Occupational safety and health management

Our workplace safety policy is designed to continuously decrease the num­­ber of accidents and the severity of accidents. In view of the Covid-19 crisis, the central occupational health and safety management unit has made a great deal of progress with the business units and service units to protect all employees. Thanks to our cross-functional cooperation, we were able to implement preventive measures across the Group in a very short time. In doing so, we have not only strictly complied with legal requirements in consultation with works concils and DB management as well as the statutory accident insurance scheme for Federal agency and railway personnel (Unfallversiche­rung Bund und Bahn; UVB), but we also set minimum requirements for protective measures throughout Germany, irrespective of the various Federal state-specific regulations. Group-wide models for risk assessments were created and occupational health and safety instructions were issued based on the so-called AHA+L rules: social distance, observe good hygiene practices, wear masks, and ventilate spaces well.

In 2020, the planned adjustments were made to the framework guidelines on occupational health and safety. Furthermore, the Occupational Health and Safety Working Group discussed Group-wide action to improve the quality of preventive health and safety measures as defined by the zero-accident approach. This approach has the strategic objective of having “no work accidents or work-related illnesses.” Its top priority is to prevent fatal and severe work accidents and occupational diseases. If a fatal or serious work accident nevertheless occurs, we cooperate closely with the competent authorities and do everything possible to prevent similar causes of accidents in future. We are represented in the Zero Accident Forum of the German Statutory Accident Insurance’s Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (Institut für Arbeitsschutz der Deutschen Gesetzlichen Unfallversicherung; IFA). The Zero Accident Forum is a network of companies that enables them to learn from one other so that they can reduce the number of accidents at work, including on the way to and from work, to zero.

DB Cargo has launched online training for office workplaces to supplement guidance from managers. This approach was further developed into a blended learning concept for the entire DB Group. It will be piloted in 2021. The Group-wide working group also discussed and adapted the business units’ other best practices and then made them available to everyone. This includes digitalizing healthcare services and implementing a com­­­mon IT solution.

Sickness rate based on hours (%)





DB Long-Distance




DB Regional




DB Cargo




DB Netze Track




DB Netze Stations




DB Netze Energy








DB Schenker




DB Group




Germany (companies with about 97 % of domestic employees).

The sickness rate has fallen despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

Occupational accidents and LTIF





Fatal accidents 1)




     thereof in Germany 2)




Lost time injury frequency (LTIF) 2)3)




1)Worldwide (companies with about 98 % of employees).
2)Germany (companies with about 97 % of domestic employees).
3) Lost time injury frequency = LTIF (work accidents that cause the employee to be absent for longer than one calendar day) 1,000,000/working hours.

We recognize that we have a duty with regard to occupational health and safety. Compliance with internal standards and national laws serve to protect employees. A safe work environment as well as healthy and motivated employees contribute to the Group’s success. There were digital events and active communication measures on the topic of occupational health and safety to achieve the goal of raising awareness among executives and employees about safety and their responsibility for their safety. We are continuously working to optimize safety. With LTIF, we have established an indicator to aid us in further reducing the frequency of accidents.

About 65 companies in Germany are included in the LTIF calculation. Close examination of the LTIF shows a differentiated picture, even in international comparison, as all areas of activity within DB Group are included in the calculation, rather than just sub-areas. Our goal within the scope of our occupational health and safety policy is to continuously and sustainably reduce the LTIF, and our zero-accident measures play a role in this. To this end, we involve the business units and service units in the Group-wide Occupational Health and Safety Working Group, thereby promoting an overall culture of safety to ensure the safety of our employees.

The LTIF in Germany has fallen. As there is ever greater digitalization in DB Group, we aim to further develop the necessary IT applications for occupational health and safety in 2021, allowing us to press ahead with implementing digital formats. We are working to place greater emphasis on executives’ responsibility and their function as role models. As a result, we intend to implement more learning strategies for executives.


In Germany, companies with more than 20 employees are legally required to have an occupational health and safety committee (Arbeitsschutzaus­schuss). The key here is how the operation is defined (production facility, branch, “Wahlbetrieb” for works council election purposes). The majority of DB Group companies in Germany fall under this category with more than 20 employees, so the majority of all employees (more than 75 %) are represented in occupational health and safety committees.

In Deutschland ist der Arbeitsschutzausschuss ab einer Betriebsgröße von 20 Mitarbeitenden gesetzlich verpflichtend vorgeschrieben. Maßgeblich ist die Definition des Betriebs (Produktionsstätte, Niederlassung, Wahlbetrieb). Der DB-Konzern besteht in Deutschland überwiegend aus solchen Betrieben mit über 20 Mitarbeitenden, sodass ein Großteil aller Mitarbeitenden (über 75%) in Arbeitsschutzausschüssen vertreten ist.

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