Health and safety

Promoting health, safety and wellbeing

Healthy, energetic employees are better equipped for life and work. The Volvo Group applies a holistic approach to health and wellbeing and strives to integrate health aspects in all corporate policies. We are committed to developing safe and health-promoting workplaces that increase employee wellbeing and productivity, reduce costs and contribute to an attractive workplace. The objective is to make employees of the Volvo Group among the healthiest in the world.

Global policy for health, workplace safety and wellbeing

The policy provides guidance on how to ensure a safe and healthy workplace and encourage employees to voice concern about risks that need to be addressed.

In 2011 the implementation continued and self-assessments were launched in order to support the implementation process, raise awareness and to ensure a common approach for follow-up.

The policy provides guidance on how to ensure a safe and healthy workplace and encourage employees to voice concern about risks that need to be addressed.

Award inspires good health

The internal Volvo Group Workplace safety, health and wellbeing award was founded in 2006 with the aim of promoting good examples and inspire others within the Group to continuously develop workplace safety, health and wellbeing issues.

In 2011, Renault Trucks' Stress prevention program in France was presented with the award. The stress management program includes assessments of stress levels among both groups and individuals and action plans to prevent and avoid negative stress. The commendation from the Prize committee: “Avoiding negative stress is of strategic importance if people are to make the most of their resources, in an effort to develop personally and professionally. The Award is granted to Renault Trucks as a tribute to many years of dedicated work within this important area, and the experiences gained will be available to share within the Volvo Group globally.”

Systematic approach to health and safety

A safe workplace creates the foundation for productive and efficient work. In accordance with the principles of our Code of Conduct, all employees have the right to a safe and healthy working environment. The conditions required for a safe and healthy work environment shall be made available to all employees in the Volvo Group. We seek to provide all employees with access to information and support to reduce or eradicate health risks associated with work, lifestyle or emotional stress.

However, the Volvo Group strives not only to eradicate risks and develop a safety culture – but also to establish and develop health promotion as a core component of the company culture. Health coaches – employees who allocate part of their time to support and stimulate their colleagues to adopt healthy behaviors – are one example of this. In Sweden, the number has increased from about 50 to approximately 90 health coaches. All health coaches are offered basic training, and an annual update.

Managers at all levels share the responsibility of guaranteeing the high level of safety expected by employees, suppliers and visitors. Managers are responsible for safety precautions.

Workplace safety is also subject to national requirements and regulations; hence the adaption of policies, guidelines and training material to national laws and regulations.

The Volvo Group’s global health and wellbeing work include for example medical examinations, rehabilitation support, ergonomics, different health promotion programs and activities and various employee assistance programs such as support to quit smoking. In some instances such programs and activities also include the family of the employee depending on the social security system in the country.

Management systems

The Volvo Production System provides tools including occupational risk assessment, indicators to measure safety and health, and methodology for ergonomic workplace assessment.

In 2011, the Environmental Data System was extended to include occupational health and safety issues. The tool will, initially, be used to report workplace safety data such as numbers of work-related accidents (a reactive measure) and near misses (a proactive measure). This data will then be transformed to key performance indicators (KPIs), to be followed per site and per country, as a means to keep track of the development and with the aim of reducing risks and accidents to an absolute minimum.

Three of our plants in the US have earned certification in accordance with OHSAS 18001. OHSAS 18001 (Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Scheme) is an international standard for processes that control and improve company workplace safety and health performance.

Reporting and remedial action

Employees are responsible for reporting all accidents and incidents to enable the investigation and identification of root causes so that immediate corrective action can be taken. Depending on the conditions, a detailed analysis of the incident may conclude that more long-term measures would be more effective. In 2011, one fatality was reported from one of our production plants in India.

Data relating to absence due to illness is collected on a country level, based on national legislation. Because of differences in definitions and national requirements when it comes to reporting, this information is currently not aggregated on a Group level.