|The average number of full-time equivalents for the year was 8,006 (2011: 6,895): of these 84% (80%) worked in countries other than Sweden. While we remain committed to maintaining strong, competitive production facilities in Sweden and other high-cost countries, we are also investing in plants in regions where costs are generally lower, such as Eastern Europe, China and Mexico. It is here that we manufacture those products that are subject to the stiffest competition, but we also see these regions as attractive growth markets for our products.
Competence and commitment
To develop our business and our products we need co-workers with the right skills, the relevant experience and a real sense of commitment. As it is crucial for us to attract, retain and develop co-workers of the right calibre, our ambition is to make sure we are positively perceived as an employer who offers generous opportunities for personal and professional development. We set our sights high and demand a great deal of our employees. In return, they enjoy freedom with accountability, a work ethos characterised by common sense and a straightforward approach to problem-solving, plus excellent career opportunities. Factors like these explain our low incidence of sickness absence, low staff turnover, high levels of staff loyalty – and the constant stream of applications from jobseekers.
In 2012 sickness absence in the Group averaged 4.9 percent (5.0 percent). The figures for both short-term and long-term absence are relatively low at between 2 and 3 percent. While staff turnover has risen slightly over the past three years, it still remains comparatively low.
Work environment hazards in our production plants tend to be related to exposure to noise, dust, chemicals, heavy lifting, repetitive strain and industrial injuries. We do our utmost to provide a good working environment by maintaining high technical standards, providing personal safety and protective equipment, conducting risk assessments, taking measurements, providing training, and phasing out chemicals that are hazardous to health and the environment. There are formal Safety Committees at 80 percent of our production facilities.
During the past year almost half of our units were inspected by the relevant authorities. The inspection results were generally excellent, but the need for certain corrective measures was pointed out in a handful of facilities. Our own workplace surveys and risk analyses were carried out at more than 25 units during the year to identify hazards such as exposure to dust, noise and solvents.
Six of the Group’s companies have introduced the occupational health and safety standard, OHSAS 18001.
Accidents at work
In 2012 a total of 179 (143) accidents at work resulting in more than one day’s absence were reported. The most common causes of injury were accidents on the way to or from work, those involving production equipment, and injuries as a result of falling, heavy lifting and repetitive strain. One accident involving a contractor was reported during the year. Approximately 20 cases of work-related illness were registered in 2012.
Training and education
We train co-workers in a variety of technical skills, production techniques and quality-control procedures. Training sessions are often led by our own instructors with their unique mix of experience and company-specific expertise – a cost-effective way to spread knowledge and equip co-workers with the skills and attitudes we need to meet the future. In 2012 this amounted to almost 75,000 hours of training, which corresponds to approximately nine hours per employee. Training in environmental, work environment and safety issues took place at most of the Group’s production facilities and averaged just over two hours per employee.
Salary levels/collective agreements
The same rules and values apply to all Group units. Rates of pay comply with national legislation, are pitched above local minimum wages and fully reflect market conditions.
The NIBE Code of Conduct acknowledges every employee’s right to be represented by a trade union or other employee representative, and to collective bargaining and agreements.
We encourage diversity and disassociate ourselves from all forms of discrimination, as clearly stated in “Our Values”. There were no reported cases of discrimination during the year. Work to inform co-workers about our code of conduct has started on a broad scale and will continue. Responsibility for these matters lies with the management of each individual company.
NIBE plays an active part in the communities where we have a presence, through open days, study visits, cooperation with schools and universities, and sponsorship, primarily of activities that encourage young people to become involved in sport and culture. Of particular importance are the projects and collaborations with universities and technical colleges. Staff from our companies also take part in local events and development projects.
Over the past year we have sponsored numerous local sporting and cultural activities and health initiatives. Several thousand people have also taken up invitations to visit our different units.
NIBE shows its appreciation for loyal co-workers even after they have retired. Each year the company invites former employees to a Christmas party in Markaryd with good food, entertainment plus plenty of laughter and happy memories on the menu. Senior executives of NIBE AB are also always in attendance.