High standards in occupational safety


Workplace safety for our employees is a number-one priority at Deutsche Post DHL Group. Our occupational safety efforts focus on prevention. We systematically assess the working conditions of our employees for risks and potential dangers and provide our workforce with the equipment they need to carry out their jobs safely. We also conduct classroom-based and online safety training to heighten the awareness of employees and their managers on the subject of safety and possible workplace hazards. Additional information in the form of posters and other materials are used to reinforce a “Safety First” culture within Deutsche Post DHL Group.

Our Supplier Code of Conduct obligates our suppliers under contract to adhere to our values and standards as well. This includes conducting risk analyses and workplace risk assessments, instructing employees on potential risks and hazards in the workplace, implementing prevention measures to protect workers and others from injury, as well as regular safety training.

Group-wide accident rate (LTIFR)¹

Workplace accidents Group-wide: Accident rate (LTIFR)

Accident rate remains stable

PwC LA 6

We began publishing comprehensive accident statistics in 2015. While temporary workers are covered in these figures, subcontractors are not. Since this time, data is collected and analyzed centrally and submitted at regular intervals to the Operations Board for discussion. These discussions in the reporting year led to an agreement on a new Group-wide goal – to achieve above industry-average performance in the area of occupational safety. As part of this vision, we intend to improve our accident rate (LTIFR) to 3.8 in 2017.

Our activities and measures in the area of occupational safety are already making a positive impact on our numbers. At 4.0 workplace accidents per 200,000 hours worked, the Group-wide accident rate for 2016 remained unchanged from the previous year. The working days lost per accident decreased by 0.8 to 14.8. The diversity of the jobs performed by our people from across our divisions is reflected in these figures. Employees from the Post - eCommerce - Parcel division are at a higher risk of accident or injury from slips, trips and falls, for example, than employees who work in the logistics divisions and are not involved in delivery operations.

Our measures also helped us reduce the number of fatal workplace accidents in 2016 compared to the previous year. We extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of the four members of our staff who, despite all our efforts in the reporting year to ensure workplace safety, lost their lives in workplace accidents or due to injuries suffered as a result of a workplace accident. Of these, two were traffic fatalities. Complete accident statistics can be found in the Annex of this report.

Managing occupational safety measures

Each Group division has its own organizational and management structure dedicated to occupational safety. Cross-functional topics are discussed by the Operations Board, a committee made up of division executives under the leadership of the CEO. The Operations Board is also responsible for managing and developing occupational safety KPIs. The Operations Board met five times in the reporting year to discuss and approve the following measures in the area of occupational safety:

  • Strategic assessment of occupational health and safety (OHS) activities across Deutsche Post DHL Group
  • Stocktaking on the implementation of OHSAS 18001 standard
  • Improvement of coverage rates for recording key performance data and definition of suitable targets
  • Analyses and benchmark comparisons
  • Selection of Deutsche Post DHL Group Health & Safety Awards winners

In early 2016, a strategic workshop was conducted to identify major challenges and projects in the area of OHS for the coming years. Key topics included the transparency and reliability of OHS data, the definition and comparison of Group-wide terms, and the drafting of an occupational safety mission statement for the Group.

We also continued assessing the implementation of the OHSAS 18001 standard within the Group. OHSAS 18001 provides us with a framework for establishing the policies, procedures and controls needed to achieve the best possible workplace health and safety conditions. This also ensures alignment to internationally recognized best practice. We continued to roll out the standard in the reporting year, with compliance confirmed either through external certification or self-assessment. The external certification rate depends largely on the specific customer requirements and business models within our divisions. In 2016, we began training staff in Germany to undertake the role as on-site multipliers for the OHSAS 18001 methodology.

The Group-wide Occupational Health & Safety Committee facilitates dialogue and collaboration between occupational safety experts in the different divisions. It defines cross-divisional regulations and standards, identifies accident black spots, develops appropriate prevention measures, and lays the groundwork for decisions made by the Operations Board.

Systematic prevention is key

When it comes to ensuring safe and accident-free working environments, a systematic approach to prevention is key. After all, we want to make sure our people return home to their families safe and sound, each and every day.

  • Training for managers
    Our managers bear great responsibility for the well-being of our employees. Inspecting the working conditions of staff, correctly assessing risk levels and initiating suitable measures to minimize risk are among their most important managerial tasks. For this they receive support in the form of guidelines, recommendations and consulting from our occupational safety experts. We also work to continually fine-tune and improve the safety training we offer to managers, so that we continue to increase their awareness for the importance of occupational safety and prepare them to carry out their occupational safety responsibilities.
  • Keeping an eye on workplace safety
    All of our activities in the area of occupational safety aim to heighten employee awareness on the subject of safety and possible workplace hazards – not only for their own protection, but also for the safety of others. This includes hazards outside our area of responsibility. Technical equipment and vehicles are subject to work safety and occupational health inspections before they are purchased. This safeguards the health and safety of our employees and ensures that the equipment they use is safe.
  • Deepening understanding of workplace hazards
    We systematically assess the working conditions of our employees for risks and potential dangers. These evaluations identify the working environments of delivery personnel, drivers, machine operators and warehouse personnel as potentially dangerous. Workplace inspections and audits are carried out on a regular basis. We also conduct safety training measures to raise awareness of safety issues among our employees. Compliance with statutory and operational regulations is overseen by management systems.

International occupational safety week

In our ongoing effort to embed a Safety First culture across our business, we conducted a week-long awareness-raising campaign from April 27-30, 2016 as part of the International Labour Organization’s annual World Day for Safety and Health at Work. The activities, which varied from division to division, drew attention to workplace hazards and informed employees on how to eliminate risks.

The Post - eCommerce - Parcel division, for example, focused on seatbelt safety and dogs, two known risk areas for its delivery staff. Alongside seatbelt inspections and presentations on seatbelt laws and legal implications of non-compliance, employees had the chance to climb into a seatbelt simulator and experience what it is like to "crash" at low speed. Other employees had the chance to take part in a training course that taught them how best to de-escalate aggressive canine behavior.

With zero accidents as its goal, the Express division held a Safe Driving Rodeo for its couriers in the US. Express drivers participated in both practical and written tests to demonstrate defensive driving skills and their knowledge of the safety rules, which are part of a five-point approach proven to effectively reduce accidents on highways and roads.

In Spain, Supply Chain tackled warehouse safety by hanging giant balloons over sites of previous accidents or injuries. Designed to keep workplace hazards top-of-mind, the balloons are marked with signs indicating the kind of incident that occurred, for example “I tripped while stepping over pallets”. Since its launch in 2014, this so-called SLAM (Stop, Look, Assess, Manage) initiative has helped reduce the number of accidents from six to zero.

Only the highest standards for dangerous goods transport

As a leading logistics company, we also specialize in the safe and proper transport and warehousing of dangerous goods and substances in compliance with prevailing regulations and safety standards. While requirements vary from division to division according to business model and general terms and conditions, ensuring the safety of our employees and minimizing the risks associated with the handling, carriage and storage of dangerous goods remain top priority for all of our four operating divisions. And in all cases, only specially trained staff are permitted to handle dangerous goods.

  • Post - eCommerce - Parcel 
    All of the division’s employees involved in handling and transporting dangerous goods undergo regular training in accordance with international and national regulations, including the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR) and the Safety & Quality Assessment System (SQAS). We also offer special driver training on safe maneuvering and securing cargo, for example; this is frequently carried out by our own in-house trainers. External and internal safety and quality assessments are conducted to ensure safe and compliant transport.
  • Express 
    Policies, processes and work instructions governing the handling of dangerous goods shipments are prepared by the Restricted Commodities Group. This task force is also responsible for training any Express staff involved in the carriage of dangerous goods, including not only loaders and couriers but anyone involved in flight operations, such as the flight crew and loading engineers. Strict requirements apply to the stowing of dangerous goods in cargo aircraft, for example, with classification determining their placement in relation to each other as well as to the flight crew and any animals being transported. All procedures for acceptance and handling are based on the Air Transport Association (IATA) Dangerous Goods Regulations, which are readily available in all relevant sites and facilities.
  • Global Forwarding, Freight 
    The division complies with the standards and regulations on dangerous goods for air freight (IATA), ocean freight (IMDG/International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code) and road freight (ADR). All three guidelines require employees involved in the shipment and handling of dangerous goods – which in some cases also includes administrative staff – to receive specialized training. Dangerous Goods Safety Advisors are on hand at site level to enable and monitor compliance. Our occupational safety and health function provides the division with additional support regarding the proper storage and handling of dangerous goods in our Global Forwarding warehouses. Procedures are in line with the OHSAS 18001 standard. Handling guidelines are made available in local languages, with audits conducted at the country level by local authorities.
  • Supply Chain 
    In this division, dangerous goods management is overseen by an extensive community of certified Dangerous Goods Safety Advisors, who are regularly recertified by the Scottish Qualification Authority (SQA) as required by dangerous goods regulations. Dangerous Goods Safety Advisors also provide on-site awareness training and coaching for individuals and operators that are not required to hold fully regulated dangerous goods qualifications.

Despite the Group’s high standards and extensive experience in the area of dangerous goods transport, handling and warehousing, we must still rely on our customers to declare and label their dangerous goods shipments properly and honestly as required in our general terms and conditions.

Guidelines and policies

Our Corporate Health Policy lays out our goals and action measures for promoting workplace health within the Group. Our occupational safety requirements are defined in our Occupational Health & Safety Policy Statement. Road safety is also important for a transport and logistics company like Deutsche Post DHL Group. That is why we have laid out seven safety rules in our Road Safety Code.

Health management and occupational safety are integrated into the Group's quality management system. Group-wide, we apply OHSAS 18001, the internationally recognized standard for occupational health and safety.