Long-term objective: Zero accidents

Occupational safety has the highest priority at Henkel. We strive to continuously improve occupational health and safety measures to ensure a safe work environment for our employees. Our long-term objective of "zero accidents" remains unchanged, because every occupational accident is one too many. We had set ourselves an interim target of reducing our accident rate by 20 percent by 2012. Thanks to the great dedication of our employees, we were able to meet this target early. Between 2007 and 2010, occupational accidents had already fallen by 29 percent. Based on the achieved improvements, we have set a further interim target: to reduce the number of occupational accidents at Henkel by another 20 percent by 2015.

To achieve our goal, we insist on strict compliance with our Safety, Health and Environment Standards (SHE). Implementation of these standards is regularly monitored by independent auditors from our Corporate Internal Audit department. To avoid occupational accidents, we give high priority to special training programs designed to raise awareness among all employees.

Our comprehensive approach to occupational safety has proved effective: 84 percent of our worldwide production sites were accident-free in 2011.

Focus on behavior-based safety training

To avoid occupational accidents, we give high priority to special training programs designed to raise awareness among all employees, especially in production but also in administration. Environmental and safety training sessions are therefore regularly held at all sites. Program topics range from safety equipment, fire prevention, storage procedures or first aid. Often, our internal trainers are assisted by external specialists. The trainings are also directed at employees of external companies who work at Henkel sites.

SHE training for site managers

Teaser SHE training for site managers

We hold regular training courses for our site managers around the world in order to familiarize them with our safety, health and environment standards (SHE Standards). The purpose of the training program is to ensure compliance with these standards at all sites. The program covers both theory and practice, and exposes the attendees to real-life situations. “The SHE training seminar provides an excellent platform for swapping first-hand experience. It enabled me to discuss with my international colleagues matters relating to our safety standards and our responsibilities in this field,” said Abdul Rahman (photo), Head of Liquid Detergent Production in Saudi Arabia, who participated in this seminar in October 2011.

Since the program was launched, we have held 13 three-day seminars and trained more than 250 of our site managers from Asia, Africa, Europe, and North and South America on SHE topics. By now, 80 percent of our current site managers have completed such courses. In 2011, four seminars were held in the USA, Germany, Brazil and India, with a total of more than 70 participants.

Local activities to raise awareness of occupational safety

In addition to our company-wide programs, our site and production managers initiate local projects to reinforce their employees' awareness of occupational health and safety. Due consideration is given to site-specific circumstances and employee needs:

Country/Region Project
Worldwide In recent years, an increase in the number of traffic accidents has been noted worldwide. In 2010, we therefore tightened the rules in various countries for the use of company-owned and rented vehicles. An example of this is the specification of mandatory safety features in rental cars. We also invest more in driver safety training for our field representatives.
Germany In 2011, about 120 employees from three different industrial adhesives sites participated in a special safety day. Exercises included a forklift driving test, first-aid moves and a live demonstration on explosion control.
Brasil Comprehensive health promotion program. Employees are encouraged to perform daily gymnastic exercises designed to help prevent work-related accidents and illnesses.
Thailand Contractors' employees are shown an introductory video with comprehensive safety advice before they start work.
South Africa Comprehensive safety trainings: with the aid of special simulators all employees are instructed in appropriate safety behavior and emergency evacuation e.g. in case of a fire.
Kenya About 40 percent of all employees attended a five-day workshop at which they were instructed in occupational health and safety by external experts. Emergency evacuation and first aid were among the topics covered.

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2010 to 2015 target:


safer per million hours worked


Last updated: March 8, 2012