Can a theater play help reduce the number of accidents in a company? Yes, if it motivates leaders, for example, to increase occupational safety for their employees. This is what happened at the Packaging Steel business unit at the beginning of the year. The play "ErnstFall" about an overworked supervisor who succumbs to the temptations of the seductive "Pro Forma" and falls victim to the diabolical "ErnstFall" was performed. In the audience: almost 400 executives and OSH managers from the BU, which produces high-quality packaging steel.

In January, the play marked the start of a very special campaign for occupational safety and accident prevention: "OSH Year 2023 - Our Year for Safety and Health". The core of the campaign, which is still ongoing, is for all leaders to hold at least three workshops with their teams on OSH topics this year. The goal is to further develop "the safety and health culture by promoting proactive ways of thinking and behaving." The campaign is Packaging Steel's response to rising accident figures, which are often due to non-safety behaviors caused by a lack of hazard awareness. The focus is therefore also on measures aimed at changing behavior and raising employees' awareness of risks in the workplace.

The first measures resulting from the workshops are already being implemented. For example, articles on behavior-based risk factors are published at regular intervals in the company media to further raise awareness of OSH. Learning walks are designed to help improve behavior-based workplace safety by changing attitudes and habits.

The campaign earned the business unit first place in the we care Award 2023. The award was presented for the eighth time this year.

The we care Award aims to continuously improve the safety and health culture at thyssenkrupp. Teams from 16 countries sent a total of 40 applications to the jury this time.

Second place went to Materials Services for "RiskBuster@MX". The project addresses the main accident black spots in the segment. These include accidents involving forklifts and suspended loads as well as injuries to hands and arms. These accident blackspots were visualized and thus made more tangible for employees and managers. Three videos were produced, which can be accessed both from home and as training material in the local branches. The project was supported by a trained stuntman who was able to bring an additional perspective to the topic - and also embodied the "RiskBuster" in the videos. "RiskBuster@MX" is designed as a long-term intervention and will be continued as a series. The videos will continue to be available to all employees and managers and will be used in the Daily Safety Talks.

The jury awarded the third prize to the colleagues of the Rothe Erde business unit at the site in India. In August 2022, they established an EHS Academy focusing on environment (environmental management), health (health protection) and safety (occupational safety), which invites employees to exchange views on these topics. The academy is located in a purpose-built room equipped with both safety equipment, such as fire-fighting resources, and training material. The material includes, for example, information on fire safety, safety measures for lifting loads and the safe use of equipment.

The judges wrote that they did not make the decision on the award easily. "We received many great applications," they share. "A big thank you goes out to all of our colleagues who do good every day to improve their OSH culture in a sustainable way." The three winners can look forward to 7,000 euros, 5,000 euros and 3,000 euros respectively for a team event.

The current accident figures show that thyssenkrupp is on the right track in the OSH area - also thanks to the we care Award. The accident frequency rate, which indicates the number of accidents resulting in at least one day's absence from work per million hours worked, is 2.3 for the period October 2022 to August 2023. The accident frequency rate has fallen continuously from a value of 14.0 in fiscal year 2007/08 and has not exceeded 3.0 in the past six years.

But even though the development of the accident frequency rate is cause for celebration: It only reflects in retrospect what needs to be done beforehand in terms of occupational health and safety. The basis for this is a safety and health culture "in which safety and health are given high priority, rules exist and are followed, employees look out for each other and all employees act accordingly," as it says in the contribution to the we care Award. Such a culture is not simply there, it must be introduced and cultivated.

And: The accident frequency rate is, of course, not an end in itself. Every accident prevented spares and protects the life and health of an employee. High standards of occupational health and safety also lead to greater job satisfaction, with positive effects on motivation and performance. In addition, low absenteeism benefits operational processes and productivity. This also gives occupational health and safety an economic dimension - which can even be measured. The German Social Accident Insurance DGUV, for example, has presented a study that quantifies the so-called RoP factor (Return on Prevention). The RoP factor indicates how high the prevention benefit of an occupational safety measure is. According to the DGUV, this factor is 2.2, which means that every euro invested in prevention yields 2.20 euros in economic terms.

There are therefore many good reasons to anchor the topic of OSH in the everyday working lives of all thyssenkrupp employees and to keep it on the agenda. The annual presentation of the we care Award is a particularly good occasion for this.

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