Health & SafetyEmployee development

Health and Safety

Health and safety is our number one priority, and there is a clear focus on safe work throughout the organization. In our type of working environment, the zero accident vision is a challenge. There have been considerable improvements during recent years, but the number of accidents is still too high. We have to make sure that we have a safe working environment for all our employees and contractors.

Fatalities and incidents

In 2014-2015 there was unfortunately one fatality in HCNE. This tragic occasion was followed by an immediate safety stop at the sites to take time to understand, reflect and discuss what needed to be done to prevent this from ever happening again.

From a statistical point of view, the number of serious accidents in HCNE has decreased every year. The frequency rate (FR, the number of accidents per million working hours) in 2014 was 4, in 2015 FR was 3. Our aim is to get it down to 2.

Accident frequency rate = Number of accidents (with at least one lost working day) per 1,000,000 hours worked (own employees)

Accident severity rate = Number of working days lost due to accidents per 1,000,000 hours worked (own employees)

Implementing strict routines

During the last few years we have implemented a comprehensive set of tools and routines to foresee and prevent risks and incidents in operations, for example site traffic plans, machine safeguarding and contractor’s safety.

Employee knowledge and awareness are both crucial for minimising the risk of workplace accidents. The programme Safe Behaviour Initiative that was introduced a couple of years ago, aims to raise knowledge and awareness in the organisation.

The implementation of tools such as 1-1 talks, Safe talks, Take One (minute to reflect), and the Housekeeping rules 5S, have become key to reducing the number of workplace accidents. A central element is the continuous improvement work which involves all employees.

In 2014-2015 we had a major focus on installing protection equipment at all moving parts in machinery. Most sites have also installed a locking solution called LOTOTO (lock out, tag out, try out) to prevent someone from starting a machine if there is a possibility that somebody else is working on it, for example doing maintenance.

A Safety Week takes place every year to put special focus on safety-related issues and organize extra training at our workplaces. The Safety Week is carried out throughout the entire HeidelbergCement Group.

A local initiative was taken at the Kunda cement plant in 2015. They established a special Health & Safety classroom to carry out a safety briefing for visitors and training of own employees, subcontractors etc.

Ensuring safe products

Our products are classified and categorized in line with the “European Community Regulation on chemicals and their safe use” (REACH), which regulates the use and safe handling of chemical products from both an employee and a customer perspective. The Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for cement are updated and published according to the REACH requirements.

Employee development

It is essential for the development of our businesses that we manage to be an attractive employer, for present and future employees. We strive to offer interesting career opportunities as well as attractive working conditions. As part of a global group, we have an international working environment.

We focus on talent management, diversity and gender equality, relevant succession and career planning. We encourage people to grow within the company and we always strive to recruit people internally for vacancies or new positions.

Our core company values are communicated in the Leadership Principles document intended for managers on all levels and for employees. The principles provide hands-on guidelines focusing on performance, results, cost-efficiency, proximity to customers and markets, and sustainability issues. They guide our daily work and govern how we manage our businesses.

For employee related data, please scroll down. 

The best managers

Our aim is to have the best managers in the industry, and we put a lot of effort into developing both present and future leaders in our company.

We regularly run management development programmes for managers on different levels. The Young Potentials Development Programme, meanwhile, develops young employees who are suitable for higher company positions.

Recruiting new talent

To attract new talent we regularly participate in events at relevant universities and colleges, as well as cooperate with universities for research and development projects or doctoral and master studies.

At certain intervals we run a trainee programme. In 2016, we started a new programme for 18 months with 10 participants from Sweden and Norway. The participants develop themselves professionally in different areas and have the opportunity to take on more demanding positions in the future.

Cooperation with unions

Our businesses in Sweden, Norway and Denmark are associated with a labour union. Management and unions meet annually to discuss current issues and on an ad-hoc basis when necessary. We appreciate the formation of local unions since we believe this will benefit both our employees and our business in the long term. In Kunda there is a working group with representatives of hourly-wage workers and management members, which holds quarterly meetings to address questions related to the workers’ situation.

Promoting diversity in the workplace

Employees in our industry are still predominately male; however, we work proactively to promote diversity throughout our organization and have women in line management positions. We support equality by encouraging both new mothers and fathers to stay home with their children for a longer period. All of our businesses have routines in place for handling incidents of discrimination.

Challenging number of retirements

In recent years, many of our businesses have had a high number of retirements. As for all key positions, we have succession plans for employees who are approaching pension. Retirements are all handled according to national laws and applicable union agreements.

In Sweden and Norway, we offer all employees financial consultation regarding their personal pension planning. We strive to have an early dialogue with employees approaching pension age in order to ensure a smooth transition.

During the coming years, we will continue to face a large number of retirements in most of our businesses, which challenges us to recruit a corresponding number of qualified new employees.

Turnover rate
Turnover rate10 %11 %12 %
Employees per age group


-2914 %15 %14 %
30-3920 %21 %21 %
40-4927 %27 %26 %
50-5929 %27 %28 %
60-10 %10 %10 %
Female employees


Total workforce15 %15 %14 %
Top, senior and middle management level18 %19 %
- Top management level0 %0 %
- Senior management level13 %13 %
- Middle management level20 %20 %
Length of service within HCNE


2014 2015
<1 year7 %10 %10 %
1-4 years23 %27 %26 %
5-9 years21 %20 %24 %
10-14 years11 %10 %10 %
15-19 years7 %7 %7 %
14-20 years5 %5 %5 %
>25 years21 %20 %18 %

Clear rules for everyone

Health and Safety signs Betongindustri. Clear information about new requirements for equipment at all units in Betongindustri.
Clear information about new requirements for equipment at all units in Betongindustri.

Testing routines for real

Rescue exercise at Tau production site. The realistic exercise in Tau with actors and smoke put both employees and the emergency services to the test.
The realistic exercise in Tau with actors and smoke put both employees and the emergency services to the test.