Occupational health and safety are Bilfinger's top priority

The health of our employees is the number one priority for Bilfinger. No employee’s health shall be adversely affected by his or her work. There are different management approaches for the topics of occupational health and safety. While there are uniform Group-wide standards and centrally coordinated occupational safety campaigns, health protection is not managed centrally.  

Programs to maintain or review employee health, such as ergonomics programs, psychological demands and burdens as well as preventive medical check-ups are the responsibility of the units and are therefore organized on a decentralized basis. When incidents of particular relevance occur, Corporate HSEQ assumes a coordinating role, as has been the case with the COVID-19 pandemic, which also had a significant impact on our business in 2021. 

HSEQ Principles


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Aspects of occupational safety are of key importance to whatever activities we pursue. In addition, safe work processes, reporting of key figures on occupational safety as well as the execution of occupational safety campaigns are important criteria that, with increasing frequency, are being surveyed by our customers prior to the awarding of orders. Through its central governance function, Corporate HSEQ establishes the conditions for Group-wide HSEQ management and coordinates occupational safety in the Group together with regional and local HSEQ specialists. Group companies are thus supported in their efforts to comply with occupational safety standards and in implementing and further developing programs and measures. The occupational health and safety standards drawn up by Corporate HSEQ are reflected in uniform Group-wide guidelines. Responsibility for compliance with these policies lies with local unit managers who must also take local laws and working conditions into consideration. Occupational safety committees are established in the independent companies in accordance with the legal provisions. To be able to record, process and communicate HSEQ incidents worldwide in accordance with uniform standards, we use a management software (Synergi Life, referred to at Bilfinger as ACTIVE). All types of HSEQ incidents can be captured by executives and employees using an app, allowing them to be promptly recorded on site. Event analysis is key to ongoing improvement. An IT-based workflow helps employees and supervisors analyze root causes and facilitates the development of corrective actions to avoid similar situations in the future. Workplace safety is the subject of the HSEQ quarterly report that is submitted to the Executive Board. Particularly serious accidents are reported immediately to the Executive Board. It is informed on an ongoing basis regarding their analysis as well  as necessary corrective measures. The objective pursued by all the measures we take is to continually improve occupational safety. Our objective, ‘Zero is possible,’ helps us to consistently reduce the number of accidents.  

To achieve this objective, we pursue a twofold approach: we take the technical and organizational measures this requires, and we address occupational safety again and again in a variety of communications channels in order to raise awareness for HSEQ issues. We draw the attention of all employees to general occupational safety issues and current accident statistics in the form of monthly Safety Moments memos, for example. In addition, monthly contributions are published in Bilfinger’s employee newsletter, Bilfinger Update, addressing a variety of topics. The commitment of executives all the way up to the members of the Executive Board is a key building block of success. For example, it is the responsibility of managers throughout the Group to regularly carry out a number of safety walks, depending on their area of responsibility, to address risks and hazards, to make employees aware of occupational safety issues and to document their inspections. The results of these safety walks may be recorded on the go, as the walks are progressing, and will  then be directly input into our central HSEQ software. An important measure for raising awareness regarding topics of occupational safety is our safety program Safety Works! including the information campaigns that were developed in this context. In 2021, we carried out a safety campaign based on the revised Life Saving Rules and titled ‘Line of Fire’. The goal of the campaign is to familiarize our employees with the six most important hazards covered by the Life Saving Rules. For the first time, QR codes will also be used to show short videos on the respective topics.

Examples of our Safety Awards

Our annual Safety Award recognizes both outstanding safety initiatives and innovative ideas for the continuous improvement of safety performance. The Group-wide award is intended to commend all employees and managers who have contributed to this result while also encouraging them to work toward safe working conditions and the protection of all employees’ health.  




As part of Bilfinger Matrix certification, 39 companies with 144 locations have been certified pursuant to the occupational health and safety standard DIN EN ISO 45001 and nine companies with 42 locations have been certified pursuant to the Safety Certificate Contractors Petrochemical  (SCCP) standard.  

We conduct regular internal audits in all our subsidiaries, which took place only to a limited extent in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to these internal audits, there are further external audits, including by certifiers, authorities or customers, that were conducted partially also remotely due to the pandemic. 



Zero is possible

For the topic of occupational safety, we use the indicators LTIF  (Lost Time Injury Frequency: the number of occupational accidents from one lost day, related to 1 million working hours) and fatalities. The LTIF indicator increased slightly compared to the previous year, but at a figure of 0.21, it is still below the industry  average*.  

Regrettably, we had one fatality in 2021 and have lost 15 (2020/2 and 2021/13) employees globally  so far due to the pandemic. 

* As of 2020



I am proud to say that the health and safety system we implemented at the Clariant site ensured over 800 people to work safely without Lost Time Injury for almost two years of construction. Even during the pandemic, the site did not stop for even a day. We reacted fast, effectively and professionally, implementing comprehensive safety and hygiene measures in a very short time."

Ion SoareHSE Manager at Bilfinger Tebodin

I am passionate about helping others understand the value of workplace safety. My concern is to make sure you get home the way you came to work. That´s what our safety message at Bilfinger is all about."

Andrew RichardsonHSEQ Director at Centennial Contractors Enterprises Inc.

Occupational safety is clearly a priority for us, given that the health and well-being of our employees is our greatest asset. Our objective is to be an accident-free company with a healthy and operational team at all times."

Michael BenischHSEQ-Beauftragter at Bilfinger Industrial Services GmbH

With every project we do, we show that we can work flexibly and quickly - but never at the expense of safety. We always look out for each other and always have a well-developed rescue concept in place."

Saskia LüghausenIndustrial climber at Bilfinger arnholdt

To avoid putting ourselves, our colleagues and our customers at risk, each and every one of us should work safely. Because occupational safety is something that concerns all of us. Doing one thing unsafely can also put others at risk. That's why safety is a team effort for us."

Christian HoferBusiness Unit Manager Energy Distribution and Storage at Bilfinger Industrial Services GmbH

Our HSEQ Objectives for 2022

The Executive Presidents of our regions and divisions set specific HSEQ objectives each year:

Occupational Health
  • Encourage employee health proactively
  • Establish Mental Health Champions & increase focus
  • Reduce health related absence
  • Reduce LTIF and TRIF in a sustainable manner
  • Balance leading and lagging indicators to steer improvement
  • Strengthen preventive behaviors and processes
  • Significant progress towards net-zero target
  • Launch sustainable industrial services strategy
  • Register & analyze all environment related incidents
  • Assess and understand the root causes of poor quality
  • Reinforce quality systems
  • Continue Lean journey to drive efficiency & repeatability

Health protection

In the year under review, health protection focused on dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, which had a significant impact on our company’s business development. This is explained in detail here.

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In line with our decentralized organization, responsibility for the specific measures related to the respective local COVID-19 situation lay with our units. To help guide the response, the Corona Intervention Team was established at headquarters immediately after the outbreak of the pandemic in Europe. Dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic was also a major focus of internal corporate communications in financial year 2021. For this purpose, Corporate HSEQ created an informative dashboard in the ACTIVE management software to provide an up-to-date status of all COVID-19 cases in the entire Group at any time. For the Group as a whole, we record the number of employees who have contracted COVID-19, the severity of the disease, quarantine status as well as the number of employees who have recovered and returned to work. Selection and implementation of measures to deal with the pandemic are managed at the local level. A specific reaction to local developments was and is possible in a timely and effective manner. Depending on the type of job and the intensity of contact among employees, a measured approach is taken with the objective of minimizing the impact on the health of our employees  and their families. 

Diversity inspires development

Employee development and diversity

As an industrial services provider, our business model is shaped by the availability, skills and value  orientation of our employees. Continuous training and qualification of our employees are key in  this regard.  

Our Concept

Group-wide human resources governance is based on minimum standards that are firmly anchored in our Group Policies and therefore apply to all employees. They cover areas such as reporting, remuneration and talent management. The so-called Business Partners in the Group companies are responsible for the implementation of minimum requirements. They serve as contact persons for management and for employees of the individual companies. Regional personnel managers appointed for the individual regions act as links between Corporate Human Resources and the Group companies.  

Among the most important longer-term personnel initiatives was implementation of the SAP SuccessFactors human resources management software (known internally as HRcules), which was completed in 2020. This system provides us with a company-wide and integrated process and system landscape on the basis of which reporting and control functions can be further developed. In 2021, for example, the first central human resources performance indicators were defined as part of the Basic KPIs initiative to enable valid measurement in the years ahead. The reporting functions in SAP SuccessFactors will be further developed in 2022 so that a simplified visualization of the collected data will be possible in the future. 

With a view to the issue of employee satisfaction at Bilfinger, the Executive Board launched  the Meet the Board initiative in 2021. In 14 cross-regional and cross-hierarchical roundtable discussions in financial year 2021, the Executive Board outlined key messages relating to Bilfinger’s strategic orientation, gathering opinions and sentiment in the process. Based on the findings, initiatives will now be derived to address the focus topics that were identified.

Learn more about employee development at Bilfinger

Central human resources management processes are outlined in our HR Calendar. They relate, for example, to the annual performance assessment, development planning and salary review in the  course of the financial year. HRcules helps us track our annual performance and development cycle also in digital form. Corporate HR provides discussion guides for the annual employee appraisals, which employees, industrial workers and their supervisors use to reflect on what has been  achieved and to define resulting development measures in a structured manner. Salaried employees also set individual goals for the year ahead.  

To develop and retain internal talent at Group level, we have established various programs for high-potential employees and management levels 2 to 4.

As part of the annual Talent Review, the potential of employees is evaluated and calibrated. Structured interviews are used to identify potential successors for key positions, thus supporting  long-term succession planning. The Talent Review process is carried out in cooperation among supervisors and local HR departments together with Corporate Human Resources and the Executive Board. The Talent Review’s identification of potential is followed by a nomination to the global management development programs, which serve to promote the development of management and specialist competences as well as networking. An overhaul of these global leadership development programs was conducted in 2021, in particular to accommodate hybrid learning formats.  

In addition to the management development programs, the Bilfinger Academy bundles the internal further training programs for all employees. A Group-wide Digital Learning Week is held twice annually and employees, in consultation with their supervisors, can register online for workshops, seminars and training. In 2021, the topics covered included IT applications, project management, communication and intercultural competence, for example. In addition, as part of the  learning week, we have included internal facilitators of expertise in the series of events in addition to externally sourced trainers. We thus promote the exchange of knowledge and professional networking among employees across regional and functional boundaries.  

For the special fostering of project management skills which, in Bilfinger’s business model, are applied in many areas, we have introduced a qualification series together with external trainers that offers training in accordance with the internationally recognized standard of the Project Management Institute (PMI)

At the regional and local levels, Bilfinger’s operating units offer additional development and training opportunities depending on local requirements.  

Learn more about diversity at Bilfinger

We have anchored the prohibition of discrimination in our Code of Conduct. In this context, we pay particular attention to the provisions of the German General Equal Treatment Act (AGG). More information on how to deal with violations of the Code of Conduct, including discrimination, is provided in Chapter B.5.2.1. Bilfinger has reaffirmed this attitude toward cultural diversity and equal opportunity – combined with the obligation to promote their implementation in the company – by joining the "Diversity Charter" association in the 2021 financial year.  

The preparation of a concept was initiated in financial year 2021, the development phase of which will be continued in the coming financial year. With regard to the sustainable integration of diversity at Bilfinger, the concept focuses on the following three areas: Recruiting & Succession Planning, Training & Development as well as Communication. In accordance with the model of the seven diversity dimensions of the Diversity Charter, Bilfinger pursues a comprehensive approach with a broad range of measures to promote diversity. This does not focus exclusively on individual, selected diversity factors, but also includes experience, knowledge and skills in addition to individual personal characteristics.  

We promote diversity in order to take full advantage of employee potential and encourage the conscious development of personal diversity in the sense of an appreciative and productive approach to differences in the Group. 

Within the framework of the focus areas mentioned above, it was possible to expand existing  individual measures in a bundled framework in the 2021 financial year. At the same time, additional measures were initiated. The measures in the focus area “Recruiting & Succession Planning” target a more intensive consideration of diversity in recruiting and promotion processes. The latter was supported in particular by the establishment of a new global role, “Talent Partner”, and global, internal marketplaces. 

The focus of the global Bilfinger Mentoring Program, relaunched in financial year 2021, fosters the exchange of experience between less experienced and professionally experienced employees from different business segments and countries in order to support the transfer of knowledge as well as perspective changes in a sustainable manner within the Bilfinger Group. We believe that the Bilfinger Mentoring Program is a perfect addition to the existing mentoring program to promote women in management positions. 

An international outlook and cultural diversity are part of everyday life at a globally active company like Bilfinger, with employees from a total of 115 nations. In order to strengthen intercultural cooperation and reduce unconscious bias, employees are offered a wide range of further education and training opportunities. In addition, the Group supports temporary assignments to international locations or special job rotation programs that promote the transfer of knowledge between different locations while at the same time facilitating cultural openness. 

In order to make diversity at Bilfinger visible and tangible for current and future employees, the "People@Bilfinger" and "TeamBilfinger" portrait series introduces employees from different regions or backgrounds through various internal and external communication channels, thus providing a model approach to strengthening diversity at Bilfinger. 

In the future, collaboration with the individual managers responsible for HR processes will be intensified to review our HR processes, identify further measures, and ensure that these processes reflect the diverse skills and talents of all employees as well as our own performance objectives. 

Christian Rugland (Finance Director & Acting Executive President at Bilfinger Middle East) and employees at Bilfinger Middle East

I appreciate the opportunity to work together with multicultural teams that are diverse in age and geographic location. Diverse teams make better decisions and enhance creativity and innovation."

Christian RuglandFinance Director & Acting Executive President at Bilfinger Middle East

We at Bilfinger are a “People Business” – continuous development of our employees is a crucial factor for the success of the company. Our “Digital Learning Week” is one of diverse global formats where our people enhance their personal and professional skills, share knowledge and experiences and build networks across the organization."

Sarah WegnerHead of Talent Management & Academy at Bilfinger SE

I really like that the program is not set in stone and that a next assignment is chosen in agreement with the trainee to provide the best custom-made traineeship."

Jeroen GoudzwaardProcess Engineer at Bilfinger Tebodin
We promote equality

Proportion of women in management positions  


On November 26, 2020, the reporting date for the definition of the target figure, this proportion was 8 percent in management level 1 and nearly 5 percent in management level 2. As of December 31, 2021, the proportion of women at management level 1 was 6 percent, while the figure for management level 2 was 8 percent.

Performance indicator details

The proportion of women in management positions is established as an indicator at Bilfinger. At the end of November 2020, the Executive Board resolved to achieve a target of 10 percent women in each of the management levels 1 and 2 at Bilfinger below the Executive Board by December 31,  2023, in accordance with Section 76 Paragraph 4 of the German Stock Corporation Act (AktG).  

The Supervisory Board has set a target of 30 percent women and men on the Executive Board  by December 31, 2023, which means with an Executive Board of three members, at least one  woman and one man.

Human rights

Human rights, labour rights and sustainable supply chain

We are committed to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Global Compact initiative. We want to be fully committed to respecting human rights wherever we operate. This applies with regard to

  • our own employees,
  • the employees of our direct and indirect suppliers, and our business partners,
  • our customers and
  • other affected stakeholder.

The measures relating to our suppliers are described in the section compliance with human rights in our supply chain.

Observing human rights within the group

The basis of all our activities with regard to observing human rights is our Code of Conduct. This also represents our fundamental declaration on observing human rights. The Code of Conduct was approved by company management and is publicly available on our website in both German and English. 18 different language versions are available for internal Group-wide use. The Code of Conduct defines the principles of acting with integrity toward both other employees as well as toward external persons and organizations and is aimed throughout the Group at all of our managers and employees – regardless of where they work and what job they do. In the section Responsibility to society and the environment, observing human rights is firmly anchored in our Code of Conduct.

Our managers and employees are obligated to adhere to the principles formulated in the Code of Conduct and to confirm in writing that they have received and familiarized themselves with it. In addition, the contents of the Code of Conduct are refreshed and expanded within the scope of e-learnings and through various other activities. We do not tolerate violations of our Code of Conduct. 

In addition to direct reporting to Corporate Compliance, a proprietary whistleblower system is used to receive suspected cases of possible violations of our Code of Conduct, including the principle of respect for human rights principles that it contains: Both our employees and external parties can, on a confidential basis and, if desired, also anonymously provide information on potential misconduct in the environment of our business activities. The whistleblower system can be accessed through our website and is available in 26 languages. Information can also be given by mail, telephone or directly. Availability of the whistleblower system is ensured through an external service provider. Our objective is to process suspected cases confidentially, objectively and independently. In the case of a confirmed violation, disciplinary and corrective measures are initiated, ranging from informal warnings through to termination without notice.  

Observing employees’ rights 

We consider observing employee rights an important aspect of human rights. This is based in particular on our commitment to Principles 3 to 6 of the UN Global Compact initiative, which applies throughout the Group. They relate to employees’ rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining, the elimination of all forms of forced labor and child labor, and the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation. The rights of employees to freedom of association and collective bargaining find expression in particular in the – depending on local law – company or trade union employee representative bodies, which work to safeguard employee rights, including through the conclusion of collective agreements, and with which management maintains a regular and constructive dialog. 

In the reporting year, we generated the vast majority of our revenue in regions where employee rights are guaranteed by law: more than 80 percent of our revenue was generated in the EU as well as the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Norway. Here, at the end of the year around  80 percent of our people were employed.  

Observing human rights in our supply chain 

We depend on suppliers and subcontractors for the delivery of our services. In our Supplier Code of Conduct, available to the public from our website, we formulate the clear expectations that we have of them to respect human rights. Our guidelines require that this Code of Conduct is a fundamental component of our supplier contracts. Through this Code of Conduct, we also require our suppliers to demand that their suppliers and subcontractors also comply with internationally accepted principles and standards on human rights.  

Bilfinger follows national legal requirements for the protection of human rights. These include the UK Modern Slavery Act, which requires us to report on how we manage relevant risks in our business activities and, in particular, in our supply chain

We pursue a Group-wide supplier management system – HANDLE Procurement Suppliers – with Corporate Procurement maintaining responsibility for its definition, organization, development and monitoring. This is described in detail in our Procurement Policies and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and is binding for all our subsidiaries. One of the objectives of this Group-wide regulation is to ensure that compliance rules – including observing human rights – are observed. 

In addition to the standardized assessment as part of our supplier management system, we review the integrity, which also includes observing human rights, of our business partners who  exceed a defined value limit and all sales intermediaries using a risk-based and IT-supported due diligence tool (see here).

We have also commissioned an independent agency to obtain a self-disclosure from selected suppliers, among other things as relates to respect for human rights. The selection of these suppliers is carried out on the basis of a risk-based approach. In 2021, Bilfinger commissioned the agency with about 260 self-assessments from suppliers. 

The sanctions list check we conduct on all contractual partners is also designed to ensure that we do not enter into any business relationships with third parties that have been listed on the basis of human rights violations. 

If a violation of the Bilfinger Code of Conduct for Suppliers or a negative result is found in an integrity check, the supplier is blocked on a Group-wide basis. If such an incident should occur or become known, our employees are obligated to report it. A Group policy defines the process of barring suppliers and thus ensures a uniform Group-wide policy. Corporate Procurement informs all companies of the Bilfinger Group ad hoc regarding new blocks and also provides a list of all current blocks at least once a month. 



Human rights are firmly anchored in our corporate values - their protection is our core task. This applies with regard to our own employees and we also stand up for this with our business partners."

Christoph HarlerChief Compliance Officer at Bilfinger SE
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