Occupational safety and health management

METRO GROUP places high priority on ensuring fair working conditions for all employees. Occupational safety and health management are fundamental to this effort. In a personnel-intensive industry such as retail, prevention, safety and health are essential – and we take action accordingly within clear and efficient structures. We have defined a specific organisational structure for occupational health and safety (OHS) for all METRO Cash & Carry countries, to be achieved through such measures as the designation of an OHS officer. METRO AG initiates OHS projects that are of interest across multiple companies and countries. Compiling lists of accident hot spots still remains the focus of attention. The developments of the past years, which are ultimately intended to result in a comprehensive international reporting system, have already led to initial follow-up measures. For example, minimum standards in dealing with forklifts were established at METRO Cash & Carry, a training document developed by MAKRO Cash & Carry Spain was adapted for all METRO Cash & Carry countries and a quiz was introduced for determining individual levels of knowledge on this subject. Defining such standards increases occupational safety for employees, particularly in those countries where the legal requirements are less stringent.

For METRO GROUP companies in Germany, a decline in accidents was recorded during the reporting period compared with the same period of the previous year. The 1,000-person rate was 21.9 for financial year 2014/15 (2013/14: 23.8). This figure denotes the relative accident frequency for every 1,000 full-time employees and corresponds to 1,655 reported accidents (2013/14: 1,792). Assuming a minimum absentee rate of just three days per reportable accident, we have thus reduced the average loss of productivity from about €975,700 to €934,200.

In accordance with our fundamental principle, “As local as possible and as global as necessary”, all companies also pursue their own projects in the area of occupational safety and health management: METRO Cash & Carry Germany successfully tested the hazard assessment for psychological stress and strain in several stores using the short psychological stress test procedure (Kurzverfahren Psychische Belastung) developed by the German industrial science association ifaa. The procedure will be used after qualifying local occupational safety specialists in all stores as well as at headquarters. The results will be amalgamated with the support of the occupational health office and used to identify action areas and develop specific solutions. In addition, METRO Cash & Carry Germany and the German Sport University Cologne implemented the “Gestaltung von alter(n)sgerechten Arbeitsplätzen” project (Designing Age-Appropriate Workplaces). The result is a catalogue of recommendations for designing all workplaces, for example, with optimised environmental conditions like noise, lighting, humidity and temperature as well as reduced physical strains.

Another example is the METRO Cash & Carry Russia initiative: the Leadership in Safety training session was implemented there. With the aim of improving the awareness of OHS among its own employees, customers and suppliers, the sales line in Russia launched a communication campaign and also developed a driver safety training programme.

Real and the trade and logistics guild Berufsgenossenschaft Handel und Warenlogistik completed the joint project “Gesunde Arbeit im Handel” (Healthy Work in Retail) in financial year 2014/15. The aim was to define feasible potential solutions for psychological stress in the working world. In the course of calendar year 2015, the measures generated within the project were implemented in the stores. The second focus of occupational safety at Real is the consistent analysis and reduction in the numbers of occupational accidents. As in 2014, the target is to remain 25 per cent below the industry average.

METRO AG as well as some METRO GROUP companies – including METRO Cash & Carry Germany and METRO PROPERTIES – offer employee support programmes. In total, around 3,500 employees in Germany alone have the opportunity to receive psychological counselling. In work-related conflict situations, but also in the event of private troubles, external experts are available who offer support in finding solutions.