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 sector such as retail, prevention, safety and health are essential, and their importance continues to grow as a result of demographic change. We respond to these requirements with circumspect and structured activities. This is reflected in our accident reporting, among others, which covers more than 95 per cent of METRO GROUP employees. Real, METRO Cash & Carry as well as METRO AG, METRO SYSTEMS and METRO PROPERTIES have implemented a 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. This enables us to identify hazard spots and define targeted countermeasures. For METRO GROUP companies in Germany, an increase in accidents was recorded during the reporting period compared with the same period of the previous year. The 1,000-person rate was 22.6 for financial year 2015/16 (2014/15: 21.9). This figure denotes the relative accident frequency for every 1,000 full-time employees and corresponds to 1,691 reported accidents (2014/15: 1,655). Assuming a minimum absentee rate of just three days per reportable accident, the average loss of productivity therefore increased from about €934,200 to about €946,100.
To avoid accidents, we continue to focus on occupational safety training. For this reason, we continued to promote the development of our own training library in financial year 2015/16 as well. One training programme developed by METRO LOGISTICS for handling forklift trucks was prepared in such a way that it can be used internationally.
In order to raise awareness that ensuring occupational safety is a duty of all employees, we participated in the initiative of the International Labour Organization (ILO): on 28 April 2016, we staged our first international World Day for Safety and Health at Work in eight METRO Cash & Carry national subsidiaries. As part of a competition, our employees demonstrated their understanding of occupational safety and health management. This measure was accompanied by the adoption of a binding standard process description for METRO Cash & Carry, METRO AG, METRO PROPERTIES, METRO LOGISTICS and METRO SYSTEMS. This description outlines the structure and area of activity for occupational safety, an active health management system as well as clear responsibilities, and sets minimum standards.
Also at the national and local levels, our companies implemented numerous projects on the subject of occupational safety and health management during financial year 2015/16. In cooperation with the BGHW – the German employers’ liability insurance association for trade and logistics – Real concluded the project “Healthy Work in Retail” with a focus on psychological stress. During the reporting period, practical procedures and instruments were developed for implementation in the stores. These included the PegA expert check, a psychological-stress inspection protocol for managers, as well as the PegA team instrument, an instrument for on-site employee participation in the form of health workshops. In financial year 2015/16, the health workshop was conducted in ten Real stores. Real’s occupational safety focus is still on reducing the number of accidents. The objective is to remain 25 per cent below the average figure in the hazard class for retail on an ongoing basis.
After qualification of the local safety specialists, METRO Cash & Carry Germany carried out the risk assessment for psychological stress with the “Short Procedure on Psychological Burden” in all stores and in the headquarter. The results will now be evaluated with the support of the occupational health office and used to identify action areas and develop specific solutions. As a preventive measure, METRO Cash & Carry Germany is also conducting the risk assessment to identify stress on the musculoskeletal system. After successful testing of the key indicator method used for this, the procedure will be adopted in all stores and the related action planning will be continued.
Other examples of local initiatives include the introduction of mindfulness seminars at METRO Cash & Carry Belgium as a response to stress-related illnesses, and the implementation of a stress test at METRO Cash & Carry Japan.
METRO AG as well as several METRO GROUP companies based at METRO AG’s headquarters in Düsseldorf offer employee support programmes. In total, around 3,500 employees 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.
Media-Saturn’s Greek subsidiary received the “HR & Health Award” for “Excellence in Workplace Wellbeing” in October 2015. Aside from first-aid classes and safety courses on fire prevention and firefighting, the programme also includes an offer of psychological support from trained psychologists and life coaches.