Occupational health and safety
As Arbonia, we ensure a health and safety culture on a high level by operating safe production plants as well as distribution and logistics sites. This involves the prevention of accidents and injuries, a continuous risk analysis with derived measures, as well as a proactive heath promotion at the workplace. This aims to lower absences, prevent illnesses and reduce mental and physical stress. Consistent occupational safety is also an important topic for us due to its impact on the operating activities of the companies: Each accident and absence causes additional costs. The consequences can be a slowdown or downtimes in production. This is associated with reputational damage and a lower work morale.
Our concept for occupational health and safety is based on a three pillar concept. The first pillar provides measures for prevention. The second pillar integrates absence management, which refers to interventions. The third pillar contains case management, which promotes integration or re-integration. All three pillars are supported and developed together with the concerned stakeholders – Group Management, managers, HR employees, business partners, as well as social partners. In the future, the effectiveness of the individual measures is to be monitored using various KPIs – the results will be reported to the above mentioned stakeholders.
Risk avoidance and health protection are central topics in all employee training of Arbonia. We continually analyse the processes internally and externally, for example, through special workplace inspections together with the responsible people. If accidents occur, they are immediately analysed and measures are initiated to minimise the future risk of accidents. To avoid and identify health risks to the employees early on, we hold leadership courses for supervisors on a regular basis.
All of our sites fulfil the legal regulations for the respective countries, so that applying for a certification according to OHSAS 18001 or ISO 45001 would be basically possible. This has not been necessary so far, though. During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the health and safety of the employees was a priority topic. Thanks to preventive measures such as temperature measuring devices at the plant entrances and a code of conduct for corona measures as well as regular, free tests, it was possible to maintain regular operation at all sites in 2022. At many Arbonia sites, it was also possible to provide employees with a coordinated vaccination offer.
During the reporting year, we further expanded the company health management system and took specific measures to minimise non-occupational accidents as well. These include courses for stress management, first aid courses and psychological offers. The measures are aligned with the needs of the workforce via corresponding employee surveys and their effectiveness is evaluated via appropriate key figures.
Key figures for occupational health and safety
The key figures for occupational safety cover the employees of all manufacturing companies of the Arbonia Group as well as the headquarters in Arbon, Switzerland. Pure distribution companies were not included. The survey method was changed, which is why no comparison value is shown for 2020.
Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Division
Prevention thanks to training and process optimisation
All employees of the HVAC Division receive safety and fire protection instruction matching their workplace on an annual basis. Internal and external safety training is regularly offered by the division – the training to be a first aider and company paramedic, for example, every year. The employees also have access to all relevant training courses of their respective trade association.
Employees are consistently involved in designing the occupational safety systems through their valuable suggestions for improvement. At the Plattling (D) site, all work processes are regularly reviewed – with the aim of minimising physically difficult or stressful activities through technical support or the use of machines. In the administration area, the individual work situation is continually optimised through regular inspections by the company doctors – for example, by using height-adjustable desks. In Corbetta (IT), internal area inspections and hazard analyses are also standard for all workplaces. Employees enjoy a health insurance that provides preventative medical check-ups for the entire family.
The employees of the division are always provided with the protective equipment and work safety clothing necessary for their work free of charge. In addition, defibrillators are available at all locations. If accidents or illnesses should occur, shift paramedics and first aiders are available.
Statistics on the sickness and accident rates allow a monthly overview of the current situation at all companies. The low absences and the high productivity prove that the HVAC Division is well positioned in respect to occupational health and safety.
A wide range of measures
With the "Jobcycle" initiative, the HVAC Division provided the employees at the Plattling (D) site access to e-bikes during the reporting year as well. Numerous employees took advantage of this offer, in order to accomplish part of their personal fitness programme on their way to work and thereby improve their own quality of life and health. An opportunity to quit smoking was also offered through the health working group. A shoulder- neck screening also met with great interest by employees as well as a presentation on healthy eating at the workplace.
Health promotion, prevention and training
Company health programmes are also offered at the Doors Division. Examples include the "Focus on People" platform at the Glass Solutions Business Unit and a comprehensive range of courses and training. Employees can also take advantage of professional company medical care as well as preventative medical check-ups.
Various committees of the companies (occupational safety committee, health working committee, works council committee, occupational health and safety protection) hold regular meetings to analyse the current situation and develop suitable measures. The division also promises its customers in every work contract to maintain the highest standards in respect to occupational safety. External business partners who work on the business premises of the division also communicate and apply the same safety rules.
All employees of the Doors Division have access to subsidised, occupational health services and health promotion programmes such as fitness, yoga and Pilates. Health problems such as back pain are actively addressed with ergonomic workplaces.
Invado has installed an automatic unloading unit for coffered doors to avoid manual unloading of heavy material in the future. A door buffer station was also set up behind the machining centres, eliminating the manual work in this area. Such automations had been implemented at the other companies a long time ago – which has brought great relief and increased effectiveness.
Continually reviewed targets
In addition to internal reviews, the division also relies on regular feedback from external agencies to achieve targets. The division receives important feedback through area inspections by the industrial inspectorate and trade unions as well as from external safety audits.
Occupational safety is also continually checked and evaluated at Garant, Prüm, RWD Schlatter and Invado. At Invado, this check also comprises the analysis of the results of work environment tests (e.g. noise, weights) and medical examinations as well as the performance of risk assessments at the workplace. Occupational safety is further increased by continuous inspections of the work conditions and the machine efficiency as well as the ongoing safety training of the employees.