GRI 403-1, GRI Sector disclosure LA6 OHS
The prevention of accidents and work-related illnesses is a top priority for 50Hertz. Occupational health and safety are integrated into our corporate strategy, and a health and safety policy, which is binding for all employees, is also in place. Furthermore, it is an important part of the group’s ActNow programme. Our approach to occupational health and safety has been developed in recent years as part of a continuous improvement process. In addition to creating safe and healthy workplaces, the focus has been on strengthening a culture of prevention by making occupational safety a corporate value. This ensures that occupational safety considerations are embedded into the way employees’ approach and undertake their work in all support and core jobs. As part of the organisation’s annual audit plan, eight internal audits were conducted in 2021 to ensure the continuous development of our health and safety management system. The implementation of the requirements for the occupational health and safety management system in accordance with DIN ISO 45001:2018 was again confirmed in the reporting year in a supervisory audit by an external auditor without any non-conformities. The promotion of employee health and occupational safety topics are an integral part of weekly meetings held by senior management and the Eurogrid GmbH Supervisory Board.
Every employee is required to recognise hazards, report them immediately, and submit suggestions for promoting safe and healthy working conditions.
In order to raise awareness of occupational health and safety issues amongst employees and suppliers, specific campaigns are run on a regular basis across the organisation. The translation of relevant documents and campaign content into other languages is currently being prepared. Employees are regularly provided with new personal protective equipment (PPE) in line with their needs; new equipment is checked through regular testing.
In addition, an annual occupational safety competition is held to motivate staff. The competition involves examining data relating to accidents at work from the previous year, following which employees are tested regarding their knowledge of occupational safety.
Elia Group seeks to drive the energy transition whilst also being a leader in the field of occupational safety. This is why safety is always prioritised: one of the Group’s goals is ensuring that all employees and contractors return home safe every day. Elia Group constantly invests in making sure safety measures are properly followed across our sites and in embedding a culture of safety across the organisation. Through the “Go for Zero” campaign in Belgium and “gib8” initiative in Germany, the Group has made great steps forward in these areas. The Elia Group Safety Toolkit represents a further step in the right direction.
Tool 1:Life-saving rules that protect staff and subcontractors from accidents
Tool 2:The risk matrix as an instrument for decision-making
Tool 3:Being a safety leader in the office, on the road and while working across Elia Group’s different sites
Tool 4:Safety walks & safety talks: recommendations for carrying out workplace inspections
Tool 5:Reporting and investigating incidents: seeing and using mistakes as learning opportunities
Tool 6:Strong partnerships with subcontractors: establishing a common and shared safety culture
Tool 7:Personal commitments regarding occupational safety
The early detection and prevention of work-related illnesses and the promotion of employability are also important components of 50Hertz’s approach to occupational health and safety. To support these, 50Hertz provides employees with occupational healthcare, which focuses on individual protection and the prevention of health conditions. In addition, 50Hertz provides staff with regular medical check-ups, flu vaccinations and advice regarding ergonomics in the workplace. Confidential counselling provided by external, qualified therapists is available for employees at any time in the event that they should suffer from stress or experience drug addiction. Furthermore, employees can participate in various public sports events. Another service made available to employees is an app that offers personalised coaching in the areas of exercise, mindfulness and nutrition (and includes workouts, physiotherapy sessions, meditation and recipe ideas). Since July 2021, the app has provided users with support for finding the right medical care and booking appointments to address specific medical concerns. This offer includes individual advice from a professional doctor who can help to swiftly and safely find medical specialists for and make appointments for staff.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had - and continues to have - an impact on the private and professional lives of 50Hertz’s employees. The virus and its spread have been constantly monitored and measures were implemented in accordance with the requirements of the nationwide SARS-CoV-2 occupational health and safety regulation. In addition, all employees were able to undertake rapid antigen tests across all 50Hertz sites at least twice a week between February 2021 and June 2022. Many meeting rooms at company sites were equipped with measuring devices to ensure that they were being regularly ventilated. All employees were offered COVID-19 vaccinations on site until June 2021. Vaccinations (including booster shots) were then again offered to employees from November 2021 onwards. These measures helped to ensure that no major infection events occurred amongst staff in 2021. In addition, 50Hertz participated in the German advertising campaign “Get vaccinated now!” (“Impfen. Jetzt!”) to raise awareness of the need for getting vaccinated against the virus. According to the Handelsblatt Media Group, part of the total revenue invested in the campaign by different organisations was donated to projects and organisations supporting the fight against COVID-19. The campaign, which included posts on social media, will be broadened 2022.