In a production plant with numerous machines and tools, the safety of employees at work is a top priority. The following guidelines basically cover all employees – however, precautions are more comprehensive for employees in production because the risk potential is greater in these areas.
Policies and prevention
EVVA naturally complies with all occupational health and safety laws and fulfils the stipulated training requirements (e.g. for the operation of machines). However, the company goes many steps further to better identify sources of danger and initiate preventive measures.
- At headquarters, the following officers are jointly responsible for occupational health and safety and risk analysis and are immediately available in case of an emergency:
- 2 safety specialists
- 4 safety officers
- 1 company doctor
- 19 fire prevention officers
- 36 first aiders for first aid
- 3 lift control rooms
- 2 poison officers
- 2 environmental/disposal/working materials officers
- 1 hazardous goods officer
- In the corona pandemic, EVVA has taken intensive preventive measures to protect the health of all employees and help mitigate the pandemic. Our company's Corona protection programme includes strict hygiene measures, clear guidelines concerning the mandatory face masks, teleworking, internal and external communication of rules of conduct, FAQ, checklist for suspected cases, checklist for external visitors, fever measuring devices at the entrance, Covid 19 test lanes at the headquarters with free antigen tests and – as soon as possible – also protective vaccinations.
The labour inspectorate and industrial health practitioners who inspected the Corona measures at headquarters explicitly praised EVVA's Corona measures as "best practice"
EVVA has transferred the previous safety and health measures for employees to an expanded health management system in 2021. It covers the core issues
– Health promotion (company sports, stress management, nutrition ...),
– Occupational health and safety (prevention, healthy and safe work, occupational health care, workplace inspections ...),
– Company integration management BEM (to make it easier for employees who have been on sick leave for a long time to return to work, return talks ...)
– Personnel development (healthy leadership, health-related training, ...)
This company health management should manage our initiatives relating to occupational safety and health protection in an even more structured way and further reduce the number of sick leave days
- Once a year, the ASA (Occupational Safety Committee) discusses current topics and laws and how these can be optimally implemented within EVVA. Participants are safety experts, industrial health practitioners, fire safety officers, works council and management.
- The EPOS initiative ("EVVAs ProductionsOptimised System") at the headquarters has been bundling all optimisation projects in production since 2018 – including those for occupational safety, workplace cleanliness and environmental protection. Production employees answer 35 questions twice a year based on a multi-level assessment scheme, e.g. on the condition of work equipment. EVVA deduces and implements further optimisation measures from these findings. Employees can also identify and report hazards themselves at any time independently of the EPOS rounds: to their supervisor, to the safety specialists, via the ASA, to the works council or directly to the management.
- In every employee survey (most recently at the beginning of 2020), EVVA undertakes the legally required "evaluation of mental stress at the place of work".
- The "Quality and Process Management" division coordinates the ongoing risk analysis and assessment for the entire company. It also includes occupational health and safety for employees and customers
- The safety specialists carry out all internal occupational safety training and are the first point of contact if problems or incidents occur
- In addition, all information and rules of conduct on occupational safety can be viewed at any time on the intranet, vis-a-vis the works council and at neuralgic points in the building. Such as the checklist in the event of emergencies, emergency numbers, behaviour in the event of fire, handling hazardous substances and employee instruction, for example for forklift drivers
- You can find out more about EVVA’s services for employees in health promotion (such as healthy lunch, offers from the company doctor, medical lectures or running events) under Employee satisfaction
Measures and challenges
Serious accidents at work are very rare at EVVA; the 7 accidents in 2021 in the following statistics are minor injuries such as cuts or bruises. The accidents at work have only a maximum of 3 sick days followed.
Accidents at work
In 2018/2019, there was one serious accident and one minor accident in the electroplating department at headquarters, where processes involving chemicals for surface treatment were not executed correctly. It caused coughing in the immediate vicinity. The electroplating area was immediately both isolated and ventilated. The rescue chain worked perfectly, 8 people were medically examined or treated. One employee was more severely affected and took extended sick leave. The comprehensive analyses have shown that the incident was caused by human error.
The processes in our galvanic/electroplating are subject to strict safety requirements and are regularly checked. They were nevertheless analysed again after incidents. After all, even if all relevant laws are complied with, additional measures can make such accidents even less likely. EVVA has been converting several electroplating processes since 2020 (for example, from solid to liquid, in order to automate the supply of materials). Other safety precautions in the galvanic are, for example:
- 4-eye principle: When preparing the chemicals and filling the galvanic baths, another specialist is always present to avoid incorrect application or mixing.
- This person also checks that every part of the protective equipment - such as gloves, mask, and apron - is actually worn by the person carrying out the work.
- Preparations should no longer be done just before the end of the working day, as this can lead to rapid, error-prone work.
- Additional training and emergency drills are carried out.
- The chemicals for the cleaning bath have been switched from solid (powder) to liquid; those for the nickel bath remain solid. Reason: This makes mixing even less likely. A liquid supply can also be easily automated.
- Step-by-step instructions via a digital worker assistant with monitor and integrated scale for dosing. Each step – including putting on protective equipment – must first be confirmed before the next one can be implemented.
EVVA implemented additional measures to further increase occupational safety:
- SOSU rounds (SOSU stands in German for safety, order, cleanliness, environmental protection) since 2020. In these internal, unannounced audits, EVVA checks compliance with safety, environmental protection and lean management standards. Is personal protective equipment always used, does it have to be replaced? Are all protective devices still intact? Are there new pitfalls? Or undiscovered leaks in the compressed air system? Is waste properly recycled and disposed of, e.g. cardboard? Deviations are documented and all targets are checked
- Ergonomically designed work islands in assembly areas (e.g. all work equipment within optimal reach, height-adjustable tables and chairs and ergonomically designed screwdrivers, etc.).
- Introduction of a digital ergonomics toolbox. This tool collects and documents workplace loading – and generates suggestions for improvement in workplace configuration. It was developed by EVVA in cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute
- New protective equipment, e.g. special gloves that help prevent cuts and new anti-static sole shoes for use in electronics production. They protect the employees and the electronic components from electrostatic discharge. At the same time, a new access control system was installed in this area to prevent access without these shoes
- Floor unevenness was found at individual workplaces in the Viennese production facility (old building). Several work groups, such as cylinder assembly, have already moved to the new annex. The existing assembly halls, in which these irregularities are located, are gradually being renovated and redesigned in the course of the relocation.
- Easier-to-operate transport trolleys (photo) replaced the transport skids previously used in warehouse logistics. A significant long-term ergonomic benefit considering their intense, daily use.
- 4 defibrillators are located at various points in the headquarters, and can be used immediately and very easily in emergencies, even by lay persons.
- At EVVA Germany, employees can make use of the statutory "company integration management" (BEM) after a prolonged illness. The objective of the BEM is to keep employees healthy. With this offer, EVVA would like to support employees in the recovery process and in their return to everyday work. In this context, EVVA works with TÜV Rheinland, which provides neutral and competent specialists and advises on health and social security issues, etc. BEM is a voluntary scheme offered to employees
Fulfilment date: Postponed from 2022 to 2023/2024. The joint planning and coordination for the safety day with external lecturers could not be carried out by the end of 2022 as originally planned. Therefore, this target will be implemented by 2024.
How: EVVA will hold its own safety day for all employees at its headquarters – in cooperation with the labour inspectorate and the authorities. The great importance of occupational safety and health protection is to be conveyed in a very practical way via various hands-on stations, e.g. the correct operation of a fire extinguisher, the correct use of safety equipment, the correct use of hearing protection, etc.
Positive effects: Make employees even more aware of occupational safety and bring it closer to them personally – not only for employees with a greater need for protective measures, as in the past, but for everyone.
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