In this chapter:
The Volvo Group applies a holistic approach to workplace safety, health and wellbeing. Increased employee wellbeing leads to raised productivity, reduced costs and increased competitiveness.
Systematic approach to health and safety
A safe workplace creates the foundation for stimulating and efficient work. In accordance with the principles of the Volvo Group’s Code of Conduct, all employees have the right to a safe and healthy working environment and the conditions required shall be made available to all. All employees should also be provided access to information, support and other tools to reduce or eradicate health risks associated with work, lifestyle or emotional stress.
The Volvo Group strives not only to eradicate workplace risks and refine a safety culture – but also to establish health promotion as a core component of the company culture. The health coaches in Sweden are an inspiring example of this. Health coaches are employees who allocate part of their time to support and stimulate their colleagues to adopt healthy behaviors. All health coaches in Sweden (83 in 2012) are offered basic training and an annual update on knowledge, skills and experience.
In the US the Volvo Group has collaborated with Staywell on the Health for Life program since 2004. The award-winning program promotes health and wellness through weight management and nutrition programs, stress management campaigns with clinicians and experts, preventive health screenings, customized health coaching and healthy meal days.
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, but 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 may 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. Sometimes such programs and activities also include the family of the employee, in addition to what is provided by the social security system of respective countries.
Global policy for workplace safety, health and wellbeing
The policy for workplace safety, health and wellbeing provides guidance on how to ensure and continuously develop a safe and healthy workplace. It encourages employees to voice concern about physical, behavioral or emotional risks to be addressed.
In 2012 aligned reporting and analysis of safety related data was advanced further to establish discussions on real working life facts and figures.
New Group function
In December 2012 the Group Executive Team approved the establishment of a Group function for workplace safety, health and wellbeing. The human resources department at corporate level will have the responsibility for the strategic direction while the Group function for workplace safety, health and wellbeing will focus on the tactical level.
The new function will drive development activities and support all units in the Group with tools and methods. The units will participate in development activities and be responsible for the execution and implementation.
Examples of recent achievements
First-aid training in Poland
In 2012 the Volvo Group rescue team in Poland obtained the best results in the nation-wide Safe Company competition. It is the third time, since first participating in 2006, that the Volvo team won first place in the first-aid competition.
A one-hour theoretical first-aid training is mandatory for all new Volvo Group employees in Poland and since 2010 an intensive training program is offered to any employee who is interested in first aid. So far 134 people have taken the 24-hour intensive training and an additional 32 employees have participated in a professional training certified by an external agency to become qualified medical rescuers. In a situation where somebody’s health or life is in danger at the workplace or elsewhere, the trained employees are able to provide help before an ambulance arrives.
Employees with medical restrictions in France
In France the Volvo Group has developed a structured approach to keep employees with medical restrictions in their jobs. Medical restrictions can be the result of an accident, musculoskeletal disorders or chronic health issues.
Safety advisors, occupational doctors, ergonomists, managers and human resources representatives work closely together to improve and adapt the working environment of employees with specific medical needs. Most solutions are found on a case by case basis.
In 2012 the logistics center in Lyon identified a number of jobs that can be adapted and dedicated, in the long term, to various types of medical restrictions and do not negatively affect the job of co-workers. Under this initiative 26 adapted jobs were created and ten are in progress.
The Volvo Production System provides tools including occupational risk assessment, indicators to measure safety and health, and methodology for ergonomic workplace assessment.
Since 2012 all Volvo Construction Equipment sites have been OHSAS 18001-certified under a single global certificate. It represents 25 sites that are both production and administrative sites. Two production sites from Volvo Penta are also certified. OHSAS 18001 (Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Scheme) is an international standard for processes that control and improve company workplace safety and health performance.
The Environmental Data Reporting Tool (ERT) has been extended to include occupational health and safety issues, making it the Sustainability Data Reporting Tool (SDRT). The system will initially be used to report workplace safety data including numbers of work-related accidents (a reactive measure) and near misses (a proactive measure). This data is transformed to key performance indicators (KPIs), to be followed per site and per country as a means of keeping track of development. The aim is to reduce risks and accidents to a minimum. During 2012 the system has been tested and fine-tuned, and therefore no figures are yet reported.
Reporting and remedial action
Employees are responsible for reporting all work related 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 in specific long-term measures. In 2012 zero fatalities were reported.
Data relating to absences due to illness is collected on a country level based on national legislation, and followed, but not aggregated, on a Group level. The difference in definitions and national requirements when reporting makes it currently difficult to aggregate the information on a corporate level.