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State Secretary visits OPTERRA plant

Published by , Deputy Editor
World Cement,

On 06 July, the State Secretary in the Ministry of Economy, Labour and Housing of the State of Baden-Württemberg, Katrin Schütz, visited the OPTERRA plant in Wössingen as part of a labour market policy trip through the Karlsruhe administrative district. The aim of the trip was to exchange ideas regarding various labour policy issues such as the challenges of the corona pandemic and aspects of occupational safety. Personal contact is particularly important to the State Secretary in the current crisis. “The corona pandemic has created significant changes and challenges for those promoting employment. Occupational health and safety also plays a special role in the crisis."

The OPTERRA plant in Wössingen was the last stop on the trip. The location is a pioneer in occupational safety and received the German Occupational Safety Award for its safety centre in 2017.

The delegation, which included Katrin Schütz, Axel Fischer, member of the German Bundestag, and Joachim Kößler, member of the Baden-Württemberg state parliament, was welcomed in the factory canteen. In accordance with the SARS-CoV-2 occupational safety standards practiced in the factory, this was of course done in compliance with the required safety distance.

Plant Manager, Stephan Schenk, and Jörg Heimburg, Head of Environment and Public Relations, introduced the plant and explained the importance of the location for the region.

The State Secretary then got an idea of the occupational safety measures at OPTERRA. Hans-Joachim Kelter, Head of Occupational Health and Safety at the plant, presented the award-winning organisational concept of a consistently staffed security centre. The headquarters are set up for inspection purposes during the five-week winter shutdown. During this time, it serves as the first point of contact for the additional 250 employees from external companies who carry out cleaning and maintenance work on the systems. The result of the measure is impressive, since the number of accidents at work has been significantly reduced since the safety centre was set up.

"With this, the company exemplarily shows how employees of external companies are integrated into their own occupational safety through organisational solutions. We need such ideas to ensure the well-being of the employees,” said the State Secretary of the initiative.

At the end of the two-hour stay, Katrin Schütz was able to take a look at the plant from the 107-metre-high preheater tower extended into the country.

"The anchoring and networking of the plant with the region is very clearly visible here," said Plant Manager, Stephan Schenk, in his explanations.

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