Workplace health management is increasingly gaining in importance for German companies, including WACKER. The main reason for this is demographic change, which is aging the workforce and leading to longer working lives. “Our goal is to keep employees fit for work and, when they do fall ill, to reintegrate them quickly into working life upon recovery,” said Dr. Jürgen Commeßmann, head of Health Services at Burghausen, who also coordinates health management programs throughout the Group.
WACKER Executive Board member Auguste Willems sees the new building as an important investment for the future: “The well-being of the workforce is a very high priority at WACKER. With this new Health Center, we are underscoring how seriously we take our responsibility, as employers, for the health of our employees, especially against the backdrop of a longer working life.”
Workplace health management at WACKER is centered on four core themes:
Occupational medical care: health professionals assess the risks facing employees at work, such as noise or hazardous substances. They analyze mental stresses and provide counseling for problems. As a rule, employees can undergo an occupational health check once every three years. At WACKER Germany, 90 percent of the work-force takes advantage of this opportunity (some 4,000 employees annually).
First aid and emergency care: the Burghausen site has its own outpatient facility, which is staffed around the clock with trained paramedics who are also responsible for training the site’s roughly 1,700 first-aid providers.
Reintegration and rehabilitation: it is the goal of Health Services to reintegrate employees quickly into their previous workplace once they have recovered from their illnesses. With physiotherapy services available on site, employees never have far to go to get help. WACKER has been working with the Southern Bavarian branch of the German statutory pension insurance system since 2010 to accelerate approvals of rehabilitation applications. The rate of employee reintegration stands at 85 percent.
Workplace health promotion: WACKER gives its employees access to many health programs above and beyond those required by law. They include “Fit for Your Shift,” a preventive program for employees working alternating shifts over many years. The “Mental Health Toolbox” informs employees about mental illnesses and available support options, and contains self-tests.