Healthy living and working
Competitiveness and productivity depend on a healthy and capable workforce. With excellent occupational safety and health protection programs, Audi seeks to maintain its employees’ ability and willingness to work as well as their level of job satisfaction over the long term.
Occupational safety is a component of the fiduciary duty of the management to protect employees from work-related injuries and impairments to their health. In parallel to this, Audi health management aims at maintaining and supporting the physical and mental abilities of employees throughout their lifetimes.
Occupational safety measures are integrated into all work processes and are primarily preventive measures. The priorities at Audi: Avoid accidents and damage to health, make equipment and work processes safe, and construct and design car components to be safe. As a result, the accident index at the company in 2014 was a low 3.1. This means that for every one million hours worked, an average of only 3.1 job-related accidents occurred that required at least one day of work to be missed.
The company’s occupational health management is viewed as a leadership function at Audi. Its key component is an individual preventive program for the entire workforce called the Audi Checkup, which was instituted in July 2006. With modern diagnostic methods and comprehensive consultations, the Audi Checkup helps employees recognize and avoid health risks early on. Participation is voluntary, free and can be accomplished during work hours. The result: With a level of 96.3 percent in 2014, for example, the work attendance rate of the workforce has been very high for years now.
Along with the Audi Checkup, the health management program includes many other preventive measures. These also include campaigns to promote a healthy lifestyle, informational events and training on healthy nutrition and exercise, but also preventive examinations and early screening for bowel cancer. Other examples include vaccinations, help in giving up smoking and addiction counseling as well as individual medical counseling – for work-related physical or mental health problems.
Modern societies are noting a constant increase in mental illnesses. More and more workers feel stressed at work – due to multitasking and high pressure to meet deadlines or achieve performance targets, among other things. To prevent psychological illnesses, Audi initiated the “Work and mental health” program back in 2007. The program is continuously updated. An early detection system for mental illnesses is integrated into the Audi Checkup and appointments with specialists are arranged at short notice.
Wherever possible, Audi reduces the burden of working conditions caused by noise, dust or chemicals. Audi also gives consideration to the increasing age of the workforce. The company configures work stations and work environments in accordance with scientific findings and practical experience from the working world. As a result, older employees as well as those with physical challenges and severe disabilities can continue to share their know-how and skills with Audi.
To systematically reduce the physical strain on employees – such as that caused by a poor working posture or by heavy lifting – Audi has developed systems for improving workplace ergonomics. Visible examples of such improvements include the ergonomic assembly line seats in production and the adjustable-height desks in offices. Special training courses and a suggestion program specifically for this purpose likewise promote the ergonomic design of workplaces and processes.
Dr. Joachim Stork, Head of Audi Health Care, and Peter Mosch, Chairman of the General Works Council, discuss occupational health management.