Health and safety at work

Occupational health and safety are key areas of action

Occupational health and safety have been central areas of action at the Lufthansa Group for several decades and are managed on a Group-wide basis for all of the Group’s companies. As an operating company, the health of its employees is particularly important for the commercial success of the Lufthansa Group.

Occupational Safety and Medical Services (including Psychosocial Counselling and Health Management) are closely linked with all of the other business units in the Lufthansa Group. This is designed to ensure a rapid response and enable the effective development and implementation of preventive approaches for long-term employee health.

The Medical Centres in Hamburg, Frankfurt and Munich provide a holistic range of healthcare services spanning occupational and aviation medicine, infectious diseases, tropical medicine and travel medicine, outpatient and emergency care and socio-medical counselling. This is supplemented with comprehensive individual and collective psychosocial services. A range of innovative formats are readily available to employees, so that those making use of remote working options also have a direct opportunity to receive information and take part in dialogue. Once a quarter, a transnational dialogue takes place with the Medical Services of SWISS and Austrian Airlines. The entire Medical Services department, including Psychosocial Counselling and Passenger Medical Care, is certified according to the DIN ISO 9001:2015 quality management system. This certificate was renewed on the basis of an external audit in the summer of 2023. In addition, this department is authorised to provide further training enabling medical professionals to qualify as occupational medicine specialists.

As a company with operations worldwide, infectious disease, vaccination, tropical medicine and travel medicine issues are a core aspect of the Lufthansa Group’s medical activities in the areas of collective prevention, healthcare for individual employees and expert advice for committees, managers and the Executive Board. Medical Services is also responsible for determining the need for protection due to local or international infection hazards.

The Occupational Safety function consistently implements preventive measures to avoid accidents, health risks and occupational diseases. In the Group companies in Germany, the Lufthansa Group’s occupational health and safety experts review all professional activities by means of risk assessments and regular safety inspections. For many years, psychological stress at work has been assessed using a procedure developed by the University of Heidelberg and adapted for the Lufthansa Group.

Specific guidelines make managers aware of their responsibility for occupational health and safety. They are required to deal with this directly when they are appointed to their position.

Psychosocial counselling provides stability in difficult situations

Psychological and psychosocial factors have a major influence on health, safety and productivity at work. Psychological stress and crises are part of life and cannot always be separated from an employee’s professional life. The Lufthansa Group has long offered individual counselling at in-house, confidential psychosocial counselling centres so that employees experiencing difficult circumstances can regain their stability as quickly as possible. In addition to virtual services, employees, managers and teams at the Medical Services & Health Management sites can access quick and confidential help relating to professional and personal issues or issues with teamwork. In the counselling centres networked with the external help system and specialists, counsellors work with those seeking guidance to develop sustainable individual paths and solutions.

Managers and employees receive support covering the challenges of hybrid working

Various forms of support are provided for hybrid working in the Lufthansa Group. As well as workshops and management training courses, there are several guidelines on hybrid working, providing a comprehensive overview and assistance on topics ranging from technical equipment to health aspects and management issues. Group-wide online formats covering health promotion and prevention of illness are also made available. Psychosocial Counselling offers additional information on preventive measures in the form of newsletters and podcasts on psychosocial topics.

Health-promoting services are established

The aim of the Lufthansa Group’s Health Management is to bring about conditions conducive to health, to exert a positive and lasting influence on corporate culture and to support and encourage employees and managers to adopt healthy lifestyles.

Health managers in the individual Group companies identify needs specific to target groups and set up related services. Group-wide interventions and the strategic development of health management are headed by Lufthansa Group Health Management.

Health managers and executives have access to a comprehensive range of services, thus enabling the provision of appropriate health promotion services in line with report findings at the level of individual teams or the Group company in question. Employees are also able to sign up for various individual measures designed to improve their personal health.

Organisational foundations and responsibilities

Occupational health and safety is jointly managed by Occupational Safety and Medical Services & Health Management. These two departments are integrated within the subsidiary Lufthansa Group Business Services (LGBS) which provides core human resources services for the Lufthansa Group. The managing director of LGBS is a member of the HR Committee and reports to the Executive Board member for Human Resources & Infrastructure. For the area of occupational health and safety, the Executive Board has issued a policy which is applicable worldwide and covers the tasks and responsibilities of those involved. The central steering body for all issues concerning occupational health and safety in the Lufthansa Group is the Occupational Safety Committee, which monitors all aspects of occupational health and safety and their implementation across the Group. The minimum standards adopted by this committee are binding throughout the Lufthansa Group worldwide. These are fed back to the individual companies through their own occupational health and safety coordinators. The occupational health and safety specialists required by law in Germany are assigned centrally to the Occupational Safety function for the majority of the Lufthansa Group’s companies. The other Group companies in Germany and worldwide are responsible for providing the necessary specialists themselves, in accordance with local laws. Participation in occupational health and safety committees means that employer and employee interests are closely integrated. Medical Services and the Group’s Occupational Safety department provide objective, professionally independent advice in this context.

Employee health and prevention of accidents at work remain the department’s key objectives

The core responsibility of the Medical Services & Health Management department is to maintain and improve the health and working capacity of the Lufthansa Group’s employees via the services offered and thus support the Group’s business activities and reliable flight operations. The goal of occupational health and safety is to prevent accidents at work and occupational diseases through preventive action and, if they nonetheless occur, to draw the necessary conclusions from accidents to prevent them from happening again as far as possible.

The mission of the Medical Services department is to safeguard the social welfare of the Company’s employees. This objective includes the positive integration of employees with health problems and disabilities in the work environment. Measures designed to foster a corporate culture that is conducive to good health are an integral part of this.

Strengthening of Medical Services with new specialists continues

In the reporting year, new specialists were once again hired to meet the targets set out above and the increased level of demand. As well as a greater short- to medium-term need for pre-recruitment medical examinations, which will continue into 2024, aviation medicine and occupational health follow-up care will also lead to an increased need for staff over the next few years. In 2023, this resulted in the addition of 15 full-time positions in the areas of occupational health and aviation medicine (16.3% of the total number of posts) compared with the end of 2022.

The requirements in terms of infectious disease-related risk management and associated monitoring and assessment of the global epidemiological situation have increased significantly. A monitoring system was established for this purpose in the reporting year. This continuously evaluates various epidemiological data surveys and will initiate appropriate containment measures for employees and customers where necessary.

Preventive vaccination campaigns are being carried out

The Lufthansa Group offers its employees the chance to get vaccinated to protect them against a serious bout of influenza. The Group’s Medical Services provided 4,395 vaccinations in the reporting year.

Processes established to provide for transparency and standardised mandatory training on occupational health and safety

The training courses established in the previous year in the area of occupational health and safety were developed further in 2023. Administrative employees in Germany are required to attend these courses annually. Responsibility for the training provided by Occupational Safety is shared across the Group’s companies. As well as ensuring continuous ongoing development and uniform instruction standards, this also makes it possible to monitor the training courses centrally.

To evaluate the status of occupational health and safety in the Lufthansa Group, surveys are carried out by means of a self-disclosure form and regular on-site audits are carried out by external auditors. The pilot projects launched for this purpose in North America in 2022 were completed in the reporting year. Risk-based action plans were drawn up based on the findings and are currently being implemented. Negotiations on a framework agreement with a global audit firm were initiated in the reporting year to conduct regular on-site audits and provide advisory services for the audited companies.

In the reporting year, further companies abroad were included in the data collection process already established in Germany to improve the level of transparency relating to work-related injuries in the various parts of the Lufthansa Group.

Performance indicators
Health Index as key indicator for employee health improves slightly

In the reporting year, the Health Index was again tracked through the “involve me!” employee survey. The figure of 2.32 represented a slight improvement on the previous year’s 2.42. The results are measured on a scale from 1 (best) to 5 (worst).

Accident figures enable effectiveness audits

In 2023, the accident figures included all of the companies that are insured in Germany by the employers’ liability insurance association for the transport sector and that employ a total of 88% of the Lufthansa Group’s employees worldwide and 94% of its employees in Germany. In addition, by comparison with 2022, SWISS, Austrian Airlines and most of the international production businesses of the Lufthansa Technik group were included.

For every one million hours worked, the initial incidence of work-related injuries in the reporting year was 7.8. However, the figure calculated for 2023 is provisional, since the data will be compared with the employers’ liability insurance association after the publication of this report. All events that resulted in downtime of at least one calendar day are included in the calculation of this indicator. By way of comparison, the volume of accidents for all of the companies insured with the employers’ liability insurance association for the transport sector amounted to 25.4 accidents per one million work hours in 2022. This figure only takes into account accidents resulting in three or more days off work.

Lufthansa Group Annual Report 2023