Occupational safety and health management
As an international retail company, we are facing a variety of challenges in the area of human resources, such as the competition for quality personnel in the retail and wholesale industry sector and the demographic changes in our society as well as our workforce. This awareness raises the priority of issues such as occupational safety and health management as well as preventative measures aimed at protecting our personnel at METRO. METRO Großhandelsgesellschaft mbH, Real SB-Warenhaus GmbH, METRO AG, METRO Services GmbH, METRO LOGISTICS Germany GmbH, METRO SYSTEMS GmbH as well as METRO PROPERTIES GmbH & Co. KG have implemented a reporting system that allows for an evaluation of the causes of accidents and the identification of areas with high accident rates as well as especially vulnerable employee groups. The reporting system covered 97% of employees of German METRO group companies during the reporting period. The companies listed above have been able to reduce the number of accidents compared to the equivalent period in the previous year. In financial year 2016/17, an accident rate of 31.1 per 1,000 employees was determined for these companies (2015/16: 30.9). Regarding the accident ratio per 1,000 employees, accidents (not including commuting accidents) are recorded with a downtime of more than 3 days. This figure denotes the relative accident frequency for every 1,000 full-time employees and corresponds to 1,341 reported accidents (2015/16: 1,401).
In order to comply with international reporting standards, the accident ratio per 1,000 employees will be replaced by the Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR). This system records the number of accidents that cause a downtime of at least 1 day (excluding the day of the accident) per 1 million working hours. Deaths and long-term incapacity or disability are also included, but commuting accidents are not. The LTIFR for the companies listed above is 45.0 for financial year 2016/17. Assuming a minimum sick leave of 3 days per reportable accident, the average loss of productivity therefore decreased from approximately €806,300 last year to approximately €763,200 in the year under review for these companies.
To make our employees understand that occupational safety is the responsibility of every single employee, we participate in the World Day for Safety and Health at Work, an initiative by the International Labour Organization (ILO), which is held on 28 April of each year.
As a basic instrument for the management of occupational safety and health, we have introduced a standard process description for METRO Cash & Carry, METRO AG, METRO PROPERTIES, METRO LOGISTICS and METRO SYSTEMS during the reporting period. This description documents the responsibilities, the structure and the areas of activity for occupational safety and a proactive health management system and defines minimum standards. Our companies implemented numerous projects on a national and local level that related to occupational safety and health management during financial year 2016/17: in cooperation with the trade association trade and goods logistics (Berufsgenossenschaft Handel und Warenlogistik, BGHW) Real concluded the project “Healthy Work in Retail” with a focus on psychological stress.
METRO AG and a number of service companies with registered offices in Düsseldorf have agreed on a standardised process for assessing the potential risks incurred by being exposed to psychological stress at the workplace. A pilot project under the leadership of METRO AG conducted a simultaneous risk assessment at all participating companies: All employees received an online questionnaire on potential psychological stress experienced at their workplace.
In a cooperation project with the trade association trade and goods logistics (Berufsgenossenschaft Handel und Warenlogistik BGHW), Real contributed to the development of a certain range of instruments for the assessment of risks caused by exposure to psychological stress at the workplace. The “health workshop”, an instrument developed specifically for Real, was trialled and conducted in 15 Real outlets over the reporting years 2015/16 and 2016/17. Additionally, a version that is geared to industry-specific requirements and entails less effort was trialled in another Real outlet in financial year 2016/17. The long-term objective of Real is to further reduce the number of accidents and to achieve an accident ratio that is 25% below the average for the retail risk class. The accident ratio at Real is currently 15% below the average. Real intends to achieve this objective by increasing the accountability of its executives for occupational safety. Moreover, current work accidents will become a regular item on the agenda of meetings of the Occupational Safety and Health Committee. The company physician will be involved in the review of work accidents. Other measures are currently being developed. Real intends to further develop the risk assessment process in the upcoming financial year and trial an online tool provided by the trade association BGHW.