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Occupational Safety

Occupational safety and health is an important subject of REWE Group’s Occupational Health Management. Occupational safety and health is aimed at sustainably improving the occupational safety and health of employees and safeguarding these in the long term. In particular, this involves measures to prevent accidents and work-related diseases and to design ergonomic workplaces.

Areas of action for internal occupational safety and health and prevention experts result primarily from regular inspections of the workplaces, analysing accidents and the causes of accidents, evaluations of the comprehensive reports from authorities on occupational safety and health as well as from the regular meetings of the Occupational Safety and Health Committees. Statutory areas of focus are regularly checked as part of a continuous development process and redeveloped where necessary. Current topics include preventing robberies, avoiding muscularskeletal strain and skin protection.

The entrepreneur and its executives are ultimately responsible for the safety and health of employees. Company physicians and experts for occupational safety and health promotion (FGASI) give advice and support.

Store Inspections

REWE Group carries out regular store inspections at its stores to guarantee healthy and safe workplaces. In doing so, the Group not only complies “formally” with statutory requirements, but through these inspections also helps to sustainably improve workplaces and work processes.

In the past, various checklists were conducted locally in stores in order to satisfy the statutory requirements in terms of food quality and hygiene and to evaluate the product quality for customers. The checklist records in occupational safety and health have been continuously developed to boost efficiency and increase transparency, and changed to EPD-supported formats where locally possible. In addition to documentation of the store inspections and the recommendation of relevant measures for implementation, the preparation of statutory risk assessment is provided for by the persons responsible.

The objective of keeping records by means of appropriate checklists and establishing a corresponding process is to develop a uniform, sustainable system for recording and evaluating high-risk sites, eliminating work-related risks and supporting health-promoting measures. In practice, the features of the respective business units are considered as a requirement.

Robbery Prevention Programme

Robbery in a store generally only lasts for a few minutes, but the shock lasts considerably longer. REWE Group’s prevention programme supports all employees quickly and comprehensively in this respect.

In cooperation with the German Social Accident Insurance Institution for the Trade and Distribution Industry (BGHW) and an external service provider, REWE Group has developed an education and prevention programme to better protect employees in stores against robberies and its consequences. The recommended measures include organisational and structural modifications. Furthermore, since 2007, specially trained external service providers offer de-escalation courses for employees. They teach them how to act correctly during a robbery. The top principle is to protect themselves and their health.

Another building block of the programme is professional aftercare. In close cooperation with specialists and the BGHW, REWE Group offers psychological aftercare to affected employees.

E-Learning Occupational Safety and Health

An electronic learning platform for occupational safety and health – initially for the REWE and PENNY business units with over 6,000 stores – has been developed together with human resources development, experts from occupational health management and future users. This e-learning course is aimed at employees in stores and also, using a special version, at the store managers responsible.

This establishes an extremely efficient method raising employee awareness to questions concerning occupational safety and health and health protection. Statutory principles and duties and rights in occupational safety and health are taken into consideration, in addition to tools such as dealing with roller containers, ladders, knives or machines. It also addresses the correct conduct in case of an emergency or fire, plus information on emergency exits and escape routes. Personal handling of hazardous substances and detergents, skin protection and ergonomics in the store round off the approximately 45-minute individual e-learning course. After successfully answering the test questions, employees receive a certificate as evidence. This obligatory course is a building block as part of the occupational safety and health instructions and has resulted in significantly greater acceptance and competence. The respective store managers complement this knowledge with appropriate information on specific risks at the store.