Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, considers the prevention of work-related illness and workplace accidents to be a matter of course for any responsible employer. We therefore set ourselves the goal of reducing the lost time injury rate (LTIR – workplace accidents resulting in missed work per million work hours) to 2.5 by 2015.
In 2013, we achieved an LTIR of 2.2.
In 2013, as in previous years, we again outperformed this goal, achieving an LTIR of 2.2. We are now working to maintain this level, although our top priority is of course to prevent any and all accidents.
In 2013, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, presented the Safety Excellence Award for the fourth time, which recognizes those production sites with no workplace accidents on record for the year. More than half of all our production sites achieved this goal in 2013, with 38 out of 63 sites having received the award.
The consistent reduction in the accident rate is particularly attributable to the BeSafe! program, which was initiated in 2010. Since its launch, numerous accident prevention and occupational safety measures have been implemented at our sites throughout the world. We are focusing heavily on our production sites and on training the employees there on the prevention of behavior-related accidents. Nevertheless, our goal is to reduce the accident rate across all of our sites.
BeSafe! is a Group-wide program with harmonized standards; local modules allow the program to be adapted to fit the particular needs and preconditions of the individual sites. For instance, our sites each take a different approach to engaging managers in the safety culture and building their buy-in; they have their own methods of reinforcing a sense of personal responsibility among staff as well as increasing employee awareness.
In 2013, we continued to sensitize our employees worldwide to workplace hazards through numerous initiatives, activities and awareness campaigns, and we also conducted training programs. For instance, newly minted EHS (Environment, Health, Safety) managers now take part in the EHS StartUp! training seminar on occupational health and safety. Furthermore, regional EHS forums in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia promote best-practice sharing and educate employees on new topics. In September 2013, 26 EHS managers attended the EHS Forum hosted by the Poseung site in South Korea.
Our site in Bari, Italy held the third EHS Best Practice Sharing Meeting in December 2013. The more than 50 participants included EHS managers from various Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, sites, as well as representatives of local and international companies, representatives from the Italian manufacturing and service company association Confindustria, and representatives from the Polytechnic University of Bari. In addition to a presentation on the theory of behavior-based safety, attendees also shared best practices pertaining to safety.