Occupational safety

One major company objective at Saint-Gobain Oberland is safe conduct: at work, with regard to the environment, and in the fulfilment of quality standards.

It is intrinsic to our corporate culture that employees can assert their right to a safe working environment and that adherence to occupational safety is also monitored by the company. A steady decrease in accidents at work is proof that this policy of active prevention is effective.

These principles have also been written into an Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety Charter:  

  • No accidents in the workplace!
  • No occupational illnesses!
  • No waste that’s not recyclable!

By implementing the following principles, every member of the company makes an active contribution every single day to the ambitious targets laid down in the Verallia EHS policy:

  • adherence to statutory regulations and the best management practices
  • prevention measures for all kinds of risks
  • measurable priorities and targets based on excellent performance standards at
  • comparable locations within the Group
  • expanded application of EHS policy to include all contractor employees assigned
  • jobs at Saint-Gobain sites on-going, responsible, and open dialogue with our partners (public authorities, customers, suppliers, etc.)

Health management

Regardless of whether you’re dealing with machines or working in an office, every job makes its very specific demands on mind and body. Since Saint-Gobain Oberland employees are exposed to different stresses and strains, the following three standards have been developed for the protection of all employees throughout the group:

  • NOS (noise standard)
  • TAS (toxic agent standard)
  • PLM (posture/lifting/movement standard)
  • 5S
  • Health management


NOS serves to identify, analyse, and monitor sources of noise in the workplace. The creation of a so-called noise risk matrix makes it possible to determine the noise pollution to which a particular individual entrusted with a specific set of duties is likely to be exposed; this in turn provides the necessary indicators for setting priorities when it comes to monitoring activities and tracking the progress of improvements.


TAS serves to identify, analyse and monitor toxic agents in the workplace. TAS examines the potential for toxic agent exposure of an employee entrusted with a certain set of duties. Here too a risk matrix is created, providing the necessary indicators for setting priorities when it comes to monitoring activities and tracking the progress of improvements.


The aim of PLM is to provide every Saint-Gobain employee with physical relief as they go about their work. Forced postures provide the key focus for this initiative: the lifting/raising of objects and heavy loads, standing and sitting postures, as well as repetitive movements involving certain limbs. This helps improve ergonomics in general, as well as the ergonomic methods of work stations and places affected by these four aspects. Specially developed software is used for the analysis and assessment of the data collected; the program is intended to help the managers responsible improve working conditions. The health of every Saint-Gobain employee is therefore actively promoted. All three standards are methods that allow any ongoing improvement to be objectively monitored.

5S method

Furthermore 2005 saw the introduction of the 5S method of work organisation which, with its 5 elements – sort, systematise, sanitise, standardise, and self-discipline, not only improves production but also increases safety in the workplace.

Health-promoting initiatives

Supported by the company health insurance fund, ergonomic workplace consulting involving various departments has been in place at our Essen site since 2006. Furthermore an ergonomics training course was founded in cooperation with the AOK in Bad Wurzach in 2008: it advises employees about the long-term consequences of non-ergonomical working practices and demonstrates ways of preventing physical strain. Courses held at the Bad Wurzach and Wirges plants have produced employees who have gone on to complete training as Ergo Scouts. On a day-to-day basis they provide a permanent point of contact for associated collegial concerns. Then there's the Wirges Balance Team: its members are continually coming up with new health initiatives and have been instrumental in the introduction of a healthy “balance” menu in the works canteen. “Apprenticeship health” is the latest project, intended for implementation with first-year apprentices.
Saint-Gobain Oberland employees are also encouraged to lead healthy lives outside the workplace, with health initiatives such as “Fahr mit, bleib fit” for heightened health awareness. Those cycling to work at least 20 times in the summer qualified for a cycling accessories prize draw.

Corporate Citizenship

Social involvement

Social engagement also extends beyond Saint-Gobain Oberland premises. In cooperation with the Technische Fachhochschule in Berlin, the Hochschule der Medien in Stuttgart and the Fachhochschule Geisenheim, students receive active support and training in the packaging material potential of glass. Moreover, our Girls’ Day is designed to provide girls eager to learn with insights into the different technical apprenticeships open to them at our plants.

Other social programmes include special deals for personal car insurance and pension funds offered by the

Hamburger Pensionskasse, open to all employees looking to save for an additional top-up pension.