Surprise visit: Voith CEO Dr. Hubert Lienhard personally thanks the apprentices for 365 days without an accident at the Voith Training Center Heidenheim
Occupational safety – an issue that affects everyone
Occupational safety is an issue that involves all colleagues at Voith: from management and supervisors to all employees, trainees and apprentices. The overarching goal is to design work stations and processes in such a way as to avoid accidents and incapacity to work due to work-related incidents to the greatest extent possible.
Provisions on occupational health and safety have been firmly anchored in the Group’s target since 2009. All relevant information is recorded and controlled through a management system pursuant to international standards, and many Voith sites are certified according to these standards. Among the system’s key elements is the documentation of all safety-related incidents, a special internal auditing system and occupational safety programs.
Documenting, analyzing and communicating accidents
An important lever in continuously improving occupational safety is to document, analyze and then fully communicate accidents. The positive statistics of accident-free days at the Voith Training Center, for example, is prominently displayed on a monitor in the reception area for visitors.
Since the implementation of the management system at all Voith locations in 2009, the company has been able to continuously improve on its occupational safety record. The frequency rate compiled according to international standards – the number of accidents per million working hours – has been steadily reduced. With a frequency rate of 2.0, Voith has achieved its own goal in the business year 2013/2014.
Voith has received several awards for outstanding safety. One of these was from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, which awarded the Voith location in York, USA, the “Governor's Award for Safety Excellence” in 2014. This award acknowledges employers’ improved occupational safety for employees. In addition, the Voith location in Sacramento, California, received the “Golden Gate Safety Award” in the same year.
Apprentices have been recognized several times, too, for their commitment to occupational safety: The second-year class of apprentices at Voith in Crailsheim in February 2015 received the Apprentice Award of the “Berufsgenossenschaft Holz und Metall Nord Süd”. The awarded project "Occupational Safety – Learned at Work, Applied at Home" had made them realize that the high safety standards in their workplace also had a positive impact on their safety consciousness in their leisure time. Voith had also won this award previously, in 2012.
Occupational safety and accident prevention is communicated to apprentices and trainees from day one at Voith. And it is not all theory: Various work projects communicate the different aspects of occupational safety to the young Voith employees in a hands-on way.
Voith Training Center Heidenheim
The Voith Training Center Heidenheim (VTC) was opened in May 2014 and has since trained around 130 young people in industrial, technical and commercial professions. Currently approx. 130 apprentices are being trained for their chosen profession. Voith apprentices are regularly awarded prizes for their outstanding performance.
But not only special knowledge and skills of the respective apprenticeships are imparted in the Voith Training Center: It also serves as a training center for Voith’s skilled workers and managers. Further education and training for young trainees, job starters and experienced managers – this innovative concept is also reflected in the building’s design. Here, maximum transparency meets flexible, innovative architecture with resource-preserving building technology. Just as innovative is the layout of the training workshop, a large open room on the ground floor. Voith apprentices are trained here together, across different occupations, at the Heidenheim location for up to three years for their respective profession.
About the company
Voith sets standards in the markets energy, oil & gas, paper, raw materials and transport & automotive. Founded in 1867, Voith employs more than 20,000 people, generates € 4.3 billion in sales, operates in more than 60 countries around the world and is today one of the largest family-owned companies in Europe.*
* Excluding the discontinued Group Division Voith Industrial Services.