Vileda team in Mexico wins safety prize

Weinheim. July 15, 2011. The Freudenberg Group has just presented its “We all take care” Awards for the eight time, honoring the best ideas from associates at all sites in the field of health, safety and the environment. Management Board member Dr. Martin Stark and Ismet Kutay, Head of the Health, Safety and Environmental Protection Corporate Function, presented the prizes to the winners. “‘We all take care’ is a success story because it creates a special bond between all of the company’s Business Groups. We are proud of the way this campaign has developed and the wonderful ideas of our associates,” Dr. Martin Stark said at the award ceremony. First prize went to a project on a comprehensive safety program for field staff thought up by Freudenberg Household Products in Mexico.

More than 2,000 “We all take care” projects have been submitted over recent years, 205 of them for the 2010 Award. The initiative was launched in the summer of 2002 on the occasion of a meeting of 220 Freudenberg Group managers. Its mission is to anchor occupational health, safety and environmental protection more firmly in the hearts and minds of associates and managers, thereby bringing about a change in mindset. Since then, the ideas and projects of Freudenberg associates have become an important factor. New ideas are constantly evolving and these are taken up and carried forward under the award process.

The 2010 winning project from Freudenberg Household Products in Mexico is specially designed for field staff. They are exposed to many risks and dangers – in traffic or when visiting their customers’ stores and sales rooms. The jury was impressed by the way this challenge was taken up and with the systematic search for solutions in the spirit of the “zero accidents” philosophy. Workshops provided intensive exposure to the safety philosophy, preventive healthcare measures such as vaccinations were implemented, ergonomic principles were trained, and personal protective equipment distributed to field staff.

The winner of the second prize convinced the jury with a detailed concept and individual health instructions for every workplace. This was not the first time such an idea had been submitted. Two years ago, the facility at Kerkrade, Netherlands, won first prize with the same concept. However, the intelligent evolution of this kind of project, adapting it to the needs of a specific site, definitely merited consideration for a place on the winners’ podium at the annual awards – and Freudenberg Simmerringe in Weinheim did just that.
There were two third prizes this year. The BT Burgmann facility in Arcugnano, Italy, implemented various measures for an all-round energy saving concept which followed a comprehensive energy analysis. As a result, the facility not only lowered energy consumption, but also now generates a large share of the electricity it uses from a photovoltaic system.

The second project to win third prize was thought up by Freudenberg Research Services and focused on an intelligent technical solution for working on rolling mills. The project team developed an electronic system that increases protection at the roller feed system and at the same time improves the ergonomics of working at rolling mills.

A special prize paying tribute to an achievement that combines innovation with responsible action went to the project submitted by Freudenberg Stanz- und Umformtechnik. The Weinheim team developed a completely new production method for metal parts. Metal rings are now no longer stamped, but welded instead. That cuts steel consumption by 70 percent. It also protects the environment and raises occupational safety (lower risk of cuts) as well as protecting health (less noise).