Occupational Health & Safety9 min
Throughout our business and most especially in our manufacturing sites worldwide, the health and safety of our employees is a priority.
Why it matters
The protection of the physical and mental integrity and well-being of employees is a core responsibility of dormakaba. Accidents and work-related illnesses can be of a long-term nature and entail costs to society and the company. We can only be successful in the long term if we help ensure our employees remain healthy. Occupational health and safety (OHS) addresses not only the safe operation of machines, ergonomic workplaces or the handling of hazardous substances, but also mental health issues including stress, depression and emotional well-being. We strive to simultaneously create optimal working conditions for our employees and to ensure operational efficiencies.
Throughout our business and particularly at our manufacturing sites worldwide, the health and safety of our employees is a priority. We want to provide a safe workplace, though many injuries are still occurring in and around our facilities: including cuts, stumbles, commuting accidents, burns in smelting operations, heavy lifting or exposure to toxic fumes in galvanization processes. Currently, dormakaba has only location-specific systems in place to align with national regulations and standards.
Read about how occupational health & safety teams helped keep employees safe during the Covid-19 pandemicRead story
It is our goal that, by the end of financial year 2021/22, all dormakaba manufacturing sites will maintain an occupational health and safety management system based on the rigorous standards set forth by ISO 45001 or OHSAS 18001. 73% of our manufacturing sites have already achieved this. These sites have designated safety personnel, safety committees, regular safety training, and they collaborate with external partners to ensure that health and safety standards are integrated in prevailing production processes at dormakaba.
In addition, 21% of the manufacturing sites covered in this report benefit from the ISO 45001 or OHSAS 18001 certification. Our facility in Vittorio Veneto (Italy), for example, achieved ISO 45001 certification in the 2019/20 financial year.
To ensure our employees remain healthy, dormakaba focuses on three areas:
- Employee engagement and training
- Reducing hazardous materials
- Designated safety personnel and safety committees
Employee engagement and training
To identify and address our health and safety risks, employee engagement is crucial. Our employees are encouraged to report challenges and near misses in order to address these risks. Several segments, for example, regularly train employees to report near miss incidents that have a potential for injury or property damage in an effort to be proactive. This program helps employees recognize hazards or unsafe acts and to correct them immediately or to ask for support to correct the issue. Near miss reports are treated the same as injury reports, and the respective supervisor follows up with the near miss to ensure it is corrected.
Besides those listed activities shown in our Good Practices map, examples of our employee engagement and training in the financial year 2019/20 included:
- AS AMER has 13 sites that are implementing and maintaining health and safety management systems. Each has set up facility-specific plans and policies and documented them for the internal audit team to evaluate conformance with rollout plans. AS AMER targeted five Environmental, Health & Safety (EHS) areas of focus for the financial year 2019/20 included emergency action plans, machine guarding, ergonomics, hazard risk and EHS Lean, which encompassed standardized floor markings throughout all facilities. Each key topic had detailed activities along with deliverables to show progress toward the end goal.
- Service employees in AS AMER also participated in online Risk Control training modules and are reminded monthly on the best safety practices and procedures. Risk analyses are conducted prior to preforming service duties for certain projects, and we shared information on any injuries or safety issues within the company regardless if the instances occurred within their region.
- AS DACH offers a special hotline for all employees in Germany to give them and their direct relatives independent and anonymous advice on a wide range of well-being issues, such as health, work-life balance or family relationship issues. The hotline provider Talingo EAP has many consultants with appropriate expertise, including psychologists, psychotherapists, doctors, family, couple and parenting counselors, management coaches and crisis intervention experts.
- Key & Wall Solutions implemented an online safety training system that includes built-in training matrices and record keeping in Rocky Mount (USA). Additionally, hazard reporting and near miss reporting were the focus of awareness training and safety focus for injury and risk reduction. In Vittorio Veneto (Italy), a retraining program has been completed by all 377 employees at the manufacturing facility, including management, office workers and production employees.
Reducing hazardous materials
The potential impact on employees’ health of working with hazardous materials is of special concern. Hazardous materials are used as cooling lubricants, oils in machining and for the cutting of raw materials. As well, in the electroplating area some hazardous materials are used to protect materials from corrosion.
Examples of our activities to reduce hazardous materials in the financial year 2019/20 included:
- AS AMER eliminated the use of hazardous material such as acetone in the cleaning process of parts prior to coating in Montreal (Canada). We also conducted air quality testing in many production and office sectors and made improvements to the ventilation where required. The Indianapolis manufacturing facility eliminated aerosol can usage by 25% by converting to spray bottles. Additionally, the manufacturing facility in Reamstown (USA) reduced the use of a hazardous degreaser by 28% by switching to a non-hazardous substitute.
- The AS DACH manufacturing facility in Suzhou (China) began renovations to the painting system in order to switch over from solvent-based to water-based application. Similar renovations were completed in the AS APAC manufacturing facility in Taishan (China), where 15 tons of oil-based paint was switched to water-based paint. Around 50% of all paint used is now more environmentally friendly.
- Key & Wall Solutions installed a new dust control system over the batching line along with an upgraded bag filter to reduce dross and brass metal dust in Rocky Mount (USA). Similarly, air quality was the key focus in Senai (Malaysia), where we installed a centralized woodworking dust extraction system connected to all machinery. In Vittorio Veneto (Italy), a general review of hazardous substances uses and new internal criteria for procurement resulted in the elimination of 91 hazardous substances.
Designated safety personnel and safety committees
dormakaba employs designated safety personnel and safety committees in order to ensure that workers comply with company policies and government regulations. These forums also facilitate communication and cooperation between management and personnel.
Examples of our safety personnel and safety committee activities in the financial year 2019/20 include:
- Each AS AMER manufacturing site has established an EHS Committee comprised of various employees from different departments and shifts. For example, in Indianapolis (USA) first responders receive training every two years on first aid/CPR and the use of Automated External Defibrillator, and they attend quarterly meetings to go over best practices and lessons learned. An ergonomics team was newly established, and members received extensive training on ergonomics and how to evaluate risks in the building.
- AS APAC already had established safety committees or designated safety personnel in India and Australia and has now formed an EHS committee in Taishan (China) as well. In addition, the subsidiary in Taiwan conducted an external safety audit, which highlighted safety concerns that have since been corrected.
- Similarly, AS DACH has dedicated safety experts in Germany, who ensure that accidents are analyzed with a so-called STOP (Substitution, Technical, Organizational, Personnel) system. STOP activities have been shared more widely than previously – at any accident site, a description of the accident and the corrective actions are visualized in roll-up displays to help all employees remain vigilant. The AS DACH manufacturing facilities in Asia also have dedicated EHS engineers and/or safety officers in place. Safety concerns are addressed in the daily line-up meetings.
- AS EMEA has a QEHS manager in each manufacturing facility with responsibility for monitoring workplace safety activities, developing programs and providing or organizing safety trainings. First responders are assigned, and the first aid supplies are maintained. In Velbert (Germany) the health and safety system has been optimized by installing a HSE software.
- Key & Wall Solution continues to have a designated EHS manager and maintains a safety committee which is focusing on safety campaigns for awareness, safety audits, hazard recognition and employee occupational health in Rocky Mount (USA), and the manufacturing facility in Dyersville (USA) has recently recruited an EHS manager. The manufacturing facility in Bogota (Colombia) has reorganized the safety committee, whereas a new committee was established in Greater Noida (India).
Among all our reporting sites – including offices – 22% had a health and safety management system certified to OHSAS 18001, ISO 45001 or the equivalent local standard; and 63% maintain a health and safety management system. For these sites, health and safety training goes beyond the mandatory requirements to include emergency and risk prevention. For example, assessments of repetitive movement and heavy load-lifting, to prevent work-related illnesses, take place at various sites.
OHSAS 18001 Certificate or similarly certified
Maintain OHS Management System
% locations covered in reporting scope*
% employees covered (versus Group-wide FTEs)
OHS In the financial year 2019/20, 231 occupational injury cases were registered (1.7 per 100 full-time employees), compared to 259 in the previous reporting year. Regionally, occupational injury cases were reported as follows: 1 in Switzerland (0.1), 47 in Germany (1.8), 43 in the rest of Europe, Middle East and Africa (1.4), 98 (3.3) in the Americas, and 42 (1.1) in Asia Pacific. There were no fatalities as a result of work-related injuries in the financial year 2019/20.
We will continue our efforts to ensure our employees remain safe and healthy. Planned projects and initiatives include:
- AS AMER will develop a concept for the creation of an EHS orientation video for all visitors, contractors and vendors to watch before they perform work on-site or visit the manufacturing facility in Indianapolis (USA). The facility will also pursue the ISO 45001 certification, as will the manufacturing facility in Nogales (Mexico). Additionally, the safety team in Nogales will improve the machine guard system, installing curtain guards and two-hands activation as well as implement a safety awareness and training program. The manufacturing facilities in Mesquite (USA) and Sao Paulo (Brazil) plans to launch wellness programs.
- AS APAC will strengthen the EHS team in Taishan (China) with a safety engineer. In Hallam (Australia), a new site layout and workflow changes are planned to address safety issues and safety officers will be appointed for all main sites to oversee management system adherence, incident investigation and return-to-work procedures.
- AS EMEA will continue the ongoing implementation of harmonized health & safety management systems based on ISO 45001 for the four largest manufacturing facilities currently without a certification. For three of these, safety risk assessments of production areas and offices will take place, as well as the defining of required personal protective equipment.
- Key & Wall Solutions will implement a more formal job safety analysis program to identify potential risks in Rocky Mount (USA). Additionally, a wellness program will be rolled out in Bogota (Colombia), the EHS team will reduce the manual handling of loads and weight through layout changes and mechanical aids. In Montreal, the EHS team will implement a project focused on reducing work-related injuries stemming from the manual manipulation of panels. The EHS team in Senai (Malaysia) will focus on reducing health and safety risks for and by external parties who work on our site, including control of work permits of external contractors.
Keeping employees safe during the Covid-19 pandemic
Working with human resources teams across dormakaba, our Environment, Health and Safety managers were vital in developing contingency and communication plans during the pandemic. These plans outlined key responsibilities and action plans for each escalating alert level. The crisis management organization was structured on a country level, with the HR and Operations Leads from every segment taking part in the Group Crisis Taskforce. A variety of actions across the Group was implemented, including:
Provision of essential business operational guidelines: these guidelines address key topics including social distancing requirements, facility cleaning, non-essential travel, internal communication, remote working and return-to-facility requirements, and site visitations. Contractors, visitors and staff were screened upon arriving on site, with some locations conducting daily temperature monitoring of employees at the gate. Employees were asked to stay home if feeling sick and all possible Covid-19 cases were evaluated by the senior leadership for appropriate actions to include shift or facility shutdowns for deep cleaning from outside contractors.
Provision of personal protective equipment and hygienic facilities: stocks of personal protective equipment (PPE) including masks, gloves and hand sanitizers were prepared and distributed. Hand washing facilities were installed in service vehicles in some countries, and disinfectant fogging in high-traffic areas took place on the daily basis in others.
Changes to the production lines: many of the manufacturing site process lines were reconfigured to allow for proper social distancing and installation of plexiglass dividers. Shift splitting was introduced as well as start, break and lunch times were staggered to minimize social contact. The sharing of equipment in the production halls was reduced, and social distancing at washrooms and the canteen was also enforced. High-traffic manual doors have been refurbished with our automatic operators (ED 100/250) for a touchless entry and exit in some locations, and truck drivers were not allowed to enter the logistics area in others.
Regular communication: digital and physical bulletin boards, poster campaigns, e-mails and in some locations SMS text alert systems were used to keep employees updated on precautionary measures and guidelines. Tips on personal hygiene were shared via online sessions, videos, and WhatsApp.
You can read more about ways that we managed the health and safety of employees during the pandemic in the Employment chapter.