Only healthy and satisfied staff can be successful with their work for a business. Energie AG works to ensure awareness and personal responsibility around quality and occupational safety among its employees. Preventive action and information are used to prevent work-related adverse health conditions and staff are directed to be more conscious in their approach to health through the energy@work project. If an individual has already fallen ill, the company takes steps to promote their recovery. Energie AG’s company health management policy was awarded the “Betriebliche Gesundheitsförderung” (Workplace Health Promotion) seal of approval (except for the Czech Republic and Waste Management segments), which is valid in its current form until 2019. The Group will be reapplying for this classification next year, which if approved would extend until 2022.
Topical issues are discussed and solutions are developed in regular health meetings, including employee representatives, occupational health professionals and safety management specialists. Weekly exercise programmes at a number of work sites also promote health awareness. The range of occupational healthcare services includes extensive contact during consultation hours and vaccination campaigns. A “Mental Health at Work Service Line” is also available to all employees in Austria in order to provide support in the event of personal problems or conflicts.
Energie AG ensures that the specifications of the Employee Protection Act and the associated regulations are consistently observed throughout the Group, and that appropriate preventative measures are implemented. In the 2018/2019 fiscal year, around 85 announced and unannounced workplace and construction site inspections were carried out by safety experts and occupational health professionals together with those responsible on site and/or Energie AG Group management (previous year: 95). Office workplaces were reviewed to assure ergonomic design and, if necessary, adjusted to keep the number of musculoskeletal conditions among employees as low as possible.
A total of 101 reportable work incidents were registered (previous year: 82), which corresponds to an accident rate of 20.63 accidents per 1,000 employees (previous year: 17.46 per 1,000 employees) 14). The accident severity amounted to an average of 24.37 days of sick leave per work accident (previous year: 24.67). Converted to an international indicator value, this corresponds to an LTIF (Lost Time Injury Frequency) of 11.85 per 1,000,000 working hours (previous year: 10.89). Energie AG is happy to report that again no fatal work accidents occurred in the 2018/2019 fiscal year.
A closer look on the work accidents reveals a picture that varies in national characteristics and, in particular, the different areas of activity within the Energie AG Group. The Waste Management segment had a higher accident rate than the rest of the company’s segments, and these figures are somewhat higher than average for this industry.
The number of accidents in the Waste Management segment increased in the 2018/2019 fiscal year while the number of lost days fell. In the 2006/2007 fiscal year, the Waste Management segment’s management system was expanded to include certification of occupational health and safety (OHSAS 18001:2007) and will be transitioned to ISO 45001:2018 in the 2019/2020 fiscal year. In addition, a feasibility study was launched in the 2018/2019 fiscal year to improve occupational safety.
A particular challenge was posed by the organisational changes in the year under review 2018/2019. While the merger of the sales forces to form the new Erzeugung GmbH did not present a problem in terms of employee protection, aligning the structures of Energie AG Oberösterreich Kraftwerke GmbH (Kraftwerke GmbH) and Energie AG Oberösterreich Wärme GmbH (Wärme GmbH) was proved challenging. The aim was to create uniform standards for everything from workwear to personal protective equipment (PPE). In addition, the organisational responsibility of the safety representatives had to be redefined.
The legally required training courses regarding hazards, health, safety and risk prevention steps are regularly held throughout the Energie AG Group. The short briefings were extended to include several new topics and are available for employees to access online. Following the successful implementation of fire safety training in an e-learning format in the 2017/2018 fiscal year, the Group has also developed and is now testing other general topics, such as lifting and carrying, using elevating work platforms, working with industrial substances, ladders and steps, computer workstations and preventing falls.
In addition to the briefings, a large number of subject-specific training courses were conducted during the period under review. Employees of contractors in the technical and electrical engineering sectors are also allowed to attend if they required additional training. In addition to training courses on working with live electrical equipment, meter changes and operational use authorisation, training modules on low and high voltage electrical system operation and management authorisation were also offered, along with other safety-related topics such as construction work coordination.
New safety representatives, fire safety officers and fire wardens were appointed for the Energy segment in the 2018/2019 fiscal year. Once again, more people were appointed to occupational safety and health and fire safety positions than required by the legal framework. This is a testament to the positive access to occupational safety and health resources available within the Group. In the Energy segment, new appointments are made to all these positions every four years.