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Achieving Safety Milestones

A Look at Xella Plants' Commitment to Workplace Safety


To gain insights into the strategies and practices responsible for these impressive safety records, Jörg Hurtz, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Xella Germany, provides deeper insights into the company's philosophy.

Hurtz emphasized that achieving zero accidents and maintaining a culture of safety is not a given; rather, it results from continuous effort and collective commitment. It begins with every employee ensuring their safety before commencing their work and concludes with everyone leaving their workplace safely at the end of the day. To achieve this, each team member actively makes safety-conscious decisions and takes responsibility for both themselves and their colleagues, fostering a culture of safety that is deeply ingrained within the organization.


The key to bringing this safety culture to life lies in a combination of automated, firmly established procedures and safety-supporting habits. These habits include consistently using handrails, descending from forklifts in a particular manner, and wearing appropriate safety gear, all of which become second nature through repetition. These practices form a solid foundation, complemented by a vigilant mindset, which must be actively maintained, akin to training a muscle. Safety, according to Hurtz, is an ongoing process requiring unwavering attention.


Practically, this commitment to safety is reflected in various initiatives within the plants. "Let's talk safety" events are organized, where management visits the plants and engages in dialogue with employees, with an emphasis on listening. Safety Days, special events where operations are temporarily paused, allow employees to participate in interactive safety-related experiences.


In the day-to-day production process, "Safety Moments" take precedence during regular team and performance dialogues, ensuring that potential hazards are discussed and addressed before daily tasks proceed.

Jörg Hurtz, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Xella Germany emphasises that safety is an ongoing process that requires constant attention.

Hurtz stresses the importance of dialogue and creating a safe space for such conversations. He noted that an open exchange, which includes sharing experiences, is vital for a culture of safety to flourish. Employees must have personal access to company leaders, ensuring that the message, "Safety is a Value," is not just a concept on paper but a tangible commitment.

When asked about his personal safety vision for the future, Hurtz's response was unequivocal: "No one gets hurt!" He acknowledged that this aspiration might seem challenging in the industry, but he emphasized the importance of both physical and emotional safety. Mental health, he highlighted, is an essential aspect tied to employees' overall well-being, impacting their ability to maintain safety in the workplace. By promoting a culture of attentiveness and open communication, the organization aims to prioritize the mental health of its employees, working towards a future where safety, both physical and emotional, is an unwavering commitment.

Xella Deutschland GmbH
Düsseldorfer Landstraße 395
47259 Duisburg