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2019 Sustainability Report
published 2020/08/01

Safety is a top priority

Health and safety in the workplace are important to us. Our primary focus is on prevention and employee training.

Avoiding accidents and occupational illnesses

Avoiding workplace accidents and occupational illnesses is a top priority at VAUDE. Therefore we invest in quality training for our employees and safe technologies. With the help of our streamlined yet effective internal occupational safety organization, we ensure that risks are recognized early and that we find solutions with (preventative) measures.

Professional support from experts

An external expert for occupational safety and a company physician advise and support VAUDE in the conception, implementation and review of all aspects of fire protection and occupational safety.

Altogether, eight employees serve as Safety Officers to ensure the safety of employees across all company divisions – they are deeply familiar with the processes in their own departments, are confronted daily with the working conditions there, and are familiar with the problems or dangers that can arise. They motivate their colleagues toward safe work practices and immediately inform their managers of any defects or hazards.

They also participate in regular inspections of all company divisions to monitor adherence to regulations and the existence of risks.

Company emergency responder officers available

We take strict care to provide the number of company emergency responder officers (EROs) required by the Occupational Safety and Health Act. We hold annual on-site first aid courses in cooperation with regional associations such as the German Red Cross in order to qualify new EROs and to provide retraining for our existing EROs at least every two years. In 2019 we trained a total of 34 employees in 2 courses.

Top-priority: occupational safety and fire protection

The internal coordinator for occupational safety reports directly to the executive management. As a contact person for internal and external groups, this person keeps VAUDE's occupational health and safety systems running.

In addition, the coordinator moderates the quarterly meetings of the Committee for Occupational Safety (ASA), which is made up of the external Occupational Safety Specialist, Safety Representatives and the senior management, the Head of Logistics Assistants, Maintenance and Manufacturing, the Occupational Health Management Coordinator and the company physician.

Occupational Safety

Recognizing potential for physical and psychological hazards

All managers are trained annually regarding industrial safety and health protection. Both legal requirements and safety-related expertise are conveyed. In 2017 this training fully reflected risk assessment for the different areas of activity.

With guidance from the Occupational Safety Specialist, managers also address potential physical and psychological stress at work that could lead to accidents or occupational illnesses.

Vested with this prior knowledge, they discuss specific risks and document results and action needed on the basis of a “traffic light system” with their respective employees. Thus employees gain insight into the risks of their work and can directly participate in the evaluation and establishment of preventive measures. Risk assessment is constantly updated and monitored by means of inspections with the company doctor and the Occupational Safety Specialist.

Occupational reintegration

Managers and employees are trained in risk assessment so that they can recognize early signs of physical or psychological stress at work and take counter measures. 

All employees who have missed more than six weeks of work due to illness in the past 12 months are offered an occupational reintegration program. An open discussion takes place covering any needs the employee has for reintegration into their job and what can be done to avoid future absences.

Occupational safety

Company physician available

An external company physician is regularly available on-site as a contact person. In addition to required medical examinations (e.g. for forklift drivers or childcare employees) a variety of voluntary preventative services are offered: health protection for travel to regions with special climate-related conditions, computer monitor vision assistance, as well as employee vaccinations can all be discussed and treated during working hours.

Nevertheless, if health issues arise, employees, managers, the company physician and the personnel department work together to find constructive solutions and to remedy the causes and symptoms.

No serious industrial accidents

VAUDE keeps a digital record of accidents. Each injury or accident that occurred during working hours or on the way to work is documented here. These are evaluated annually by the Occupational Safety Committee and measures for prevention are defined.

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GRI:   103
Management approach
GRI:   403-2
Types of injury and rates of injury, occupational diseases, lost days, and absenteeism, and number of work-related fatalities
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