The health of our employees is extremely important to us and 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.
We continue to pay particular attention to measures that help prevent coronavirus infections at the workplace. In this context, our priorities have been safeguarding employee health and ensuring supply continuity for our customers by keeping up production. Wherever feasible, employees worked from home.
At our German sites, we implemented the SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Safety and Health Regulation issued by the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs in the form of site-specific hazard assessments relating to protection against infection. In work areas that are vital for integrated production and where the prescribed distance could not be kept, employees complied with the requirement to wear a mask valid at a particular time.
The measures taken have proved successful. At workplaces where the provisions on protection against infection were observed, there were no transmissions reported. The number of Group employees infected by the coronavirus was low. We distributed coronavirus self-swabbing tests to employees at our German sites and informed them about the advantages of vaccination. At our German sites, company doctors performed coronavirus vaccinations in accordance with the statutory or official regulations. A vaccination center set up at the Burghausen site conducted 10,000 vaccinations.
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
When it comes to employee health protection, we take account of the digital transformation of work processes and the higher number of employees working remotely from home or elsewhere. Employees in Germany, for example, are invited to participate in virtual fitness classes for both relaxation and for strengthening their musculoskeletal system.
The key instruments of occupational health and safety include health screenings and health programs. Health Services advises employees on health concerns, in particular their ability to work and to start work again, and provides intensive, long-term assistance to employees with chronic illness, back problems or mental health issues.
We offer comprehensive preventive checkups to middle management and payscale employees over 45 years of age at our sites in Germany. In addition to organ exams, the focus is also on consultations with company doctors to review employees’ general health as well as their working environment. Systematic evaluations of stress in the workplace – also from the perspective of occupational psychology – is a standard component of conversations with WACKER company doctors as well as of hazard assessments.
What is more, WACKER employees at the Burghausen, Nünchritz, Munich and Stetten sites can undergo health checks and medical checkups with Health Services and with external service providers under contract with WACKER. Employees receive paid leave for the duration of checkups plus the travel time involved.
The number of recognized occupational diseases at WACKER’s sites in Germany is at a very low level. In the past, respiratory diseases and cancer were the most frequent causes of illness; there are some isolated cases where previous exposure to asbestos has caused occupational diseases.
We annually survey indicators of healthcare provision to log incidences of occupational disease at production sites across the Group. No cases of occupational disease were reported at WACKER Germany in the reporting period. The results of the global survey will be available in the second quarter of 2023.