stop the coronavirus from spreading at WACKER’s sites. Health Services is taking the lead in crisis management teams that coordinate measures to protect employee health and keep business processes running.
We were quick to introduce binding regulations and measures, such as hygiene and social-distancing rules, the issuing of protective masks (face masks and FFP2 respirators), as well as self-administered tests, hand-sanitizing stations, and a ban on business trips to risk areas. Where feasible, employees work from home. In work areas that are vital for integrated production and where the prescribed distancing cannot be maintained, our employees wear protective masks. The measures taken have proved successful, with the number of Group employees infected by the coronavirus in the 2020 reporting year remaining low.
Employers are obliged to document infection-protection measures in a hazard assessment. The Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs has published an occupational safety standard and guidance on this. Occupational Safety, Health Services and the Employee Council have extended the existing mandatory workplace hazard assessments with a checklist of criteria related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Instruments for Prevention
The key instruments of occupational health and safety include health screenings and health programs. Health Services at our Burghausen site advises employees in health matters, particularly concerning availability for work and reintegration. It provides in-depth, long-term care for employees with chronic illnesses, back problems, and mental issues.
We offer preventive checkups to middle management and payscale employees over 45 years of age at all locations in Germany. In addition to organ examinations, the checkups focus on advising employees on how to deal better with mental stress.
What is more, WACKER employees at the Burghausen, Nünchritz, Munich and Stetten sites can undergo in-house health checks and medical checkups with Health Services and external service providers. Employees receive paid leave for the duration of checkups plus the travel time involved.