Health and occupational safety

Strategy and concepts

Occupational health and safety management

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The company wants to ensure its employees can work in a safe and healthy environment. Our overarching goal is to prevent health risks and maintain the health of all of our employees over the long term. For example, we design our workplaces in line with ergonomic criteria and offer health maintenance programmes and occupational safety training. That’s because only satisfied and healthy employees can unlock their full potential and thus contribute to the success of the company.

The covid-19 pandemic is not the only reason why it’s so important to have a sustainable occupational health and safety management system in place. The demographic transformation and advances in technology are also leading to new challenges. To this end, we utilise a holistic occupational health and safety management system. The focus here is mainly on preventive measures that we continuously review and develop further.

Requirements and policies

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The Mercedes-Benz Group’s occupational safety strategy sets standards for the design of workplaces and work processes. Moreover, we are systematically striving to reduce occupational and health-related risks. The Group operates on the basis of globally uniform guidelines for risk prevention. The Group’s Occupational Health and Safety Policy and Guidelines on Occupational Health and Safety serve as overarching, internationally valid Group regulations. They are based on international standards and national laws and emphasise the managers’ obligation to act responsibly. Moreover, they underscore the employees’ own responsibility. In Germany, they are extended by the occupational health and safety guidelines.

Our international corporate Occupational Health and Safety Policy specifies binding tasks, duties, necessary bodies and communication requirements for all controlled and consolidated Group companies. The policy also requires the creation, operation and continuous improvement of a management system for occupational health and safety (OHS) that is based on the ISO standard 45001. Many locations voluntarily have their occupational health and safety management system certified by external companies according to the ISO 45001 standard. The safe work standards described in these requirements also apply to external companies and their employees. We regularly check contractors at our sites to see whether they are meeting the standards. In some cases, we make such checks several times a year.

In 2021, all the policies and requirements for occupational health and safety were reviewed and, where necessary, amended by the individuals responsible for the documents. For example, we added the requirements for a battery factory to the safety-related specifications for the procurement of work materials. This review ensures that safety standards for plants and processes, for example, remain high when operations are transferred to Mercedes-Benz AG.

In 2019, the company also committed itself to Vision Zero. This global campaign aims to prevent job-related accidents and illnesses and to promote the employees’ health, safety and well-being. Many companies and partner organisations, including the World Health Organization, take part in this campaign on the international level.

Organisation and areas of responsibility

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Occupational safety and health issues throughout the Group are managed by the Health & Safety unit, which is part of Human Resources and is under the direction of the Corporate Medical Director of Mercedes-Benz Group AG. The Health & Safety unit is divided into six competence centres: Occupational Safety, Occupational Medicine, Company Healthcare, Integration Management, Ergonomics and Social Counselling. Each competence centre controls the occupational safety and health management processes in line with regularly updated policies that are valid throughout the Group.

The specific occupational health and safety goals that are set for each location are based on an overall strategy that includes our occupational health and safety guidelines and occupational safety strategy, as well as the results of audits and reviews.

At each of our locations we have established occupational safety committees in which employees can participate. Our managers are responsible for ensuring that all internal policies and legal requirements for occupational health and safety are complied with. The Health & Safety unit helps managers meet their obligations with regard to occupational health and safety. Each location defines the responsibilities and specific obligations in line with local conditions.

All of our employees have to take on personal responsibility for health and occupational safety by performing their work in a safety-conscious manner. They have the right to withdraw from work situations in which they can understandably assume that they face a clear and present danger to their lives or health. Safety risks and near accidents must be reported to the appropriate manager depending on the location, and are addressed in regular discussions in production and administrative departments (). We record information about work accidents and risks by means of our accident documentation systems. We want to steadily improve the workplaces, working environments and work processes of our employees and have them contribute to the design of these places and processes.

Occupational health and safety issues are also discussed on a regular basis in various committees, such as the Occupational Safety, Environment and Health Commission, as well as with works council representatives and management representatives at the various levels of the company. All decisions resulting from such discussions are made jointly.

Handling of covid-19

In order to curb the spread of covid-19, employees at our locations were provided with information on the specific measures and rules that were put into effect in order to protect them against infection. We also implemented official recommendations, such as those issued by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in Germany, for example. This applies to both the reporting period and thereafter. At the beginning of the pandemic, we quickly undertook measures to prevent infections, because our employees’ health and safety have top priority. As early as April 2020, we took extensive precautions to prevent infection and agreed with the General Works Council on a comprehensive package of measures that was then implemented. These measures include hygiene and cleaning standards as well as rules for individual behaviour in the workplace. In addition, our employees have worked from home wherever possible since spring 2020 in order to further reduce the risk of infection. During the reporting year, we supplemented these measures with a company testing strategy. For example, employees in Germany receive two free lateral flow tests per week from the company. This allows the employees to voluntarily test themselves at home and thus reduce the risk of infection. The company also conducts targeted covid-19 lateral flow tests subject to cause and if the source of an infection cannot be clearly discerned. These lateral flow tests are performed by medical professionals.

In 2020, the company introduced a global accident and emergency documentation system, which includes an integrated digital reporting process for emergencies that makes it possible to quickly collect data on all covid-19 cases among employees. This in turn enables the plant medical services organisation or managers to conduct a rapid contact-tracing procedure. In 2021, this depiction of infection chains continued to enable us to help inhibit the spread of covid-19 within our company. Moreover, we further enhanced the system during the reporting year. Among other things, the evaluation and analysis of the data in conformity with the data protection requirements is now even better. The improved functionality helps us to respond more quickly and in a targeted manner to unforeseen events such as another pandemic in future and thus to be less vulnerable to crises.

Risk management

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The Mercedes-Benz Group wants to prevent accidents and risks to the employees’ health. Our Health & Safety unit is therefore pursuing a preventive approach and is evaluating the potential risks of workplaces and work processes at an early stage. Our Group’s production locations have a safety risk management system that is aligned with our Policy on Occupational Health and Safety. Instruments and risk assessment processes that are implemented at the local level have also been defined.

In order to review whether the corporate policies regarding occupational health and safety have been duly implemented, each location that generally employs more than 500 people or has a corresponding risk level is visited approximately every five years. A standardised process is then used to conduct the associated evaluations. This enables us to identify and address any local deviations.

Risk assessments are carried out in the following topic areas, among others:

  • Safety and accident management and occupational safety organisation
  • Performance of hazardous work
  • Hazards due to fire and explosion
  • Risks due to machines and plants

Digital risk assessment

Risk assessments are an important tool with which the Group can evaluate potential risks. We have digitalised parts of this risk management process using an online tool that is made available all over the world. The tool is provided by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) and was expanded for the Group’s purposes. The online tool enables us to make risk assessments using desktop computers, tablets or smartphones. It shows the user-specific risks that can arise in his or her particular area. The user then only needs to decide whether the suggested measures suffice to reduce the risk to an acceptable level. This risk assessment is then used as a basis for automatically generating instruction documents. In this process, we cooperate closely with the EU-OSHA. The tool is now a part of our regular operations at all of our German locations and at several international locations, such as Kecskemét (Hungary). The system is multilingual and is available at the international locations.

Uniformly assessing risks

The Mercedes-Benz Group assesses the risks of new facilities worldwide along the entire process — from the call for bids to the acceptance stage — in a uniform manner and in line with defined criteria. The assessments are based on our safety concepts, which suppliers implement in accordance with our requirement specifications. The planning departments are assisted by occupational safety specialists, from the initial idea to the standardised facility acceptance process. During risk assessments, we also evaluate and approve hazardous materials. We also assess the mental and ergonomic stress caused by workplaces and the respective working environments.

In addition, we utilise a contractor management process whose fundamental components are the assessment of mutual risks and the development of appropriate measures on the basis of this risk assessment. We then monitor these measures by means of random checks. We also have an instructional video about work safety-related matters. Moreover, the assessment of risks that can arise within the framework of our cooperation with external companies, as well as the monitoring of the derived measures, have been digitalised since mid-2021 and are depicted in our risk assessment tool.


Company health management and mental health

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The company offers the employees in Germany occupational health advice and screening as well as measures and services of the company health programme and the social counselling service. We want to promote both the mental and physical health of our employees with our company health management system in Germany. This objective is promoted with the help of campaigns, counselling and qualification offerings, as well as with preventive, therapeutic and rehabilitation measures. During the reporting year, a Group-wide mental health agreement was reached for Germany with the goal of maintaining and promoting the employees’ mental health. Internationally, our focus is on medical care as well as on the coordination of pandemic-related measures and prevention strategies, and ergonomics.

The health management systems at Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Mercedes-Benz AG, Mercedes-Benz Bank AG and Mercedes-Benz Mobility AG focus on preventive approaches that range from the job-related Health Check and the ergonomic design of workstations to an IT system that makes it easier to reintegrate employees suffering from permanent health-related limitations. In the latter case, a capabilities profile created by the plant physician for the employee in question is compared with the requirements for various types of jobs. This matching process yields a list of possible jobs that employees suffering from permanent health-related limitations might be considered for.

As part of the company health-promotion efforts, the employees were increasingly provided with digital services in 2020 and 2021. In the first half of 2021, many people availed themselves of the multi-location services concerning nutrition, exercise and mindfulness that Mercedes Benz Group AG, Mercedes-Benz AG, Mercedes-Benz Bank AG and Mercedes Benz Mobility AG offer. Since April 2021 all employees have also been able to use a new health app, which provides them with information about the Group’s health-related services as well as interesting facts about various health topics. In addition, it initiates competitions. Another feature of the app is that the user can create his or her own health profile. The digital health services are supplemented by programmes that are targeted at specific groups, such as managers or trainees. The Mercedes-Benz Group will further intensify its range of digital health services in the future.

Because Daimler Gastronomie GmbH is part of the Health & Safety unit, the respective experts can cooperate even more closely. Plant-based nutrition, in particular, creates mutual areas of cooperation with Daimler Gastronomie. In addition to promoting a healthy, sustainable and varied menu, the measures focus on reducing CO2 emissions. For example, the CO2 value of each meal has been shown on the menu since December 2021.

Medical care for employees

At the Mercedes-Benz Group, occupational medicine includes programmes and measures for the prevention of work-related illnesses and occupational diseases as well as for the promotion of health in the workplace. Moreover, we provide all employees with acute and emergency healthcare that includes the treatment of accident victims. All employees can use our plant medical services, our social counselling service and the basic services of our company health promotion programmes. These basic company health promotion services as well as acute and emergency care are also available to our temporary workers.

Measures related to covid-19

We continue to make employees worldwide aware of issues relating to the pandemic and to provide them with information on specific measures and rules that help protect them against infection. The existing extensive communication measures are being continued in a target group-focussed manner.

The introduction of approved vaccines enabled us to provide eligible employees at German locations with vaccinations in line with the German government’s vaccination campaign. Company doctors and medical professionals performed the vaccinations at the German locations. For this purpose, the company draws on its many years of experience when it comes to vaccinations and vaccination advice. For example, it gives thousands of vaccinations each year to employees before they go on business trips abroad and regularly vaccinates against influenza. The number of vaccination lines varied according to a location’s size. The lines provided the employees with information about the vaccination and vaccinated them against covid-19. We were able to offer all employees the option to be vaccinated. The response was very positive. Beginning in mid-November, the company again offered first and second doses. Booster shots were also provided, beginning in December.

Promoting a healthy lifestyle

The Mercedes-Benz Group wants to motivate its employees to develop healthy lifestyles and reinforce their sense of personal responsibility regarding their health. We promote this objective worldwide with the help of campaigns, counselling and qualification offerings, as well as with preventive, therapeutic and rehabilitation measures. All of our production locations in Germany, as well as numerous international locations, have health centres on their premises or cooperate with health centres located near the plants.

Our healthcare centres and those operated by our partners offer our employees programmes for the prevention and treatment of problems with their backs and joints, for example, as well as physiotherapy services. In addition, our fit@work exercise machine enables employees to perform fascia training near their workstations in order to prevent orthopaedic complaints. We also conduct a target group-specific training programme in which managers extensively analyse their own health-related behaviour and develop a health-focussed management style. The measures developed by the company healthcare unit are scientifically monitored and evaluated.

In-house counselling service

Our in-house social counselling service advises and supports managers and employees who are experiencing a situation of change, conflict or crisis in either their professional or private lives. The offers are also available for the temporary workers in Germany and the employees’ families.

In 2020, the social counselling service set up an online hotline for the psychosocial concerns of employees from German locations who are working abroad. This hotline can also be used by the employees’ families.

The social counselling service also offers unit-specific manager workshops as well as coaching and qualification programmes for managers. These offers are intended to help participants enhance their psychosocial leadership skills and become more aware of related issues. Social counselling services are offered at the plants as well as online and by phone. The social counselling service uses a systematic solution-oriented approach. Its services are confidential and are subject to the legal obligation to exercise discretion.

Making workplaces ergonomic

The Mercedes-Benz Group employs an ergonomics strategy and an ergonomics assessment method that are defined in a company-wide agreement.

The strategy encompasses the following principles and goals:

  • No unhealthy workstations — ensured by the optimisation of new and existing workstations
  • Maintenance of our employees’ health and capabilities
  • Assignments for employees in line with their respective profiles and abilities
  • Use of preventive measures to reduce the incidence of musculoskeletal disorders
  • Managers take on responsibility for keeping their employees healthy

In order to comply with these principles and achieve these goals, we focussed on the following measures and areas of action during the reporting year:

  • Update and provision of a new brochure about the standards for ergonomic workplace design
  • Introduction of an easy-to-use ergonomic screening system for small international locations
  • Continuous redesign and improvement of ergonomically critical workstations
  • Provision of information on workplace design and further training regarding ergonomics to employees with planning tasks (ergonomics specialists) and managers
  • Begin planning the further development of software for the ergonomic assessment of workstations (EAB-IT)

We use an IT-based system to evaluate workstation ergonomics. This system makes use of relevant data for the given workstation — e.g. component weights, posture when performing different activities and the degree of physical effort the employee needs to make when carrying out a certain task. Algorithms use the data as a basis for calculating the physical demands of the workstation in question. The result is shown as one of the traffic light colours. This helps us to quickly determine a workstation’s potential for improvement and institute corresponding measures. We now use this traffic light system to evaluate all newly created workstations during the planning stage. In this way, we want to avoid workstations with associated ergonomic risks in advance. We also create workstation profiles that enable us to assign employees with physical limitations to jobs that correspond to their capabilities.

Health and safety in production

The Mercedes-Benz Group uses its modular safety concept for human-robot collaboration in all production units. This concept ensures that the relationship between man and machine is safe in all situations. The concept fulfils all legal stipulations for the design and operation of facilities and machines. It can be flexibly used regardless of whether a robot takes on an assisting or performance-supporting role or operates completely automatically.

We also use work clothes with integrated digital devices (wearable computing systems), as well as exoskeleton systems, in order to simplify work processes. Exoskeleton systems help employees carry out physically strenuous work such as lifting heavy objects. They can also benefit employees with physical disabilities.

Raising awareness of occupational safety

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The Mercedes-Benz Group is increasingly using media such as videos, various information portals and online training courses in order to make its employees more aware of ergonomics and occupational safety issues. All new employees are provided with initial instructions regarding the safety-relevant aspects of their workstations. After that, they are required to participate in safety-awareness instructions that are held on a regular basis. We have also developed special online training courses for certain areas of work, including offices in production areas and at development units. In addition, our digital risk assessment tool generates workstation-specific instructions directly on the basis of its risk assessments.

Since 2018 we have also maintained and regularly updated a Health & Safety information platform on our intranet. This provides employees with all of the essential information and rules regarding occupational health and safety at work. Because of covid-19, we have added pandemic-related topics concerning health protection and infection prevention to this platform. In addition, several intranet pages address and communicate location-specific information and current topics.

Effectiveness and results

The effectiveness of our management approach

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The Mercedes Benz Group’s sense of social responsibility is reflected in its operation of a sustainable health and occupational safety management system. We employ a preventive approach to ensuring the best possible levels of workplace safety and employee health. We want to prevent work accidents, work-related illnesses and occupational diseases to the greatest extent possible. In order to achieve this, we have our work processes evaluated and we document and report all incidents transparently.

An effective reporting procedure helps us achieve our occupational health and safety targets. That’s why all of our locations have to report accidents and accident statistics to the Health & Safety unit. This information is used as the basis for monthly reports of the Group’s accident statistics.


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The Mercedes-Benz Group’s aim with regard to the covid-19 pandemic was to continue to limit the spread of the virus and maintain business operations. An extensive package of measures, which include safety and hygiene rules, testing strategies and offers of vaccination, have been implemented in an attempt to protect our employees as well as possible. In addition, we have helped to curb the spread of the pandemic. In conjunction with distancing and hygiene regulations, these measures enabled us to maintain the existing medical services as well as a wide range of health management offers. Because of covid-19, these services were increasingly provided digitally.

Some locations were unable to extend the voluntary ISO 45001 certificate due to the pandemic, among other reasons. For the protection of our workforce, we limited the presence of external persons at our production areas to the minimum necessary for their operation.

Irrespective of any external certification audits, every five years or so the safety standards at the Group-owned production locations are reviewed. This review process aims at checking the compliance with our binding corporate policy concerning occupational health and safety and whether a functioning occupational health and safety management system is in place. No routine Mercedes-Benz site evaluations were planned as part of our Safety Risk Management during the reporting year. As a result, there were no pandemic-related omissions that would have to be made up for at a later date.

Worldwide, the Mercedes-Benz Group utilises several accident documentation systems that generate standardised statistics while taking data protection regulations into account. The statistics are based on documented hours of attendance, lost days and organisational structures. Among other things, this accident documentation makes it possible for us to identify the causes of accidents, the areas where accidents tend to occur, the pertinent tasks and the operating material that causes accidents. The worldwide production locations of the Mercedes-Benz Group recorded 1,277 accidents during the reporting year.

Every accident is analysed in order to determine the sequence of events. The affected units are also required to initiate preventive measures. Data on accidents from which other sites can learn and derive measures is sent to all occupational safety experts at all of our locations worldwide.

Accident frequency1
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Occupational accidents






Accident frequency (number of occupational accidents with at least one day of absence per million attendance hours)







Recording rate for Mercedes-Benz Group production sites worldwide: >99%


The spin-off and hive-down of the Daimler commercial vehicle business as an independent company in December 2021 makes it impossible to compare these data with the data from the previous years.


These data have been adjusted due to the spin-off and hive-down of the Daimler commercial vehicle business as an independent company, nonetheless, they still contain minor uncertainties as adjustments for combined locations and units can first be made in financial year 2022

Participants in health training courses1 (6-day training on exercise, nutrition & relaxation)
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Employees working shifts












Executive managers







Mercedes-Benz Group AG and Mercedes-Benz AG


The spin-off and hive-down of the Daimler commercial vehicle business as an independent company in December 2021 makes it impossible to compare these data with the data from the previous years.


These data have been adjusted due to the spin-off and hive-down of the Daimler commercial vehicle business as an independent company, nonetheless, they still contain minor uncertainties as adjustments for combined locations and units can first be made in financial year 2022.


The health programmes were suspended in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.

Participants in health trainingPLUS1 (health training on the topics of exercise, nutrition & relaxation with several units distributed throughout the year)
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Employees working shifts













Mercedes-Benz Group AG and Mercedes-Benz AG


The spin-off and hive-down of the Daimler commercial vehicle business as an independent company in December 2021 makes it impossible to compare these data with the data from the previous years.


These data have been adjusted due to the spin-off and hive-down of the Daimler commercial vehicle business as an independent company, nonetheless, they still contain minor uncertainties as adjustments for combined locations and units can first be made in financial year 2022.


The health programmes were suspended in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.


Mercedes-Benz AG Mercedesstraße 120
70372 Stuttgart
Phone: +49 7 11 17-0

Represented by the Board of Management: Ola Källenius (Chairman), Jörg Burzer, Renata Jungo Brüngger, Sabine Kohleisen, Markus Schäfer, Britta Seeger, Hubertus Troska, Harald Wilhelm

Chairman of the Supervisory Board: Bernd Pischetsrieder

Court of Registry: Stuttgart; commercial register no. 762873
VAT ID: DE 32 12 81 763

Shop floor management

Shop floor management refers to the management of manufacturing and value-added processes by managers who are physically present and active on site.

All glossary terms