10/20/2009, Düsseldorf / Germany


From manufacture to application


In the Spotlight: Health and Safety

“Health and Safety” is one of the five focal areas in which Henkel endeavors to increase its contribution to sustainable development. Occupational health and product safety are, of course, integral to the approach adopted, as are health programs for employees and the provision of comprehensive consumer information.

Occupational health, environmental compatibility, product safety – these are just some of the issues that Henkel sees as integral to its focal area of “Health and Safety”. Every aspect of the value chain is incorporated in the Henkel concept. And the company is fully aware of the need not only for safety at the workplace but also for health management within the working environment. The production processes are designed to be as environmentally sound as possible, while comprehensive tests on the ingredients used guarantee the safety of the end product. Further, the company’s product developers are permanently at work improving application and processing safety for consumers and industrial clients alike. One typical outcome has been of low-dust tile adhesives which make the work of the craftsmen that use them significantly more convenient.

Safe and sound at work
In the field of occupational safety, adopting the right management attitudes and promoting the training and sensitization of employees are extremely important policy facets. Thanks to specific support and enhancement measures in these and related areas, Henkel has, over the period 1998 to 2007, been able to reduce the number of accidents at work by 86 percent. And from 2007 to 2012, the aim is to reduce the number of such incidents by a further 20 percent. The long-term objective is to achieve zero incidences. The early identification of hazards and the effective avoidance of risks are, of course, essential in this endeavor. Site-specific conditions are taken into account through regional and local initiatives and measures. For example, the beginning of September saw the introduction of a truly specialized kind of safety training course: as part of the Henkel Traffic Safety Weeks program, fork-lift truck operators tested a tilt/topple simulator in Düsseldorf. So they were able to experience exactly what happens when a fork-lift truck tilts and how such situations can be best avoided.

The Company Medical Service is also an important internal source of expertise and assistance. With specific health promotion programs aligned to employees of all the various age groups, Henkel creates the conditions needed to maintain the performance capabilities of its people over the long term. Henkel employees are provided not just with immediate assistance when they are ill, but can also participate in, for example, stress management, quit smoking and addiction prevention courses, as well as being offered precautionary examinations.

Health and safety in application – some examples
The European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation (ECARF) has given its seal of approval to Persil Sensitive as the first laundry detergent anywhere in the world to be recognized as specifically suitable for use by people with allergies. And Persil Sensitive already carries the endorsement of the German Allergy and Asthma Association (DAAB).

Fa Hygiene & Frische [Freshness] is the first liquid soap under the Fa brand to offer anti-bacterial and odor-neutralizing action. It provides a combination of effective protection, pure freshness and gentle care for the skin. The formulation with anti-bacterial ingredients thoroughly cleans hands and gently eliminates bacteria without causing dryness. And its special skin compatibility has been proven in dermatological tests.

Ceresit Microgranulate tile adhesive offers a further illustration of the Henkel approach. Compared to conventional tile adhesives which invariably give rise to clouds of particles when processed, this microgranulate formulation reduces dust evolution by around 90 percent. This protects the health of the user and there is significantly less dust settlement in adjacent rooms.

Henkel has also developed the first water-miscible, bactericide-free lubricoolants, which can also be replenished without the addition of bactericides. This new range of products under the Multan brand not only facilitates handling in production but also minimizes the health hazard to which operatives and other employees may be exposed. Consequently, they enable companies to successfully satisfy the EU Biocidal Products Directive right now. This is due to come into force in 2014, significantly restricting the use of bactericides in the workplace.
Sustainability at Henkel
For Henkel, sustainability means ensuring that the company meets the needs of the people today – without compromising the development opportunities of future generations – both through its brands and technologies and in its role as an employer of people. Hence Henkel has committed to ensuring that all its new products will make a contribution to sustainable development in at least one of its declared focal areas: “Energy and Climate”, “Water and Wastewater”, “Materials and Waste”, “Health and Safety”, and “Social Progress”.  This concept has proven to be an effective innovation driver and is already firmly anchored in the company’s development process. Finally, Henkel ensures that it keeps the entire value chain in perspective in all the activities that the company undertakes.

Henkel also provides extensive information on sustainability and corporate social responsibility, plus all the relevant rankings and ratings, on its website www.henkel/com/sustainability.

Henkel AG & Co. KGaA