Promoting Health and Safety
Safety in the Workplace
The health and safety of our employees is a top priority for Vonovia. The company uses its professional health and safety management policy to minimize potential hazards and promote a working atmosphere that effectively protects all employees from health risks in the workplace. We design working processes and structures that are conducive to good health and offer preventive health care programs as part of our corporate approach to health management.
Internal coordinators for occupational health and safety meet four times a year. Additional meetings can also be arranged on an ad hoc basis. The existing offers and potential adjustment measures are evaluated at these meetings. In line with our Group policies, the Management Board is informed once a year about all occupational health and safety measures and the accident figures for the previous year. Our Group guideline on occupational safety has been available in English since 2021. The Swedish occupational safety standards correspond with the requirements of the Group guidelines in all aspects and provide a strict framework that is adhered conscientiously in the implementation of all occupational safety measures. An occupational safety committee has been responsible for evaluating occupational safety and implementing appropriate measures on Victoriahem sites since 2021. With the merger with Deutsche Wohnen, new real estate service commercial sites will be established in Berlin along with the new business area 05, with around 200 caretakers and 40 technicians from the former FACILITA, and in Mainz from 2023. Occupational health and safety will be safeguarded through the implementation of the existing Group-wide occupational safety organization in the real estate service, the technical service and the residential environment service.
Risk Assessment and Prevention
All other measures and activities are based on risk assessments. The expansion of photovoltaic plants in our existing neighborhoods led to a reassessment of risks, for instance. The measures derived from this reassessment include expanded and specialized training courses and instruction for the employees in this area. In addition to training, making specific protective gear available further supports the prevention of occupational accidents.
Our sites meet the training quotas of the DGUV (German Social Accident Insurance) for first aiders and fire safety personnel. Our fire safety officers in the Central Technology department provide the Vonovia Technical Service with support when required. Fire and first-aid training courses for employees were also offered in Sweden in the reporting year, and a variety of mandatory and voluntary medical examinations were performed by company physicians.
As some of our business activities also include new construction and modernizations, construction sites remain the largest occupational risk for our employees. Team meetings are held to discuss safety on construction sites. This topic is also covered as part of our TEOX training module. External safety coordinators ensure technical safety at the construction sites themselves in accordance with site regulations. We have also increased our inspections of construction sites in the current reporting year. For this purpose we have partnered with TÜV Rhineland, who send out inspection personnel twice a year to select locations to perform the corresponding checks. In addition, the responsible occupational safety officers are accompanied and advised by a company physician once a year.
The purpose is to reduce accidents, with a particular focus on keeping the number of work-related fatalities at zero.
Coronavirus Protection Measures
The pandemic again had a noticeable impact on our health management in the reporting year. The multiple adjustments to safety regulations by the authorities, particularly in the first half of the reporting year, led to the continual alignment of our measures, including the associated Group-wide communication to employees. We also established a regularly recurring meeting for the technical service, where around 60 employees were able to exchange their experiences with the coronavirus restrictions at their locations. Unannounced official inspections by the respective regional authorities found no issues with our approach. In addition to the tried-and-tested digital health management offers, we also made local coronavirus testing and vaccination available for free in accordance with the official request of municipal and federal authorities. However, since the booster vaccinations, these offers have been rolled back due to lack of demand. Protective masks, lateral flow testing and disinfectants, on the other hand, were available at all locations and in all offices throughout the year.
Preventive Care Benefits
As part of our company-wide health management, we aim to raise awareness among employees for taking care of their own health. The corresponding measures include providing employees with information about stress management, relaxation and mindfulness, and managing the challenges of mobile working. We also offer our employees the opportunity to turn to the advice helpline run by BAD, free of charge, during times of personal crises with our Employee Assistance Program (EAP). We also offer information regarding healthy nutrition and exercise, for example through our internet portal. Flu vaccinations and colorectal cancer examinations are also available to all Vonovia employees in partnership with certified external service providers. These offers have been taken up by many employees.
Our bicycle lease program, introduced in 2021, has proven extremely popular: Demand among the workforce has increased further in comparison with 2021 to 786 users in the 2022 reporting year. We are also expanding our range of information and support related to health issues and our diverse fitness partnerships. We added the fitness chains John Reed and FitX to our cooperation network of sport and fitness service providers in the reporting year.