Occupational safety, ergonomics and occupational health management
The health of its employees is an important concern for Audi. Audi seeks to maintain the fitness and satisfaction of its workforce over the long term with extensive occupational safety measures and a holistic occupational health management. Ergonomically designed workplaces play an important role.
Occupational safety is primarily about prevention. Occupational safety is intended to protect employees from work-related injuries and impairments to their health and is therefore a component of the fiduciary duty of the management. At Audi, all occupational safety measures are integrated into work processes. Audi is continuously improving working conditions in order to reduce physical and psychological strain on employees.
The increasing average age of the workforce is also taken into account. The company configures workplaces and working 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, Audi continually develops systems for improving workplace ergonomics. Visible examples include ergonomic assembly line seats in production and adjustable-height desks in offices. Specific training courses for the employees, as well as employees being able to submit their own suggestions for improvement, also promote the ergonomic design of workplaces and processes. For example, Audi has been testing the “chairless chair” in production for some time: The high-tech carbon construction enables employees to sit without a chair. It also ensures better posture and reduces strain on the legs.
The efficient interaction of man and machine also offers major opportunities for ergonomic improvements. At the main plant in Ingolstadt, Audi has deployed a robot in production that works hand in hand with humans – with no security barriers and perfectly tailored to the employee’s working speed. The robot is equipped with a camera and an integrated suction cup used to directly remove the parts from the load carriers and pass them to the employee – in an ergonomically optimal position.
Audi’s occupational health management is viewed as a concern for top management. It is based on a works agreement between the Works Council and the Company that groups all measures intended to maintain the physical and mental health of the employees.
An important tool is an individual preventive program for all employees called the Audi Checkup, which was instituted in July 2006. With modern diagnostic methods and comprehensive consultations, the Audi Checkup helps identify and avoid health risks early on. Participation is voluntary, free and can be accomplished during work hours. Other examples for occupational health management include vaccinations, help with stopping smoking and fitness courses as well as individual medical counseling – for work-related physical or mental health problems.