Health and safety

As a responsible employer, it is a matter of course for Aurubis to take measures to maintain our employees’ health and performance and to protect them from accidents and illness.

The responsibility of Group Health & Safety is to create conditions that prevent all work-related accidents and illnesses. In the long term, we want to achieve our Vision Zero, that is, to reduce work-related accidents, injuries, and illnesses to zero. Our goal for the medium term is to reduce the number of work-related accidents with at least one lost shift per one million hours worked (lost time injury frequency rate, LTIFR) to ≤ 1.0 by 2022.

The corporate department Group Health & Safety manages occupational health and safety and reports directly to the Executive Board. The department establishes minimum occupational safety standards for the entire Group by issuing process instructions in addition to the Corporate Policy on Occupational Health and Safety. Occupational safety management at the sites is currently being developed to conform to ISO 45001. Five sites (Avellino, Dolný Kubín, Pirdop1, Pori, and Schwermetall Halbzeugwerk GmbH & Co. KG) are certified in accordance with OHSAS 18001 or ISO 45001. Our occupational safety approach applies to our employees, temporary workers, and external service providers.

The site managers play a central role in occupational health and safety. They are responsible for complying with applicable laws and ordinances on occupational health and safety, the relevant corporate policy, and the current process instructions. Furthermore, they gather and evaluate health risks and help implement suitable measures to protect employees.

The sites are in contact with each other via an organized network facilitated by Group Health & Safety. In this way, existing specialist knowledge can be used across the Group. Moreover, employee representatives are included in the topic of occupational health and safety: through the reporting line to the Executive Board, Group Health & Safety also reports to the general Works Council committee and the European Works Council. Group Health & Safety is directly invited to their committee meetings.

Our risk assessments include both current and future work processes in the company, including maintenance and repair procedures in addition to operations. Our risk assessments cover hazards in normal operations, special work assignments, and abnormal incidents.

Health hazards and individual requirements in the work area are systematically collected, evaluated, and documented. The risk assessment is guided by the current knowledge available, taking the type, extent, and probability or duration of the effect into account.

Accidents are systematically investigated to determine their technical, organizational, and conduct-based causes. The key findings of accident investigations, the causes, and the measures derived from them are communicated throughout the Group. Furthermore, we strive to report and investigate every incident, even those that don’t result in injury.

Smelter operations (heat, metal melt), hazardous substances in the production process, industrial machines, and internal logistics present the greatest accident risks. However, analyses show that accidents connected with these risks are rare. The most common causes of accidents are mechanical influences, mainly stumbles, slips, falls, and working with hand-operated tools.

As preventive measures to further avoid accidents, the 10 Golden Rules program was established and a Behavior-Based Safety (BBS) program was initiated in Pori, Emmerich, and Stolberg.

At least once per year, employees are informed about hazards in the workplace and are instructed about necessary preventive and protective measures, enhancing their awareness of these topics. Safety talks sensitize employees to current occupational safety issues and encourage them to use this knowledge safely in practice. External service providers are instructed about hazards, protective measures, and rules of conduct at the specific site before they start working.

Health checks are offered when new employees are hired, with routine occupational health checks provided thereafter.

In addition, we support employees in taking preventive measures to maintain their health. Our offerings in this respect extend from flu vaccinations and medical checks to addiction prevention, as well as supporting measures for the heart and circulatory system.

Key measures of the Sustainability Strategy 2018–2023 and their status in fiscal year 2018/19

  • Preparing all sites for the introduction of the ISO 45001 standard for occupational health and safety (by fiscal year 2019/20)
    Our sites in Avellino and Pirdop were certified in accordance with ISO 45001 in early 2019 and September 2019, respectively, and our Pori, Dolný Kubín, and Schwermetall Halbzeugwerk sites are already certified in accordance with OHSAS 18001. To prepare for the introduction of ISO 45001 at the other sites, the requirements of ISO 45001 are being explained in workshops and gap analyses are being carried out to determine the current deviations from the requirements of the standard.
  • Implementing Behavior-Based Safety across the Group (by fiscal year 2020/21)
    Behavior-Based Safety was initiated at our sites in Emmerich, Hamburg, Pori, and Stolberg in the reporting period. The campaign to introduce the 10 Golden Rules planned for October 2019 will support us in the process.


Occupational health and safety KPIs1

Absolute number of accidents5960474563
Number of work-related fatalities00000
Number of work-related fatalities of third parties at our sites00010
1 KPIs for consolidated sites with ten or more employees Sites and employees. Excluding Schwermetall Halbzeugwerk GmbH & Co. KG, in which Aurubis holds a 50 % stake.