Occupational health and safety are important elements of Villeroy & Boch's Human Resources policy.
In addition to compliance with legally prescribed safety measures, occupational safety management concentrates on raising awareness of occupational safety and healthcare among employees. Villeroy & Boch not only meets important statutory thresholds, in some cases it is significantly below these upper limits. One important aspect is defining and complying with safety standards which are linked to strict criteria. Occupational safety processes are being successively harmonised throughout the group. Measurable indicators for accidents are also subject to a uniform evaluation in order to identify the results achieved and areas for improvement.
In view of factors such as demographic change and the need to create ergonomically designed workstations, our aim is to continuously improve our employees' working conditions and health.
In 2018, Villeroy & Boch was praised for its successful implementation of health and safety preventative measures at the Mettlach sanitary ware factory as part of the “VBG_NEXT – Developing Preventative Strategies Together” programme and received a certificate along with a letter from the Director of Prevention at VBG, Mr Weber.
Villeroy & Boch had received the VBG occupational safety award for its health and safety practices at the Mettlach factory in 2014. A jury of representatives from the statutory accident insurance company VBG as well as personalities from science and business recognised Villeroy & Boch's commitment to reducing physical strain on employees. The reason for the award of the special prize in the category "Think about me. Your back" was a project aimed at relieving manual handling of sanitary components in the Mettlach sanitary plant. The use of lifting aids to transfer ceramic products weighing up to 30 kilograms from the kiln car to the sorting belt, for example, has significantly reduced the individual burden placed on employees by lifting and carrying operations.
Since the introduction of our campaign, we have observed increased awareness of occupational safety among all employees.
Mieke Vandenborre, the QHSEE Manager (Quality, Health, Safety, Environment, Energy), works closely with the management team to raise health and safety awareness among the employees by using the bottom-up model. They address topics such as healthy diet and exercise as well as safety-conscious behaviour.
The “Safety Topic of the Month” was introduced in 2018: this is where a specific topic is discussed and preventative measures rehashed at the first team meeting of the month. In the following weeks, the employees then address this topic and receive the appropriate training at their workplace. This personal approach increases employee participation and vigilance necessary to prevent unsafe behaviour.