Health and safety


As an employer, the KION Group is responsible for the health and safety of its employees. A dedicated action field in the KION sustainability strategy underscores the significance of occupational health and safety to the Company. It focuses on preventing accidents and occupational illnesses as far as possible, as well as safeguarding each individual’s long-term capacity to work. The activities essentially include all of the Company’s employees. Based on the assessments and experience of KION HSE experts, particular emphasis is placed on the areas that pose comparatively higher risks to employees’ health and safety. These include the foundry, during assembly and systems installation, as well as during customer deployments where the Company has only limited scope to influence working conditions.

Over 90 per cent of the Group’s employees are represented by health and safety employee committees. Virtually all (over 98 per cent) of KION employees are trained on occupational health and safety topics. Across the Company, different forms of training are used to suit requirements – with each employee receiving training at least once per year. The aim is also to ensure that every new employee receives appropriate training on their first day at work.

KION also involves its business partners, suppliers and guests in its measures. In principle, all visitors (who are not Company employees) to a KION location are firstly familiarised with safety instructions. Furthermore, suppliers working on site are audited and instructed. Safety aspects, such as the existence of a management system, are already taken into account in the supplier selection process.

The KION health, safety and environment (HSE) policy sets out the framework. Based on this Group policy, in the field of health, safety and environment the KION Group commits, among other things, to provide and maintain a safe working environment and safeguard employees from risks and accidents. The Group policy is supplemented by the operating units’ and Group companies’ additional guidelines. Among them, the Linde Service Guide contains detailed regulations for employees in the sales and service organisation.

The Group-wide HSE network of experts ensures knowledge is shared within the KION HSE organisation. Once a year, those responsible for HSE at the Company’s plants and sales and service units meet to discuss their projects and share experiences as well as best practices. Regular telephone conference calls further support the information exchange. Plants also have a set date on which to discuss the current accident situation.

As with the topic of environmental protection, internal communication is a critical success factor for embedding the topic of HSE within the Company and in making it part of the corporate culture. This is why KION also raises its employees’ awareness of occupational health and safety topics via the HSE site on its Group-wide intranet. This gives them practical online tips that include how to go about their work safely (see also the section Internal communication and corporate culture as critical success factors).

Broad-based approach to occupational health in the Group

As at the end of the reporting year 77 per cent of employees had access to a works doctor. Over 85 per cent of employees were able to benefit from occupational health examinations. Voluntary health measures were available to 71 per cent of employees, with health training courses offered to over 71 per cent of employees. In the reporting year a system was established at the production plant in Hamburg to identify mental strain; this system does an outstanding job of recording the relevant factors. Examples of the activities in the sales and service area include the national company LMH Austria’s ‘Feel Well – Feel Linde’ project, which aims to optimise the health rate. To achieve this, it focuses on measures to promote occupational health, illness prevention and return-to-work talks, among other things.

Besides its range of health protection seminars, the KION Group also encourages employees to engage in sporting activities. Currently, 23 reporting entities offer their employees use of a fitness facility.

Last but not least, various local measures, such as social counselling at the Aschaffenburg and Hamburg locations, support employees and their families in the event of serious illnesses and family emergencies.

Minimum HSE standards for all units

In 2017 Group-wide minimum HSE standards were prepared that will be binding on all plants as well as on the sales and service organisation. The implementation phase is to be completed by the end of 2019. The greatest priority will be given to implementation of the top 20 measures, which derive from the scope of the minimum HSE standards. By 2019 the management systems of each relevant unit are to be fully certified in accordance with OHSAS 18001 or equivalent standards. > Table 21

In the reporting year, nine central HSE audits (> Table 22) were performed within the KION Group. In addition to these there were 1,489 local internal audits and 88 external audits in the field of occupational health and safety. In addition, KION also started assessing sales and service locations with regard to their potential HSE risks (see the section management approach to the environment).

Occupational health & safety management system certification status

Table 21


OHSAS 18001*

Percentage certified

360 locations considered


or equivalent standard

Plants & Administration


Sales & Services




Results of KION Group occupational health and safety audits 2012-2017

Table 22


Current Audit

Current Audit

Previous Audit


Basis: 19 plants, initial audit for 4 plants

Basis: 15 plants

Basis: 15 plants

Average result:
Level of fulfilment of the defined audit criteria (max. 100 percent)




Clear benchmarks, concrete objectives

The KION Group gathers information on all material occupational health and safety KPIs and measures as part of its monthly reporting activities. The core benchmarks for measuring the success of its efforts in the area of occupational health and safety are its health rate and its LTIFR (Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate). In 2017 the health rate was even improved further from its already high level of 96.2 per cent* in 2016 to 96.7 per cent in the reporting year. The LTIFR improved in 2017, falling to 10.0 (2016: 14.8*).

In the reporting year the KION Group registered 566 Lost Time Injuries, i.e. occupational accidents causing lost time of more than one working day. In addition, it recorded 1,406 minor injuries and 188 commuting accidents. It registered no fatal accidents.

In the reporting year 9,093 working days were lost within the KION Group due to occupational accidents. KION sets clear targets based on these KPIs, with the long-term target of stabilising the health rate at 96.7 per cent. The LTIFR is expected to stabilise at a value lower than 10 after the inclusion of Dematic. In this respect, the Group-wide application of the A3 methodology, HSE certification and systematic audits are to contribute towards achieving this target. Besides Group-wide activities, location-specific measures are also expected to contribute to achieving the respective targets. A regular review of interim objectives for the following three years is scheduled in fiscal year 2018.

KION Safety Championship expanded to include environmental aspects

Since 2014 the KION Safety Championship has provided a further way to encourage continual engagement with occupational health and safety topics. In 2017 the planned environmental and climate protection aspects were also included in the assessment, and the competition was renamed the ‘KION HSE Championship’. A jury recognises the units that have made the greatest progress in terms of HSE, based on an assessment of their performance. This covers the number and frequency of occupational accidents resulting in the loss of over one working day, the health rate, location-specific initiatives to promote health and safety as well as environmental protection at work. In the reporting period Linde China’s Tools and Cutting department in Xiamen was voted the winner in 2016. Among other things, the team submitted 28 accident-prevention proposals and also scored points with its LTIFR of zero. This means that over the course of an entire year the department had no occupational accidents resulting in the loss of at least one day – a result achieved by six other teams in the competition.

Through this competition, the KION Group once again underlines the importance of these topics to the Company. As it continues to attract a high number of entrants, it also proves that this format is effective. In 2017 another 45 teams from around the world participated in the championship, and the competition saw the reporting and implementation of 1,124 improvement measures. These range from the development of slogans and campaigns for greater occupational safety, through the safe and ergonomic organisation of the working environment, to energy-saving measures such as the use of LED lighting.