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Record low number of accidents based on deeply-rooted safety culture

Sulzer has a safety culture that is deeply rooted and shared by all. We have systems and programs in place to ensure employees can work in a safe environment. In 2019, we managed to reduce the accident frequency rate (AFR) to 1.7 cases per million working hours, our lowest AFR ever.

In 2019, we improved our safety performance considerably and reached our lowest ever accident frequency rate (AFR). AFR decreased by 41.3% to 1.7 cases per million working hours. Excluding acquisitions, AFR would have been 1.1, which is at target corridor of an AFR of less than 1.0. Two out of the four divisions already managed to achieve an AFR of less than 1.0 in 2019. Our acquired businesses were able to reduce their accident rates by adopting Sulzer’s strong management system based safety program.

The overall accident severity rate (ASR) also declined significantly by 28.1% to 58.3 lost days per million working hours. The improved development is based on many initiatives launched in the past two years, such as through risk analyses at site level, increased management attention and improved functional support. With an AFR of 1.7, we remain one of the leading companies in safety, ahead of the benchmark for general industries.


Changes in the ESH organization for better business support

In 2019, we hired a new Head of Group ESH (Environment, Safety and Health) and two new Divisional ESH Heads for Rotating Equipment Services and Chemtech to further strengthen our safety culture.

To foster knowledge exchange across all Sulzer businesses, the ESH Competence Center agreed on common focus areas to increase ESH competence and leadership, as well as to ensure effective communication on safety throughout Sulzer.

In addition, members of the Competence Center delivered several training sessions to new ESH officers on risk assessment and Sulzer’s Safe Behavior Program (SBP) to align them with our safety strategy. Embedded within the SBP, Sulzer employees participated in more than 63’000 safety walks and observations during the year.

Divisional initiatives to anchor Safe Behavior Program

In recent years, Sulzer launched several initiatives to increase the hazard awareness of employees, to encourage participation in the safety program and to foster the sharing of competence. In 2019, the divisions took the following measures:

  • Rotating Equipment Services launched a tool to assess its high hazard activities;
  • Chemtech worked on increasing supervisor leadership and the quality of root cause analysis;
  • Pumps Equipment focused on SBP and on training newly acquired businesses;
  • Applicator Systems focused on achieving a consistent safety standard methodology in all their manufacturing facilities as well as on risk assessment and improvement of root cause analysis.

Getting closer to an AFR of less than 1.0

Based on our successes in 2019, we are committed to reach our ambitious goals of an AFR of less than 1.0. Therefore, we continue to take measures to further improve our safety performance and to challenge existing standards.

Key figures





Change in +/–%

Accident frequency rate (AFR)

Cases per million working hours




Accident severity rate (ASR)

Lost days per million working hours




Health and safety training





Please find further sustainability data at www.sulzer.com/sustainability.