Sicherheit und Gesundheit
Safety & Health 2022
Safety and health
Safety and health are fundamentally important issues for Messer. Safety is the license for our work, the prerequisite for us to be able to operate as a commercial enterprise at all. We see it as our obligation to offer the highest level of safety to our teams in the plants and in the technical and administrative workplaces, to the people who control our logistics and our vehicles, and to our clientele who use our gases.
Our materiality matrix also reflects the importance of occupational safety and health: both are firmly anchored in our company, as they are in our industry. The importance of safety to all areas of our business is also emphasized in our mission statement, our corporate values and our internal policies. We have a proven commitment to safety, empowering our employees to make continuous improvements in this area.
An internal safety survey was launched throughout Europe in the reporting year. People from top and middle management, area specialists and employees in the plants were surveyed. There was a very high participation rate in all departments, which was key to the success of the survey and to making our company even safer. In addition, the engagement of those who took part reflected our shared commitment to safety. We will analyze the results of the safety survey and use them to expand our concept for a practical, yet effective, safety strategy.
In 2022, measures to protect our employees from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continued. The organizational and communication structure established for this purpose again proved its worth and enabled us to respond to the pandemic in a timely, appropriate and effective manner. Our pandemic teams provided information both on instructions from the health authorities and on internal measures to protect employees. The functioning coordination, exemplary team discipline, in-house vaccination offers and very high vaccination readiness within the workforce were important prerequisites for meeting the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic in the best possible way.
Safety of our employees
Our network of safety officers investigates and records all safety-related incidents at Messer. Information and training materials help to further improve the safe use of our products and applications and to promote safe behavior among employees in the various workplaces.
The number of reported occupational accidents with work impact at Messer decreased from 48 in 2021 to 47 in 2022. The loss of working hours rate per million hours worked (accident frequency rate) decreased slightly from 2.18 in 2021 to 2.05 in the reporting year. The number of lost workdays (occupational accident severity rate) per million hours worked increased from 69.15 in 2021 to 70.07 in 2022. A total of 96 notified occupational accidents were recorded in 2022, 15 more than in the previous year. The accident frequency rate of reportable occupational accidents per million hours worked increased from 3.67 to 4.20. Unfortunately, we suffered one fatality within Messer's workforce last year.
Safety Week 2022
From September 12 to 16, "Safety Week 2022" was held at Messer's international sites. They had the opportunity to make one day their "Safety Day 2022" within the "Safety Week". Under the guiding theme of "Behavioral Safety", the aim was to further raise awareness of safe behavior in the workplace. Among other things, communication between managers and employees was strengthened in safety talks. In addition, Messer's international teams found further ways to focus on safe behavior in the workplace in an interesting and convincing way.
UN Goals Safety & Health
Examples for the implementation of the Safety Week 2022
Safety of our employees Examples
Americas: Launch of Safer Together behavior-based safety program
To intensify our commitment to making safety a company-wide priority and shared responsibility, Messer Americas launched a new behavior-based program called Safer Together in 2022. Safer Together is designed to improve workplace safety by encouraging all employees and contractors to discuss safety, address hazards and identify corrective actions to help prevent incidents and reduce injuries openly, proactively and positively. A corporate video reinforcing key messages from the program was shared internally and externally, and an additional video called “Messer – Day in the Life” demonstrated how employees commit to safety every day.
Awards in the field of safety
Messer is an active member of the EIGA (European Industrial Gases Association), the IOMA (International Oxygen Manufacturers Association), the AIGA (Asian Industrial Gases Association) and the CGA (Compressed Gas Association). Our experts regularly exchange experience and knowledge because the protection of our employees, the safe manufacture, use and handling of our products, and the responsible conduct are important parts of our corporate values.
Internally, we recognize outstanding achievements in the area of SHEQ with the “Messer SHEQ Award”. In 2022, it was presented at our international SHEQ meeting for the period 2020 to 2021. The “Best Performer” award went to Messer Croatia Plin d.o.o., Messer France S.A.S. won the “Best Improver” award. Dr. Udo Kohl, SVP Corporate SHEQ, and Stefan Messer, at that time CEO Messer SE & Co. KGaA, personally presented the awards to Hrvoje Rogic, Head of SHEQ Messer Croatia, and Olivier Bagel, Director SHEQ Messer France, who accepted the awards on behalf of their teams.
EIGA awards for safety performance
Safety of our customers
The safety of the people who work with our industrial gases is of paramount importance to Messer. That is why we are also raising awareness of the safe handling of gas cylinders among our customers. New video clips provide basic information on the contents, transport, handling and connection of gas cylinders. To accompany the videos, "Pocket Guides" bundle safety-relevant information in a compact print format.
Safety of our logistics and vehicles
In addition to complying with legal regulations, Messer uses a proven transport safety concept. In Europe, we are committed to paying particular attention to the safety of our vehicle fleet as part of the European Road Safety Charter. The safety measures we have developed for logistics at national and international level include a constant exchange of experience between logistics and safety personnel, with the aim of further improving safety in this area.
While Messer's American companies use their own personnel to transport gases, external companies are primarily entrusted with this task for other regions. They are also responsible for carrying out the legally required training of the driving personnel. We supplement this with a driver training program developed by Messer Corporate Logistics. It is supported by an on-board computer system, which has been in use since 2019 and records safety-relevant driving data. In addition, based on driving data and integrated sensor technology, it prompts drivers to adapt their driving style during the journey. This makes our transports even safer and helps consume less fuel.
The on-board computer system helps to reduce the absolute number of accidents and further improve the accident frequency rate, as do appropriate supplier management, training and manuals for driving personnel with individually tailored content for the operation of bulk, cylinder or service vehicles, and technical aids.
In 2022, the number of preventable accidents during the transport of our cylinder gases worldwide was 56, compared with 74 in the previous year. This improvement is reflected in the accident frequency rate per million kilometers driven, which fell from 2.13 in 2021 to 1.59 in the reporting year. The number of preventable accidents involving the transport of liquefied gases was 161 in 2021, compared with 193 in 2022. This trend is confirmed by the frequency rate per million kilometers driven: from 0.8 in the previous year, it increased to 0.96 in 2022.
Top performance at the wheel and in logistics
With the "Messer Logistic Awards", we honored exemplary behavior in transportation and logistics in 2022 with reference to the year 2021. The "Best Driver 2021" came from Romania. The "Best Performer 2021" logistics award went to Messer in Croatia. The "Most Improved 2021" logistics award for the greatest improvement over the previous year went to the Messer team in Slovakia. Various driving parameters, which are recorded using an on-board telemetry system, serve as the basis for evaluating driving performance.
Messer advises its customers from the medical sector, supplies gases as medicinal products or medical devices, plans, assembles and maintains supply systems and offers medical accessories and consumables as part of a complete service package in more than 20 countries.
Our activities in the pharmaceutical sector meet the relevant requirements at national, European and international level. This applies in particular to the requirements of European Good Manufacturing Practice (EU-GMP) and the specifications of the European Pharmacopoeia. As a medical device, our gases comply with the Medical Devices Regulation (EU 2017/745), the previously applicable Medical Devices Directives and the corresponding national laws.
We ensure continuous product and delivery quality through internal audits, a unified pharmacovigilance system, and validated workflows and computer systems.