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Fig. 1. Ulrich Meesmann (front left), CEO of the BG RCI, and Peter Schrimpf, (front right), Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board at RAG, signed the cooperation agreement for implementation of the preventive strategy entitled “VISION ZERO. Zero accidents – healthy work practices” at RAG. // Bild 1. Ulrich Meesmann (v. l.), Geschäftsführer der BG RCI, und Peter Schrimpf (v. r.), stellvertretender Vorstandsvorsitzender der RAG, unterzeichneten die Kooperationsvereinbarung zur Umsetzung der Präventionsstrategie „VISION ZERO. Null Unfälle – gesund arbeiten!“ bei der RAG. Photo/Foto: RAG

Zero accidents – healthy work practices

RAG Aktiengesellschaft in Herne and the German Employers’ Liability Insurance Association for the Raw Materials and Chemical Industry (Berufsgenossenschaft Rohstoffe und chemische Industrie, BG RCI) in Heidelberg are engaged in close collaboration within the scope of implementing the preventive strategy entitled “VISION ZERO. Zero accidents – healthy work practices” (Figure 1). RAG and the BG RCI both firmly believe that the preventive strategy can help avoid accidents and occupational illnesses. Indeed, the coal mining industry in Germany is already considered the safest worldwide.

“The cooperation agreement is the next logical step for further advancing the prevention of workplace accidents and work-related health hazards at our companies. Health and safety at the workplace need to be recognised as elementary values. All executives, managers and employees must act according to their responsibility,” explains Peter Schrimpf, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board at RAG, who signed the agreement for RAG.

“Health and safety at the workplace is something dear to all of us,” explained Ulrich Meesmann, CEO of BG RCI. “We are all delighted to enter into this cooperation with RAG. The preventive strategy of the BG RCI, entitled “VISION ZERO. Zero accidents – healthy work practices” stipulates concrete objectives which are to be achieved by 2024.” Meesmann then went on to say that RAG is already playing an exemplary part in this field. The goal now is for the occupational accident risk to be reduced by a further 30 % and the number of fatal occupational accidents reduced by 50 %.

Ten points are listed in the agreement to ensure that sustainable improvements in health and safety can be advanced even further. Among other things, managers are to become qualified in implementing the success factors described in the VISION ZERO guidelines in their own area of responsibility. In addition to this, introduction of the German “Sicher mit System” (Systematic Safety) safety seal of approval is to be supported by the BG RCI.

RAG considers occupational health and safety to be equally as important as production and profitability. The idea is to use suitable preventative measures to continually and systematically further reduce the number of workplace accidents. Since 1995, the number of accidents recorded in the German coal mining industry has fallen by more than 90 % to 3.8 accidents per million man-hours in 2016. The measures implemented also include a group-wide occupational safety campaign, which is intended to set out safe procedures before, during and after mining work and remain in place until the end of German coal mining activities in 2018. RAG currently has around 7,300 employees. (RAG/Si.)