• All safety data compiled in ESTER for the first time
  • Corporate health promotion: focus on mental fitness
  • Further digitalization in the areas of transportation safety and logistics

Strategy and management

Protecting the health, safety, and employability of our employees and preventing accidents and incidents at work and in the operation of our production facilities are of central importance to Evonik. That is also reflected in the UN Sustainable Development Goals of relevance to Evonik. The aim of our high safety standards is to prevent accidents and fatalities and avoid damage to health and the environment. That includes both our employees and contractors’ employees during their working hours, commuting, and transportation of goods. Another goal is to prevent Evonik from releasing hazardous substances into the environment and to exclude damage to our production facilities resulting from inadequate safety precautions. We take into consideration both internal and external factors such as extreme weather, manipulation, and terrorist attacks.

The group-wide management of occupational and plant safety at Evonik is based on global policies, processes, and systems. These are an integral part of our integrated management systems. We use centrally planned internal audits to evaluate the implementation of the applicable rules and regulations and identify the scope for optimization. Our internal processes are supplemented by external audits by certification bodies. The ESHQ function is responsible for the standardization of mission-critical processes for all divisions. Requirements and the need for action are defined in binding targets based on performance indicators. Accident frequency is also reflected in the variable remuneration of members of the executive board.

We have developed the Safety at Evonik culture initiative into a group-wide management approach for all aspects of occupational and transportation safety. It defines binding principles of action that give our managers and employees, including personnel from staffing agencies, reliable guidance on safety-compliant conduct in their daily work. We have supplemented this initiative with Safety at Evonik 2025. The individual elements of this program are being implemented as planned. They include ongoing development of our occupational safety indicators.

Our progress in 2022

We continued to roll out and improve our global ESHQ software, ESTER (Evonik Standard Tool ESHQ and Reporting) at all production sites worldwide in the reporting period. Three modules—incident management, hazard assessment, and management of change—are now in use worldwide. ESTER harmonizes processes throughout the Evonik Group, makes workflows leaner, and broadens our database so we can evaluate and improve our safety performance. All relevant indicators and reports are available in a central database (single point of truth), which is updated several times a day. The most important data on our safety performance are available to all employees via an intranet dashboard. Employees can also view the information on their Evonik smartphones.

Goals of ESTER

Occupational safety

Strategy and management

We have always paid special attention to occupational safety, which also includes safety on the way to and from work and the safety of contractors’ employees working at our sites. The key performance indicator for occupational safety at Evonik is the lost time injury rate (LTI-R). In 2022, we once again achieved our target of remaining below the defined minimum LTI-R of 0.26 accidents involving Evonik employees resulting in absences of at least one full shift per 200,000 working hours. The LTI-R was 0.25, and therefore at a good level relative to the target and back at the pre-Covid level.

The LTI-R for contractors’ employees was 0.43, which was far lower than in the previous year. We consider that to be a good development. While accidents caused by workers tripping, slipping or falling were around the same level, only two accidents involved exposure to substances.

In 2022, there were no fatal accidents involving our employees’ or contractors’ employees either at our sites or during commuting. Four employees were seriously injured in accidents. However, there were no accidents resulting in more than six months’ absence from work

Plant safety

Strategy and management

Safety is the basic precondition for the operation of our facilities and their performance. It is therefore the basis for reliable, effective, and future-oriented production. We set demanding safety standards for the entire life cycle of our plants worldwide. We regard safety as an all-around task, which is established worldwide through our safety management systems and regularly reviewed.

The key performance indicator for plant safety at Evonik is the process safety incident rate (PSI-R). This is used to monitor the number of incidents in production plants involving the release of substances, fire, or explosion (process safety incidents) in line with the Cefic definition.

Our PSI-R was 0.49 in the reporting period, so we failed to meet our target of remaining below the upper limit of 0.40. This was mainly attributable to incidents involving the release of substances.

Health protection and promotion

Strategy and management

Global management of health protection and promotion at Evonik takes a long-term, holistic approach, covering employees, the working situation, and the general working environment. Our approach to health protection and promotion includes high-quality medical care as required, applying ergonomic and health-related measures to structure working conditions and a functioning emergency management system at plant level. Our aim is to meet all statutory requirements on occupational health and safety and avoid high rates of sickness-related absence.

We offer our employees a range of voluntary measures to foster their health. These are bundled in the group-wide Well@Work initiative. In this way, we support a healthy lifestyle. A family-friendly human resources policy that takes account of different phases in employees’ lives and supports a good work-life balance is important to Evonik. Appropriate offerings are designed to counter a poor work-life balance and the increase in mental health and stress-related illness. Our health protection and promotion measures are also available to all employees, including personnel from staffing agencies.

Ongoing pandemic-related measures

Occupational health protection was still confronted with special challenges in 2022 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. There were pandemic plans in place at all sites worldwide. The steering bodies were active at group, regional, and site levels. The Evonik steering committee issued binding global instructions for the group. Based on these, local committees defined measures aligned to their situation. In Germany, the works agreement on COVID-19 concluded with representatives of the workforce was adapted again, and new aspects were added.

Through the defined measures, combined with systematic and extensive case and quarantine management, we were largely able to avoid infection chains and clusters at our sites.

Corporate health promotion

Our Well@Work program centers on three central areas: exercise, a healthy diet, and work-life balance. Mental fitness was added as a new aspect in 2021. Our corporate health promotion activities center on basic programs with a long-term focus to encourage employees to adopt a healthy lifestyle. These are supplemented by health campaigns, which change every year. At all of our German sites, there are interdisciplinary health task forces to implement Well@Work. The Care & Support program in Germany enables employees to contact the company medical service with private medical questions. They are given advice and support. In the event of illnesses requiring treatment, they are referred to their general practitioner or a specialist physician.

In view of the ongoing pandemic, we continued our online health promotion offerings in 2022. Alongside online talks on a wide variety of aspects, our #GesunddurchsJahr offerings for employees in Germany included advice on ergonomics and healthy eating during periods spent working from home, online exercise sessions to encourage activity during lunch breaks, and online get-togethers for personal interaction. We continued to offer coronavirus vaccines and our fall influenza vaccine program. Our health campaign was dedicated to screening for colorectal cancer and high blood pressure. Maintaining the long-term employability and well-being of our employees was also at the heart of our fit-for-life seminars, which run over several days. We were able to resume these seminars in 2022 after the pandemic-related break.

Worldwide, around 95 percent of our workforce can seek advice on workplace-related, personal, or family problems from social and employee counseling centers.

Transportation safety and logistics

Strategy and management

Our aim is to minimize risk at all stages in the shipping process—from loading right through transportation to unloading. We take special care when shipping dangerous goods. Moreover, our safety standards for especially dangerous products and raw materials go beyond the regulations for such substances. In the reporting period, we systematically continued our focus on sustainability and the use of alternative engine systems in transportation.

To support safe transportation by logistics partners, the use of requirements profiles for logistics service providers, collection by customers, and warehouse service providers is common practice at Evonik in Europe. In addition to quality management, the specific aims of these profiles are to ensure safety, make sure loads are properly secured, and take environmental and sustainability aspects into account in the transportation and storage of chemicals.

Prioritizing climate-efficient trucks

Evonik continued its strategic focus on intermodal shipment of packaged goods across Europe in 2022. Priority is still being given to alternative drive systems for road traffic in Europe. Evonik and various logistics companies have set up a joint initiative to show how climate protection can already be put into practice in the transportation of goods. The focus is on the increased use of trucks that run on climate-friendly biogas in order to reduce CO2 emissions. For example, one of our partners uses two bio-LNG heavy-goods trucks to transport packaged goods from our sites in Wesseling and Marl in Germany to Eastern Europe. LNG trucks are also used for all road shipments of packaged and palletized goods from our Wesseling site to nearby destinations.

back to top