People

Occupational health and safety

Daimler promotes a safe and healthy work environment

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Ensuring the health and safety of our employees is a very high priority at Daimler. For example, we design our workplaces in line with ergonomic criteria and offer health maintenance programs and occupational safety training. In everything we do, we focus on the health and safety of our employees. This is because only satisfied and healthy employees can unlock their full potential and thus contribute to the success of the company.

The current covid-19 pandemic is not the only reason why it is so important to have a sustainable health and occupational safety management system in place, as the demographic transformation and advances in technology are also leading to new challenges. As a responsible employer, we seek to ensure that our employees can work in a safe and healthy environment. We utilize a holistic health and occupational safety management system in order to prevent work accidents and work-related illnesses. The focus here is mainly on preventive measures that we continuously review and develop further.

How we ensure safe and healthy working conditions

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Our overarching goal is to prevent health risks and maintain the health of all Daimler employees over the long term.

Our occupational safety strategy sets high standards for the design of workplaces and work processes. Moreover, we are systematically striving to reduce occupational and health-related risks. The Daimler Group operates on the basis of globally uniform guidelines for risk prevention. Our Occupational Health and Safety Policy and our Guidelines on Occupational Health and Safety serve as overarching, internationally valid Group regulations. They are based on international standards and national laws and emphasize the managers’ obligation to act responsibly. However, they also underscore the employees’ own responsibility.

In 2019 the Group companies updated the Occupational Health and Safety Policy. The revision sought to ensure that the safety standards continue to be upheld in the Group’s new structure. The safety standards — for equipment and processes, for example — should guarantee a uniform level of safety at all of our locations, and we conduct due diligence audits at our captive locations in order to ensure that this remains the case.

The policy also describes the structure, operation, and continuous improvement of our management system for health and safety at the workplace. The management system is based on the ISO 45001 standard. These requirements also apply to external companies and their employees. We regularly check external companies to see whether they are meeting the standards — in some cases several times a year.

Since 2019 Daimler has also been committed to achieving Vision Zero. This global campaign aims to prevent job-related accidents and illnesses and to promote the employees’ health, safety, and well-being. Many companies and partner organizations, including the World Health Organization, take part in this campaign at an international level. We introduced a worldwide accident documentation system during the reporting year 2020. This system includes an integrated international digital reporting process that makes it possible to quickly collect data on all covid-19 cases among employees. This in turn enables the plant medical services organization to conduct a rapid contact-tracing procedure. Further information on our measures for dealing with the covid-19 pandemic is available here:

Organizing responsibilities

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Occupational health and safety issues throughout the Group are managed by the Health & Safety unit, which is part of Human Resources and led by the Medical Director of Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz AG, and Daimler Truck AG. The Health & Safety unit is divided into six competence centers: Occupational Safety, Occupational Medicine, Company Healthcare, Integration Management, Ergonomics, and Social Counseling. Each competence center controls the occupational safety and health management processes in line with regularly updated policies that are valid throughout the Group.

The specific occupational health and safety goals that are set for each location are based on an overall strategy that includes our occupational health and safety guidelines and occupational safety strategy, as well as the results of audits and reviews.

Our managers are responsible for ensuring that all internal policies and legal requirements for occupational health and safety are complied with. The Health & Safety unit helps managers meet their obligations with regard to occupational health and safety. Each location must define the responsibilities and specific obligations in line with local conditions.

All key occupational health and safety issues are discussed on a regular basis with Works Council representatives and management representatives at all levels of the company. All decisions resulting from such discussions are made jointly.

How we are dealing with the covid-19 pandemic

This report is being released as people around the world continue to struggle with the covid-19 pandemic. During the reporting year, we at the Daimler Group therefore implemented numerous measures to slow the spread of the pandemic and protect our employees.

In an initial step, corporate management announced that we would be suspending most of our production operations and all activities in selected administrative departments in Europe for an initial period of two weeks, from March 23 through April 3, 2020. As the covid-19 pandemic worsened, short-time work was then introduced in Germany on April 6. The Group took this step in response to the wide-ranging effects of the coronavirus and the increasingly negative impact the pandemic was having on the economy and society. Only necessary basic functions were excluded from this measure, as well as work on strategic projects and key topics for the future.

We also developed new workplace rules that include preventive hygiene and safety measures for production units and offices, company restaurants, and areas in which staff need to meet with customers. Business travel that was not absolutely necessary was also reduced to a minimum until the end of 2020. We expanded our IT infrastructure in order to enable mobile working and ensure the technical functioning of digital formats such as conference calls and video conferences. Certain locations began gradually resuming operations at the end of April 2020. In order to protect our employees, the company has taken precautions to prevent infection. These measures include hygiene and cleaning standards as well as rules for individual behavior in the workplace. We have also, for example, implemented “shift concepts” in departments and units where physical presence in the office remains necessary.

In addition, a global campaign was launched to make managers and employees more aware of issues relating to the pandemic and provide them with information on specific measures and rules that help protect them against infection. This campaign is continuing in 2021. For example, employees at all of our locations around the world are given information on how to best protect themselves against infection with SARS-CoV-2 in various types of situations. We have also advised our employees to continue working from home whenever possible.

Risk management: We assess risks systematically

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We want to prevent our employees from suffering accidents or having their health impaired. Our Health & Safety unit is therefore pursuing a preventive approach and evaluating the potential risks of workplaces and work processes at an early stage.

We assess risks digitally

The assessment of potential risks plays a key role here. We used an online tool to digitalize parts of this risk management process. The tool is provided by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work and was expanded for our purposes. It enables us to make risk assessments on desktop computers, tablets or smartphones. The online tool shows the user specific risks that can arise in his or her particular area. The user then only needs to decide whether the suggested measures suffice to reduce the risk to an acceptable level. This risk assessment is then used as a basis for automatically generating instruction documents. We cooperate closely with the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work in this area. The tool is now a part of our regular operations at all of our German locations and at several international locations, such as Kecskemét (Hungary). The system is multilingual and will be supplied to other international locations in the next one or two years.

We assess risks in a uniform manner

At Daimler, we assess the risks of new facilities worldwide along the entire process — from the call for bids to the acceptance stage — in a uniform manner and in line with defined criteria. The assessments are based on our safety concepts, which suppliers implement in accordance with our requirement specifications. The planner is assisted by occupational safety specialists, from the initial idea to the standardized facility acceptance process. Hazardous substances are evaluated by experts. We also assess the mental and ergonomic stress caused by workplaces and the working environment in each case.

In addition, we utilize an external-company management process whose fundamental components are the assessment of mutual risks and the development of appropriate measures on the basis of this risk assessment. We then monitor these measures by means of random checks. The assessment of risks that can arise within the framework of our cooperation with external companies, and the monitoring of the derived measures, will be digitized in the future and depicted in our risk assessment tool. We also have an instructional video that teaches employees at external companies about work safety-related matters.

Our health management system provides care, advice, and support

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The Daimler Group in Germany offers its employees comprehensive advice on occupational medicine. This care is supplemented by the measures and services of the company health program and the social counseling service. Our company health management system promotes both the mental and physical health of our employees.

The health management systems at Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz AG, and Daimler Truck AG, for example, focus on preventive approaches that range from the job-related Daimler Health Check and the ergonomic design of workstations to an IT system that makes it easier to reintegrate employees suffering from permanent limitations imposed by their health. In the latter case, a capabilities profile created by the plant physician for the employee in question is compared with the requirements for various types of jobs. This matching process yields a list of possible jobs that employees suffering from permanent limitations imposed by their health might be considered for.

Employees with health issues at Daimler Mobility AG and Mercedes-Benz Bank AG and their subsidiaries can consult experts at Health & Safety, company physicians, and colleagues at their occupational health and safety departments and the social counseling service. The services offered here include athletic activities, presentations, information and activity days, health coaching and checkups, workshops, and ergonomic consultations. In addition, trainees and student-trainees can participate in special health programs that include healthy breakfasts with a presentation by an ecotrophologist (a specialist in nutrition, household management, and economics) and workshops on how to deal with stress when exams are approaching. Due to the covid-19 pandemic, an increasing number of these programs were conducted online in 2020, and new digital versions of other health programs and services were added as well.

We provide medical care for employees

At Daimler, occupational medicine includes programs and measures for the prevention of work-related illnesses and occupational diseases as well as measures that promote health in the workplace. Moreover, we provide all employees with acute emergency healthcare that includes the treatment of accident-related injuries. This lies within the area of responsibility of our plant physicians worldwide. All employees can use our plant medical services, our social counseling service, and the basic services of our company health promotion programs. These basic company health promotion and emergency healthcare services, as well as acute emergency healthcare, are also available to our temporary workers.

We utilize a holistic approach for promoting health at the company

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We want to motivate employees to develop healthy lifestyles and reinforce their sense of personal responsibility regarding their health. We promote this objective worldwide with the help of campaigns, counseling, and qualification offerings, as well as with preventive, therapeutic, and rehabilitation measures. All of our production locations in Germany, as well as numerous international locations, have health centers on their premises or cooperate with health centers located near the plants.

Our healthcare centers and those operated by our partners offer our employees programs for the prevention and treatment of problems with their backs and joints, for example, as well as physiotherapy services. In addition, our fit@work exercise machine enables employees to perform fascia training directly at their workstations in order to strengthen their tendons and ligaments. We also conduct a training program for management staff in which managers extensively analyze their own health-related behavior and develop a health-focused management style.

Our social counseling service offers support in situations marked by crisis and conflict

Our internal social counseling service coaches, advises, and supports employees and managers who are experiencing a situation of change, conflict, or crisis in either their professional or private lives. This service is available to all employees in Germany, including temporary workers. The social counseling service also offers unit-specific manager workshops (e.g. on how to help staff deal with change), as well as coaching and qualification programs for managers. All of these workshops and programs for managers focus on the further development of personal sensitivity and psychosocial leadership capabilities that are to be used to address conspicuous, aggressive, or other troubling behavior on the part of employees. Self-reflection concerning the manager’s own role here is very important. The key is to take into consideration

  • their responsibility for watching out for their employees
  • the interests of the company
  • the well-being of the manager himself or herself

We focus on ergonomics

Daimler employs an ergonomics strategy and assessment, defined in a company-wide assessment.

The strategy encompasses the following principles and goals:

  • No unhealthy workstations — ensured by the optimization of new and existing workstations
  • Maintenance of our employees’ health and capabilities
  • Assignments for employees in line with their respective profiles and abilities
  • Use of preventive measures to reduce the occurrence of musculoskeletal disorders
  • Managers take on responsibility for keeping their employees healthy

In order to comply with these principles and achieve these goals, we focused on the following measures and areas of action during the reporting year:

  • Use of ergonomics standards in all areas of development, planning, and production
  • Consideration of ergonomic aspects with all new products — from the concept stage up to series production
  • Continuous redesign and improvement of ergonomically critical workstations
  • Provision of information on ergonomics to employees and managers; further training and qualification
  • Introduction of the ergonomics strategy at an international level
  • Design of age-appropriate workstations that will remain viable in the future

We use an IT system to evaluate workstation ergonomics. This tool makes use of relevant data for the given workstation — e.g. component weights, posture when performing different activities, and the degree of physical effort the employee needs to make when carrying out a certain task. Algorithms use this data as a basis for calculating the physical demands of the workstation in question. The result is shown as one of the traffic light colors. This helps us to quickly determine a workstation’s potential for improvement and institute corresponding measures. We now use this traffic light system to evaluate all newly created workstations during the planning stage. In this way, we want to avoid workstations with associated ergonomic risks in advance. We also create workstation profiles that enable us to assign employees with physical limitations to jobs that correspond to their capabilities.

We are expanding digital health management programs and activities

How is digitalization affecting the health of our employees, and how can we use digital systems to promote their health and safety? Such questions are being addressed by our #DigitalHealth initiative, which includes various experts from the Health & Safety departments at the Daimler Group in Germany. The #DigitalHealth initiative has a committee which regularly discusses digitalization issues that have a direct effect on health and safety. The committee also advises managers and promotes digitalization at the Health & Safety unit.

During the reporting year, we significantly expanded and intensified our digital health management programs and activities at Daimler in Germany. For example, new company-wide webinars were used to offer training on health issues to numerous employees. In addition, managers whose teams mostly work remotely were able to book health coaching sessions that included digital presentations designed specifically for the team in question.

How we seek to ensure health and safety in production

We use our modular safety concept for human-robot cooperation in all production units. This concept ensures that the relationship between man and machine is safe in all situations. It serves as the basis of the EC declaration of conformity, which is a precondition for obtaining the CE label for safe machines at our facilities. The concept can be flexibly used regardless of whether a robot takes on an assisting or performance-supporting role or operates completely automatically.

We also use work clothes with integrated digital devices (wearable computing systems), as well as exoskeleton systems, in order to simplify work processes. Exoskeleton systems help employees carry out physically strenuous work such as lifting heavy objects. They can also benefit employees with physical disabilities.

How we raise employee awareness of occupational safety issues

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We are increasingly using media such as videos, various information portals, and online training courses in order to make employees more aware of ergonomics and occupational safety issues.

All new employees are provided with initial instructions regarding the safety-relevant aspects of their workstations. After that, they are required to participate in safety-awareness briefings that are held on a regular basis. We have also developed special online training courses for certain areas of work, including offices in production areas and at development units. In addition, our digital risk assessment tool generates workstation-specific instructions directly on the basis of its risk assessments.

How we assess the effectiveness of our management approach

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We want to design workstations that promote health and effectively prevent accidents. To make this possible, we have our work processes evaluated and we document and transparently report all incidents.

We monitor compliance with safety standards by means of in-house safety due diligence audits that are generally conducted every five years at captive production locations. Due to the covid-19 pandemic, these audits were not performed in the reporting year. Various locations have their occupational safety and health management systems independently certified by external certification agencies in accordance with the ISO 45001 (formerly OHSAS 18001) standard in addition to the safety due diligence audits. Approximately 40 percent of our employees at captive production locations (about 100,000 employees) work at facilities with occupational safety management systems certified according to ISO 45001 or OHSAS 18001.

We document accidents and accident statistics

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Worldwide, Daimler utilizes several accident documentation systems that generate standardized statistics while taking data protection regulations into account. The statistics are based on documented hours of attendance, lost days, and organizational structures. Among other things, this accident documentation makes it possible for us to identify the causes of accidents, the areas where accidents tend to occur, the pertinent tasks, and the equipment that causes accidents. We registered 2,405 (2019: 2,957) accidents in 2020.

We analyze every accident in order to determine the sequence of events. The affected units are also required to initiate preventive measures. Data on accidents from which other sites can learn and derive measures is sent to occupational safety experts at all of our locations worldwide.

An effective reporting procedure helps us achieve our occupational health and safety targets. For this reason all of our locations have to report accidents and accident statistics to Health & Safety. This information is used as the basis for monthly reports of the Group’s accident statistics.

Accident frequency*
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2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Occupational accidents

3,444

2,766

3,152

2,957

2,405

Accident frequency (Number of occupational accidents with at least one day of absence per million attendance hours)

9.4

7.5

7.7

6.8

6.4

*

Recording rate for Daimler production sites (Mercedes-Benz AG incl. Vans, Daimler Truck AG incl. Buses) worldwide: >99%

Participants in health training courses* (6-day training on exercise, nutrition & relaxation)
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2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Shift workers

556

500

544

460

-**

Managers

292

274

310

123

-**

Executive managers

141

191

177

188

-**

*

Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz AG, Daimler Truck AG in Germany

**

The health programs were suspended in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Participants in health trainingPLUS* (health training on the topics of exercise, nutrition & relaxation with several units distributed throughout the year)
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2016

2017

2018

2019

2020**

Shift workers

219

184

206

252

-**

Managers

123

245

242

304

-**

*

Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz AG, Daimler Truck AG in Germany

**

The health programs were suspended in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Provider/Privacy

Daimler AG Mercedesstraße 120
70372 Stuttgart
Germany
Tel.: +49 711 17 0
E-Mail: dialog@daimler.com

Represented by the Board of Management: Ola Källenius (Chairman), Martin Daum, Renata Jungo Brüngger, Wilfried Porth, Markus Schäfer, Britta Seeger, Hubertus Troska, Harald Wilhelm

Chairman of the Supervisory Board: Bernd Pischetsrieder

Commercial Register Stuttgart, No. HRB 19360
VAT registration number: DE 81 25 26 315