We protect our employees and contractors against any safety risks that might arise in connection with the work they do for Linde and help them to stay healthy through various preventative healthcare programmes. Our management systems enable us to identify workplace risks worldwide and define measures to mitigate these. We evaluate our progress here using key performance indicators (KPIs) and dedicated processes, including, for example, analyses of workplace incidents and audits. In addition, we tailor our occupational health and safety activities to the varying needs of our business units and regions.
To raise awareness of health and safety issues among employees and contractors, we provide targeted training opportunities, regularly assess the need for training at our locations and develop training programmes accordingly. In parallel, we also run campaigns and initiatives focused on health and safety.
Occupational safety measures
Our aim is to further reduce the number of work-related accidents. To achieve this, we continually evolve our safety management programme and implement a wide range of measures to strengthen our safety culture and reduce risks.
Workplace accidents per million hours worked
(lost time injury rate; LTIR)
The Linde Group
In 2011, the number of workplace accidents among employees dropped further to 1.4 per million hours worked. During the same period, the number of workplace accidents among our contractors also fell, and is now at 1.6 per million hours worked.
It is with the greatest of sadness that we report five work-related fatalities involving Linde employees and three fatalities involving contractor employees working for The Linde Group in 2011. Two employees lost their lives following an accident at one of our plants. Six of the fatalities resulted from traffic accidents involving our employees and contractors. We stepped up our plant and transport safety activities in 2011.
Occupational health measures
In 2010, we introduced new Group minimum requirements for occupational health management following a Group-wide review in this area. Under the umbrella of this initiative, we are rolling out additional KPIs for health management that will enable us to identify work-related illnesses and develop measures aimed at reducing these risks. We are focusing in particular here on the health risks resulting from manual or repetitive work. Between 30 and 50 percent of workplace incidents reported each year at Linde are related to manual or repetitive work. To coordinate and harmonise efforts to reduce these injuries worldwide, we set up a global steering committee in 2011. In the same year, we launched a pilot research project at Loughborough University in the UK to focus on the safe handling of small gas cylinders.
Between 2010 and 2012, we approved seven global standards and guidelines on workplace health. During the same period, more than 100 employees completed occupational hygiene training courses to improve skills in the management of occupational health hazards. In 2011, the average number of days lost due to sickness per Linde Group employee was 5.0 (2010: 5.3 days).
Some local Linde companies have implemented their own health programmes. In Germany, for example, the Engineering Division provided stress coaching for 60 managers in 2011. We intend to roll out further courses on stress management in other lines of business. Our global employee survey included a question on workload. The assessment from Linde employees aligned with average ratings reported by other companies. We plan to harmonise existing local guidelines under the umbrella of a global directive on mental wellbeing over the coming years. Since 2011, we have also been offering healthcare benefits for temporary staff in China for the duration of their employment.