Employees and society

Adequately protecting our employees

Occupational health and safety

At MTU, our employees should have a safe and healthy environment in which to work. This not only forms a key part of our corporate social responsibility, but over the past year it was hugely important in view of the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to preventing occupational accidents, we also focused on protecting our employees against infection and actively containing the pandemic.


We attach great importance to safe working environments. That is why we provide our employees with personal protective equipment and regularly raise awareness of its use.

MTU places a great deal of importance on the safety of its employees. Occupational safety and employee health are enshrined as one of the key principles of corporate social responsibility in MTU’s Group-wide Code of Conduct. Compliance with national statutory regulations on occupational safety is also embedded in the Code of Conduct as a mandatory minimum standard for all of our international subsidiaries. In addition, we have established an internal standard that lays down parameters, rules and KPI definitions applicable across all locations. A Group report on workplace accidents is submitted to the Executive Board each quarter. Our occupational safety approach is not centralized, so all locations are responsible for implementing their own, which enables them to tailor it to their local needs and requirements. At the individual production sites, occupational safety is the responsibility of the site managers; occupational safety officers are appointed at management level. Local technical departments take action on occupational safety issues on-site and report regularly to their site management. The workforce at the company’s production sites in Germany, Poland and Canada is represented in locally organized occupational safety committees, the composition of which includes employee representatives.


Our contribution to SDG 8

A secondary objective of SDG 8, “Decent work and economic growth,” calls for safe working environments for all employees. We can contribute directly to achieving the SDGs with high occupational safety standards and ongoing prevention work. We succeeded in doing this again in 2020: with comprehensive protection against infection in the workplace and low accident rates. The Group-wide accident rate was 2.1 reportable workplace accidents per 1,000 employees (entailing more than three days lost).

Decent work and economic growth

→ Learn more about our contribution to the SDGs of the UN’s 2030 Agenda

Occupational safety forms part of our integrated management system (IMS) policy and is regularly reviewed and improved. At the European production sites, workplace regulations that are mandatory for all employees contain important safety rules pertaining to accident prevention, fire protection and what to do in the event of workplace or commuting accidents. The occupational safety management systems in place at the German sites are certified externally in accordance with the new ISO 45001 international standard for occupational health and safety management systems, which has replaced OHSAS 18001. → MTU’s current certifications Accordingly, 84.4% of the workspaces comply with an external standard; all workspaces in the company are part of our IMS based on the principle that “safety takes priority in what we do.” This includes the workspaces occupied by temporary workers.

accidents per 1,000 employees

That is far ahead of the industry. At 2.1 per 1,000 employees in 2020, the number of reportable accidents at MTU was once again significantly below the metalworking industry average of 33 accidents.

We strive to prevent health and safety risks to our employees and third parties. In addition to the steps we are currently taking to protect against infection during the pandemic, we regularly assess workspaces for any risks and hazards they present for employees. Where necessary, we implement appropriate measures to prevent or at the very least minimize potential stresses. That also applies to workspaces occupied by temporary workers. With the aim of permanently reducing the number of accidents and reaching a level of safety that aspires to prevent any accidents whatsoever, the local occupational safety officers record all accidents according to uniform criteria and investigate them together with the affected employees / temporary workers and their managers. Should the assessment reveal specific aspects pertaining to the cause of accidents, we will take further steps to increase safety precautions. In addition, the company has a system in place to record and evaluate near-misses at all production sites. We strongly encourage the workforce to report unsafe situations. Regular safety training for all employees and temporary workers is mandatory across the Group. We train all employees and temporary workers on health and safety matters specific to working life at MTU when they first start working at the company. In addition, managers receive repeated mandatory training on occupational safety. First-aiders are appointed and obligated to attend a refresher course every two years. The local technical departments carry out ongoing prevention work at the company’s sites through training sessions and information campaigns. In the reporting year, training was conducted online as far as possible. We include temporary workers in occupational safety to the same extent as permanent employees.

Safe workplaces – Protected employees

Accident-free and low-stress workspaces form part of our IMS policy. Each year we define maximum tolerance thresholds at each location for category 4 reportable workplace accidents (accidents that entail more than three days lost, not including commuting accidents). For 2020, these range from 0 to 10 depending on the location. Regrettably, we were not able to meet this threshold at just one of our five production sites. With 22 reportable workplace accidents entailing more than three days lost across the Group, 2020 was well below the previous year’s figure of 47. This was not only due to the reduced presence of employees on-site. The focus of our preventive measures in production on further mitigating hazards or raising awareness of the need to wear personal protective equipment also had an impact. We implemented area-specific occupational health and safety programs and introduced a monthly action plan on a range of topics in manufacturing. As a result, the Group-wide accident rate fell from the previous year’s 4.4 reportable workplace accidents per 1,000 employees to 2.1 in 2020. We have thus once again achieved a high level of safety compared to the average in the German metalworking industry (Wood and Metal Trade Association—BG Holz und Metall, data for 2019) of 33 accidents. As in previous years, there were no fatal accidents in 2020. We also record and analyze accidents involving temporary workers on our premises; no category 4 accidents occurred in 2020.

Workplace accidents and days lost GRI 403-9





Non-reportable workplace accidents (category 3, 1–3 days lost)




Reportable workplace accidents (category 4, more than three days lost)




Fatal workplace accidents (category 5)




Accident rate per 1,000 employees (category 4)




Days lost as a result of reportable accident (category 3+4)




Accident statistics relate to total workforce at fully consolidated sites including apprentices, interns, thesis students, doctoral candidates, students and holiday staff, employees on fixed-term contracts, and marginal workers. Workplace accidents do not include any commuting accidents. The day of the accident does not count as a day lost.

As a result of the lower number of lost-time accidents (category 3 and 4 accidents), the total number of days lost by employees has also decreased—by almost half to 679 days (2019: 1,226).

Increasing safety through proactive measures

We derive proactive measures from regular risk assessments, routine inspections of workstations, and audits in production and administration. These were conducted in 2020 as before. Our measures continue to focus on promoting safety-conscious working so as to continuously refine the safety culture. These include, for example, the occupational safety campaign at the Munich site under the motto “Safety First—work safely, get home healthy.” In addition, due to the current pandemic situation, we are increasingly relying on e-learning and video formats for safety briefings to raise awareness of risks; last year we placed a stronger focus on ergonomics.


We aim to raise awareness among the workforce by erecting signs on the plant premises relating to occupational safety. There is now also a ticker displaying accident-free days and the number of accidents.


Health protection was of particular importance in 2020

We have put extensive measures in place across all sites to protect our employees’ health during the coronavirus pandemic. These technical and organizational measures apply both to the actual workstations and to daily workflow processes. We want to offer our employees the best possible protection against the coronavirus and minimize the risk of infection as far as possible. The aim is to prevent infection in day-to-day working life. To this end, we drew up guidelines that are binding for all employees. We immediately instructed the workforce on the new regulations. These were always in line with publicly announced measures and were set to be at least as strict as official limits, but were often stricter.

We increasingly rely on mobile working, virtual conferences and alternating presence in the office to limit the number of employees present on-site at one time. Within a short period of time, some 45% of the workforce was able to work mobile. We were quick to largely dispense with business trips as of March 2020. On-site hygiene measures such as increased cleaning of contact surfaces or the distribution of disinfectant are intended to help prevent the spread of the virus. We have issued distancing and hygiene regulations that must be strictly adhered to during any unavoidable meetings of small groups requiring physical attendance as well as in communal areas and canteens. The wearing of protective masks is mandatory especially in buildings outside an employee’s normal workplace but also wherever a minimum distance of two meters cannot be maintained, for example in production. MTU provides masks for this purpose; since 2021, these have been FFP2 masks. If necessary, we take workplace-related measures or individual measures to protect employees who belong to risk groups. As an employer, MTU supports efforts to make undetected infections visible through increased testing, thereby breaking chains of infection. Self-tests now complement existing protection and hygiene measures. In addition, we are preparing for MTU to perform vaccinations.

We are running a comprehensive in-house communication campaign to keep employees continuously up to speed with important changes and processes, raise their awareness of infection risks and appeal to their sense of responsibility, for instance by way of a comprehensive poster campaign. MTU’s crisis committee, on which various functions of the company are represented, initiates company-wide measures to protect employees. The committee also ensures that all the German sites coordinate with one another. In 2020, we used our new PulseCheck survey on current sentiment to ask employees for feedback on our coronavirus protection requirements. The result was very positive with an index value of 82—the majority of employees felt sufficiently protected.

Regular health offers

Health management also includes core initiatives such as a service at the German sites that covers occupational health and—at sites with a company doctor—emergency medicine and is responsible for general preventive measures. This service is open to all employees and temporary workers. For 2020, we have once again offered to vaccinate our employees against influenza at MTU to minimize the spread of influenza in times of Covid-19.

Counseling services offer employees and temporary workers support with performance and work-related issues as well as mental health issues. In addition, all of our German locations offer supplementary in-house and external services. This includes in-house case managers, who provide advice for employees returning to work following a long absence, as a result of sickness or an accident for instance, to ensure that they get the best possible support with their reintegration. External providers offer a comprehensive support package for family-related matters. Additional benefits offered by MTU include fitness centers, which are run either in-house or by external partners, as well as physiotherapy, ergonomics training and on-site vibration training—to the extent possible during the pandemic in 2020.

Health rate









Our employees outside of Germany can also take advantage of permanent health services. Employees in Vancouver, Canada have access to a free Employee Assistance Program. It offers a wide variety of support services on topics such as financial planning for healthcare costs, mental health, and personal or family counselling, as well as advice on equipping workspaces in a way that promotes good health. MTU Aero Engines North America offers its employees health and welfare benefits in the form of various health insurances or workplace reintegration after a long period off work. At our site in Rzeszów (Poland), the basic medical services on offer include a doctor who is on-site once a week as well as psychological support as needed.

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