Nr. 2018 | 2019 | 2020
Online Sustainability Report

Safe labor conditions

Fair and safe working conditions as well as the health and occupational safety of our employees are our highest priority.

We take on responsibility.

Maintaining health, guaranteeing occupational safety.

A company can only develop top-quality products and solutions in the long term if it actively promotes its employees’ health and productivity. OTTO FUCHS makes an above-average effort in the areas of occupational safety and health. As a metalworking company, we also rise to the challenges which are specific to our industry. Many of the work processes involve hazards, be it casting or forging metal, or handling hazardous substances and heavy-duty machinery. The long-term overarching objective of OTTO FUCHS is to bring the number of workplace accidents down to zero. Preventive measures at OTTO FUCHS KG in Meinerzhagen have already had a positive impact on accident incidence. We will continue to focus on active prevention and go significantly above and beyond the statutory regulations. A new health, safety, and environment (HSE) strategy was introduced at the German sites in 2017, and will be rolled out throughout the Group in the medium term.

To allow our employees to enjoy a long and healthy working life and to boost their awareness of health issues, we established a workplace health management (WHM) system and created the position of a health officer in 2016. The WHM system comprises a wide array of health promotion activities, including a company integration management program that helps employees return to work after an absence of six weeks or more due to injury or illness.

The frequency of accidents with lost time of three or more days was reduced by 73 percent at the Meinerzhagen site between 2000 and 2020.


OTTO FUCHS continuously works to improve workplace health and safety at all of its sites. These endeavors play a part in the company holding on to qualified employees in the long term, recruiting new workers, and reducing the costs incurred due to lost time. The risks vary from plant to plant. For example, not all the sites work with the same hazardous substances, and the accident patterns rarely repeat themselves. Locally adapted measures are based on the established OTTO FUCHS management processes.

One of the key instruments within the occupational health and safety management system is internal audits. OTTO FUCHS conducts regular short audits within the production departments at the Meinerzhagen site in order to monitor issues like occupational safety policy, duties and responsibilities, documentation, and incident investigations. The various focuses are determined randomly. Since 2016, the set of questions has also included elements relating to energy management. There are additionally combined audits that cover environmental protection and system safety. Weber Metals organizes monthly cross-departmental audits, for example, in which coworkers from other divisions review the hazard situation. At OTTO FUCHS Technology Shenyang, a comprehensive internal audit is conducted every December in the areas of health, safety, and the environment. Starting in 2018, OTTO FUCHS Hungary will conduct “HSE tours”, in which a different production area will be examined each month regarding occupational safety, health, emergency plans, and ergonomics, with any follow-up measures implemented also being reviewed.

OTTO FUCHS sees the statutory specifications for occupational health and safety management as minimum requirements. Compliance with safety standards, which are regularly spot-checked, are based on the international standard ISO 45001, which replaced OHSAS 18001 in March 2018. In addition to OTTO FUCHS KG, OTTO FUCHS Surface Technology, Foxtec-Ikhwezi in South Africa, OTTO FUCHS Technology in China and OTTO FUCHS Hungary in Hungary are currently certified according to ISO 45001. Certification of the Dülken site is a medium-term goal.


We familiarize new members of staff with the most important statutory and company rules regarding occupational safety before their first day at work. This instruction is then repeated annually. Each site also organizes training which is tailored to the site’s specific needs.  For example, OTTO FUCHS Hungary provides annual training on fire protection, health and ergonomics, and works closely with the regional health authority. In addition to their regular training, the employees at Weber Metals start each working day by going through a "Safety Checklist".

Lost-time injury frequency (LTIF) per 1 million hours worked in 2020

OTTO FUCHS strongly believes in the employees being able to have a bearing on their labor conditions and make suggestions for improvements. For example, all employees at all sites are represented by various committees in the area of occupational health and safety. The local design varies in each case. At Weber Metals, for example, every employee has a supervisor who represents his or her interest on occupational safety issues in the management committees.

Although there are no specific occupational diseases at OTTO FUCHS, preventive health care is becoming more and more important in all sectors. The reasons behind this include the increasing average age of the workforce and the ever greater requirements within the modern-day working world. In view of this, OTTO FUCHS KG introduced a workplace health management (WHM) system. Among other things, this helps to promote an allround understanding of health care and to incorporate health care topics into processes and structures, to allow the employees to enjoy a healthy working life. Since 2016, all the activities in this area have been managed centrally by a health officer with the support of the Health Steering Committee. Another element of the WHM system is the regular rounds of the continuous improvement process regarding health.

The key remits of the WHM system include the promotion of health, communication, addiction prevention, and analysis, for example on the basis of employee surveys. Other areas covered include company integration management, HR development, and leadership.

The Meinerzhagen plant conducts workplace visits with the company doctor every two weeks in order to develop and implement ideal ergonomic and therefore health-promoting workplace conditions for the employees. Workplace inspections are currently taking place more irregularly because of the pandemic. The labor conditions at Weber Metals are likewise examined regularly by a medical expert. In particular severely disabled people are supported at all the sites. In Germany, for example, such support is offered in the form of light jobs and workplace conversions. More than 10 percent of the OTTO FUCHS workforce in Germany is severely disabled, putting the Group well above the statutory requirement of 5 percent.

Steering through everyday working life safely with occupational safety and BGM.

OTTO FUCHS promotes all sorts of activities and campaigns that contribute to good health. For example, some 100 employees enter an AOK company run every year under the name of “Fitte Füchse” (“Fit Foxes”). And at the Meinerzhagen site, OTTO FUCHS gives all the employees the opportunity to lease a bike through the company. Around 800 employees have already chosen to make the most of the especially good leasing conditions. The site also organizes preventive checkups, back health days, flu vaccinations, and stress management courses, among other things. Additionally, the Health Steering Committee meets once a month to discuss the latest health care issues and decide on potential areas of action. The committee comprises representatives of the management, the HR department, the Production and Occupational Safety divisions, and the Works Council. The regular rounds are also attended by the company doctor, the severely disabled people’s representative, the marketing manager, and the WHM officer.

Anyone who is unable to work for an extended period – in total, for more than six weeks within a year – is legally entitled to reintegration support. OTTO FUCHS has created a company integration management system to this end, which helps employees find their feet again quickly at work and prevents new cases of sickness from occurring. This is founded first and foremost on a voluntary company integration management meeting that an employee is invited to attend by the HR department. At this meeting, the employee, their supervisors, the Works Council, the HR officers, and the severely disabled people’s representative jointly examine ways in which the employee’s work situation might be made easier, if necessary, for example by means of lifting aids, height-adjustable tables, or a tailored on-ramping period based on the “Hamburg model” of gradual workplace reintegration.


It’s the collective that matters here: Fit foxes: To make sure that every fox at OTTO FUCHS stays fit for as long as possible and to establish a culture of health to an increasing degree, BGM offers a wide range of services. These range from the classic cooperation with fitness studios, in-house course offers such as running and yoga to physiotherapy, preventive medical check-ups, nutrition lectures and addiction prevention measures.

As a partner of JobRad, our employees can obtain high-quality bicycles and pedelecs from the specialist dealer at favorable conditions and without additional expense

In addition to the OTTO FUCHS Football Cup, in which teams from the subsidiaries compete against each other, the company run is one of the annual must-do events for the fit foxes.