Falling accident rates thanks to worldwide programs

Occupational accidents are registered using a globally uniform reporting system; the coverage extends to 99 percent of Henkel employees. The published employee indicators also cover 99 percent of our employees. Since 2007, employees of external companies who work at Henkel sites and are directly contracted by Henkel have been included in our reporting.

Occupational accidents per million hours worked

At least one day lost (excluding commuting accidents)
  2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Henkel employees 1.7 1.4 1.3 1.2 1.1
Employees of external companies who work
at Henkel sites and are
directly contracted
1.8 1.9 1.2 1.0 1.1
Index: Change from
2007 to 2011
–35 %
99 percent of Henkel employees were covered.

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Serious occupational accidents

More than 50 days lost
  2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Accidents during typical production activities 18 14 13 14 11
Accidents while walking or moving around (e.g. stumbling) 8 4 9 7 7
99 percent of Henkel employees were covered.

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The index in the table shows the progress for occupational accidents in relation to hours worked (per million hours worked). The base for the index is the year 2007 (= 100 percent).

Fatal occupational accidents

Henkel openly reports serious accidents. A serious accident refers to the lethal injury of a Henkel employee or an employee of a contractor carrying out work for Henkel.

As a result of our intensive commitment to occupational safety, the number of accidents at Henkel again sank to a very low level in 2011, by comparison with international figures. Unfortunately, despite all of our efforts, fatal occupational accidents have occurred.


A Henkel employee died as a result of an electric shock while performing maintenance work on an immersion pump. A defective cable had caused the casing to carry live current. An employee of an external company suffered fatal injuries while working at one of our sites. He was struck by a towing cable which tore loose during installation of a wastewater pipe.


Three Henkel employees died in automobile accidents during working hours. Two employees of external companies died while carrying out work for Henkel at our sites. One of them died from a fall from scaffolding, despite the fact that safety equipment had been provided and he had had the appropriate training. The other one was fatally injured by a delivery truck on our site premises.

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.

The accidents suffered by employees of external companies on Henkel premises show that, despite our already intense training efforts, we need to further increase behavior-based safety training for employees of external companies and to monitor adherence to our instructions even more carefully. In 2006, 2007 and 2009 no fatal occupational accidents were suffered by Henkel employees or employees of contractors carrying out work on Henkel sites.


Unfortunately, one Henkel employee died in a plane crash during a business trip in the US in 2009.


A sales employee in Russia died in a traffic accident on his way to a customer. Two further Henkel employees and one employee of an external company who was carrying out work for Henkel died in accidents that happened during working time, but were unrelated to their actual work. We report these accidents for reasons of transparency, as they fall to some extent under the OECD's definition of an occupational accident (OECD = Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), or were reported in the local press:

On his way to a business meeting in Italy, a Henkel employee from Great Britain died when his motorcycle was involved in an accident in Germany. The use of a motorcycle is not in conformity with the Henkel guidelines for business travel, but was not expressly forbidden by our subsidiary.

An employee of an external company engaged to support Henkel's sales activities in Huixquilucan, Mexico, was fatally injured by falling doors in a DIY center. The accident occurred in a barred no-entry area and was totally unrelated to the work of the external company's employee.

A Henkel field sales employee attempted to prevent a theft outside our site at Xuzhou, Jiangsu, China, and was fatally injured by the thieves, although the emergency services were on the spot within five minutes. The culprits were subsequently caught.


In 2007 and 2006, there were no fatal accidents involving Henkel employees or employees of external companies contracted by Henkel companies to carry out work at Henkel sites.

Last updated: March 8, 2012