Health and Safety

Health and Safety

STILL has set itself some ambitious health and safety targets. One of the key sustainability targets set out in KION’s corporate strategy is to reduce the accident rate in the workplace and the number of days lost due to illness. To this end, in 2018 STILL established an integrated HSE (health, safety, and environment) management system. New job roles were also created and skilled experts appointed to ensure the smooth roll-out of the necessary changes and initiatives.

In implementing its HSE management system, STILL applies the Group-wide ‘5 Golden Rules of Occupational Safety,’ which were introduced in 2019 and provide helpful guidance on specific actions that managers and employees can take to reduce the rate of accidents. These rules are communicated to staff across Group and have been instrumental in continually improving workplace safety standards at STILL.

Another Group-wide policy, the KION HSE Standard, was also updated and rolled out in 2022. This standard defines the basic requirements and processes that must be observed across the Group. Its contents reflect the specific requirements of different job roles and regions and are continually updated to reflect changing business conditions.

At STILL, these Group-wide standards provide the foundation for its operational HSE activities. The company’s detailed regulations often go beyond the basic health and safety standards required by law, because STILL is committed to creating the safest-possible working environment for its employees, while at the same time minimizing its environmental impact.

Health and safety forms part of STILL’s corporate strategy – including with respect to its external business partners. It is vital that the activities of these businesses do not put the safety of its own employees or STILL’s employees or visitors at risk and that all applicable safety regulations are observed.

Health Protection

STILL relies on a series of interconnected measures to protect the health of its staff. These include healthy workplaces designed in line with the German Occupational Health and Safety Act (ASiG), well-organized and effective first-aid systems, medical consultations and examinations, preventive healthcare services, and addiction support.

Medical care at STILL is provided by the company doctor, paramedic, and a team of first aiders. Together with a team of safety specialists, these staff members ensure that STILL has expertise in place to effectively meet the occupational health and safety requirements set out in law.

At the end of August 2022, a pilot project was launched in partnership with a rehabilitation provider to deliver basic workplace physiotherapy services. This has had an extremely positive impact for both the workplace and staff and was made a regular fixture in January 2023.

Safety: Prevention Rather Than Response

The HSE management system covers all relevant workplace safety issues and ensures that staff have a clear understanding of the most important safety processes. This helps increase awareness and lays the foundation for positive behavioral change in the workplace among both staff and managers. The HSE management system is underpinned by a series of interconnected policies, including STILL’s policy for handling hazardous substances and agents, emergency procedures, and a process for analyzing accidents and near-misses.

Regular and detailed risk analyses are conducted for all STILL activities and workplaces, including both internal production and office facilities and the external working environments encountered by service technicians on-site at customer premises. The aim of these analyses is to ensure that employees come to work healthy, return home healthy, and end their careers without any preventable damage having been done to their health. The risk analyses also evaluate workplace impacts on employees’ mental health, including a systematic analysis of the risks posed to employees’ mental health by stress, mental fatigue, monotony, mental saturation, and emotional exhaustion, as well as the concrete actions needed to improve the situation.

Sites Subjects to a Risk Analysis
2022 2021 2020
89% 93.3% 92%

Handling Hazardous Substances and Agents

Hazardous substances and agents must be handled with care at all times. An interdisciplinary committee for hazardous substances therefore monitors all listed substances and related safety data sheets, legal requirements, and usage instructions. The committee also suggests opportunities to switch to less hazardous alternatives, defines safety precautions, and is responsible for approving new substances.

All employees that work with hazardous substances and all individuals that could come into contact with these substances are given verbal instruction in how to use the substance safely, both before they use it for the first time and at least once per year after that. This training covers the potential risks, safety precautions, instructions for use, and actions to be taken in case of an emergency. Where appropriate, practical exercises also form part of the training. If a health and safety risk cannot practically be removed, personal protective equipment (PPE) must be used.

According to the group-wide HSE Standards, regular measurements must also be taken to monitor exposure to hazardous substances during production processes. This monitoring covers chemicals, odors, and noise levels. Based on the findings from this monitoring, STILL is gradually replacing its manual welding stations with robotic welding systems, as well as installing ventilation systems at steel construction sites and improving the soldering processes for its mechatronics work, in order to better protect its employees against exposure to hazardous substances. The potential for exposure to emissions and hazardous substances is also key factor in the planning and procurement of new machinery and plants.

Emergency Procedures

How employees respond to an emergency situation (such as an accident, fire, or other unforeseen event) has a significant bearing on the incident outcome. STILL has therefore devised an emergency procedure to ensure these situations are handled quickly, appropriately, and in a well-organized manner.

Up-to-date emergency plans—with a bulleted list of the key action points—are displayed at all STILL sites in a clearly visible location, e.g. close to the entrances or alongside fire extinguishers. Responsibility for creating these emergency plans lies with the site management and they are supported in this task by their team of safety specialists and fire officers (where available).

Change Management

Change management is a proven process for monitoring HSE risks and dangers resulting from changes to facilities, operational procedures, or staffing within an organization. Right from the initial planning phase, STILL is committed to assessing and minimizing any potential risks in terms of health and safety, quality standards, energy procurement, and environmental protection.

The company has an established documentation process in place for workplace approvals, which governs the procedure for approving new workplaces, machinery/plants, and equipment/materials. The process is designed to support managers in deciding whether a new workplace, machinery/plant, or operating material can be commissioned without compromising the health and safety of employees.

Process for Analyzing Accidents and Near-Misses

Accidents and near-misses are recorded and carefully analyzed across all sites using a variety of different tools. All the parties involved (the person involved in the accident, their line manager, the HSE department, site management, etc.) are questioned in detail about what happened and the surrounding circumstances, and based on this information the cause of the accident is identified, a cause-and-effect (Ishikawa) diagram is created, and appropriate action is defined.

In Switzerland, for example, a specialist reporting app has been introduced to help staff learn lessons from unsafe and dangerous situations. Employees are encouraged to report risky or dangerous situations (where an accident was narrowly avoided) using the online app, so that action can be taken to prevent similar situations in future. Details of the situations reported and actions taken are available for all employees to view on the intranet.


All STILL employees receive regular health and safety training. Before starting work, new employees must complete mandatory training in the specific risks associated with their workplace/role, the necessary safety precautions, and how best to respond to dangerous situations. All employees must also complete this training at least once per year. Health and safety information is communicated in conversations between line managers and employees, and staff are encouraged to promote a positive health and safety culture.

Safety training is tailored to the individual workplace and covers the specific risks encountered there (as identified in risk analyses) as well as any operational lessons learned. The training is provided by the responsible manager and may include the following topics:

  • Company HSE policy
  • Employee and manager responsibilities with respect to safety
  • Emergency protocols (raising the alarm, escape routes, assembly point, etc.)
  • Procedure for reporting accidents within the company
  • Contact information in case of emergencies
  • First aid and emergency equipment
  • Fire procedure and firefighting equipment
  • General company safety precautions
  • Alcohol and smoking policies
  • Availability and use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Safe handling of hazardous substances
  • Safe use of machinery, cranes, and forklift trucks
  • Company’s environmental obligations
  • Potentially explosive areas
  • Performance of manual tasks
  • Wellbeing and hygiene
  • Safe use of hand-held tools and portable electrical devices
  • Safety awareness, incentives, and training to address specific areas of conduct

Additional ad hoc training should also be provided—most importantly following an accident or near-miss. If employees miss a training session, they must complete the outstanding training at the earliest possible opportunity.

Employees That Received Health and Safety Training
2022 2021 2020
94% 100%  100% 

Management of External Contractors

Before starting work for STILL, external contractors must inform their employees and, if applicable, their subcontractors of the requirements set out in STILL’s HSE information sheet. Each time there is a change in personnel, new staff must also be instructed in the specific HSE requirements for a workplace/construction site prior to starting work and must repeat this training at least once per year after that.

Additional Measures

STILL has also introduced the following measures and initiatives to improve workplace safety standards at its sites:

  • Since 2022, STILL Romania has been updating the documentation on its HSE e-learning platform and changing the test questions every six months, in order to increase employee awareness of safety issues.
  • In June 2023, STILL Hamburg invited all employees to take part in a safety action day on the theme ‘Profis arbeiten immer sicher’ [Professionals always put safety first]. During the day, employees had the chance to refresh their practical safety skills—relevant at work, at home, and in their free time – by visiting the event’s six different stations, where members of STILL’s safety team, the company doctor, and a member of the Hamburg police force provided entertaining, informative, and practical presentations, including raising awareness of the importance of handling heavy or sharp objects and hot or harmful substances with care.
  • On June 27, 2023, STILL launched SAFETY STARTS WITH YOU, a training program aimed specifically at STILL’s service technicians around the world, which is delivered via the Workday learning platform in the technicians’ local language. Technicians often work alone—particularly when on-site at a customer’s premises—and have to be able to improvise, make quick decisions, and adapt to the situation on the ground. To help prevent accidents, the training program identifies the eight most common causes of accidents and highlights them in four short videos, which the technicians are prompted to watch every two weeks. The videos feature two colleagues that find themselves in unsafe situations but are able to recognize the dangers and keep themselves safe. Rather than lecturing, the videos are designed to be both fun and accessible.
  • In 2015, STILL introduced a process designed to change attitudes and behavior with respect to workplace safety. Since behavioral change cannot be forced and only happens when staff feel motivated to change their way of thinking, the process takes a psychological approach centered around discussions and meaningful communication. The benefits of the process have been communicated across the company through relevant training. The aim, in doing so, is to create a sense of shared responsibility for safety, with everyone committed to the same goal of preventing workplace accidents wherever possible.

Safety officers meet regularly with management staff, the HSE department, and the works council to share information about the latest health and safety developments and discuss topics relevant to the company’s business operations.

Sites with an Official Joint Health and Safety Board
2022 2021 2020
87.1% 80% 84%

Workplace Safety Key Performance Indicators

The lost time injury frequency rate is the key performance indicator (KPI) used to measure progress towards to the sustainability target of reducing the number workplace accidents and days lost due to illness (LTIFR1). The LTIFR represents the number of workplace accidents recorded, per one million hours worked during the reporting period, that resulted in an employee being off work for at least one day. The target is to reduce this KPI—and consequently the accident frequency rate—by at least five percent per year.

LTIFR (lost time injury frequency rate)1
2022 2021 2020
12.3 15.6 14.9

[1] Number of accidents per one million hours worked that resulted in an employee being off work for at least one day

LTI (lost time injuries)2
2022 2021 2020
Employees including apprentices 168 203 169
Employees with fixed-term contracts 13 8 3
Contractors, guests, other 0 1 0

[2] Number of workplace accidents that resulted in an employee being off work for at least one day

Audits and Certifications

The purpose of HSE certifications and regular audits is to ensure that all internal and external HSE requirements are being met and that rapid action is taken as necessary to address cases of non-compliance. To this end, all production locations and almost all sales organizations are certified in line with current labor and environmental standards (ISO 14001, ISO 45001, and ISO 50001). Feedback from the certification and audit process also provides valuable strategic insights that help inform future actions and initiatives.

Sites Certified to ISO 45001 Standard
2022 2021 2020
88.5% 87.2% 71%

A report detailing the activities of the different HSE departments within the KION Group Operating Units is produced each year based on data collected using the software program WeSustain. Regular reports are also published on progress achieved with respect to labor standards. As well as keeping the management informed about the latest progress, these reports are instrumental in defining targets and shaping future actions.

Internal reporting also provides the basis for the systematic analysis of current health and safety standards and potential areas for improvement. Likewise, the annual risk analysis conducted in line with the KION HSE Standard provides important insights in this area. The results of this risk analysis are used to define actions that local organizations can take to prevent injuries, illness, and damaging impacts on the environment.

In addition, all sites in Germany undergo an external HSE risk analysis, every three years or less, to verify that they are compliant with the health and safety standards set out in law.

STILL pursues a focused and coordinated approach to achieving its HSE targets in close consultation with the responsible Group management. This process is supported, in particular, by the audits conducted as part of its HSE management certification and to ensure compliance with Group-wide HSE standards. In addition, the company conducts its own internal HSE audits across all of its departments each year.

Together, these mechanisms provide STILL with a robust process for continual improvement, which ultimately fosters a positive HSE culture among all its employees.