Occupational health and safety

SFS aims to reduce the number of work-related injuries by 50% by 2025, as it gradually comes closer to its long-term goal of zero occupational accidents.


GRI 103-1 Explanation of the material topic and its boundary

SFS Group’s employees are critical to the company’s success. Creating a healthy and safe workplace environment for all employees is therefore a high priority issue at SFS. Labor-intensive production operations across international production platforms, often with high material feed rates, involve production processes that pose certain health and safety risks to these production line employees.

Workers who are not employees of SFS Group, but whose work and/or workplace are controlled by the company are covered by the same health and safety policies as SFS Group employees.

The following disclosures by SFS Group with respect to occupational health and safety cover 9,047 FTEs (employees of SFS Group) as at the end of the reporting period. This corresponds to approximately 86% of SFS Group’s entire workforce and most of these employees work in a production environment. They thus belong to the above-mentioned subset of employees who are exposed primarily to the identified health and safety risks. As the number of work-related injuries involving SFS employees in an office environment are zero or near-zero, this subset of employees is excluded from the following disclosures.

GRI 103-2 The management approach and its components

Our management approach to occupational health and safety is intended to eliminate or prevent negative effects through the following processes:

  • SFS protects the lives and health of its employees by maintaining a safe and healthy work environment.
  • After identification and assessment of hazards, negative incidents and risks, the company develops appropriate safety measures.
  • Preventive measures and programs such as the formulation and implementation of “10 SFS Safety Rules” help to avoid work-related injuries.
  • The company is engaged in a continuous dialogue with the employees in order to further improve its occupational health and safety performance.
  • SFS also encourages employees to take responsibility for their health: Through the preventive identification of hazards and an assessment of risks at one's own workplace, changes can be made at individual workplaces and injuries avoided.
  • Employees are required to report to their supervisors any situations or conditions that could jeopardize employee health or safety. They can also make suggestions or draw attention to any shortcomings and inadequacies (reporting of employee grievances).

In the reporting year, the total number of occupational accidents worldwide declined, compared to 2018, by 19% to 113. The total number of work days lost due to occupational accidents declined by 0.9% to 1,743 days.

New or improved safety programs such as “Integrated Safety” and “10 SFS Safety Rules” were approved by the Group Executive Board and will be rolled out at the production sites on an ongoing basis during 2020 in order to further lower the number of occupational accidents.

In order to further improve the health and safety of all employees, the ISO 45001 standard will be continuously implemented at SFS Group sites and where applicable also certified. Currently, four sites have received OHSAS 18001 certification. These sites will similarly transition to ISO 45001 during 2020.

SFS aims to reduce the number of work-related injuries by 50% by 2025, as it gradually comes closer to its long-term goal of zero occupational accidents.

Goal attainment and goal progress are initially decentralized tasks delegated to and performed by each individual site. This is under the control of both the site manager, who is responsible for the local work conditions, and the EHS manager, who is responsible for environmental issues and occupational health and safety.

EHS managers have been appointed at site, divisional and SFS Group levels. They are in regular contact with each other and enter their data into a central document. EHS managers plan and implement (corrective) measures as necessary, thus ensuring the best possible goal attainment for SFS Group.

In addition to the information disclosed in the financial section of the annual report (see financial report), SFS does not disclose any data that refers explicitly to the costs or investments pertaining to “Occupational health and safety”.

GRI 103-3 Evaluation of the management approach

SFS monitors and assesses the progress made towards defined goals and the implementation of measures and opportunities for improvement with the aid of management tools for assessment of the management approach. The findings of the management approach assessment provide the company with important information in terms of its quality management policies and the effectiveness of the measures taken. The management approach assessment process also helps SFS to identity any weaknesses early on and initiate appropriate corrective action. Internal and external audits are performed on an ongoing basis to confirm compliance with all applicable standards.


GRI 403-2 Type and rate of work-related injuries, work-related ill health, number of work days lost and lost time and number of work-related fatalities

The data presented is derived from all production-intensive sites at SFS Group (see GRI 103-1). As the data related to injuries at the subsidiaries is processed anonymously for privacy reasons, a breakdown by gender at Group level is not possible.

The rate for occupational accidents per 1,000 employees at SFS in 2019 was 12.5 (previous year: 16.3). The sites reported 113 occupational accidents compared with 140 in the previous year (≥ 1 day absence from work). There were 78 reported injuries in the EMEA region, 20 in the Americas region and 15 in Asia-Pacific. There were no fatalities as a result of work-related accidents during the reporting year.

Occupational accidents rate 2019
by regions
per 1'000
Region Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMEA) 18.8
Region America 45.0
Region Asia-Pacific 3.4
SFS Group total 12.5

*except for the organizational units Tegra Medical and TFC

The number of occupational accidents has been steadily reduced in recent years.