As of 2020, worldwide

After Weidmüller had consistently recorded low accident rates for years, a solution was sought to become even better. All those involved agreed that "business as usual" would not bring about any significant improvement. To find new ideas, the perspective on the problem was changed. For the first time, the accident events were examined with regard to behaviour-related accidents. It turned out that personal misconduct was the cause of about 80 percent of all accidents at work. Technical measures hardly help at all. A core team of manufacturing employees was looking for a solution that would start with individual employee attitudes and a positive OSH culture. The measure should focus on practical instruction, more direct education on accident incidents and increased awareness of safe behaviour.

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After several workshops, a creative solution was then developed - in the form of the company's own cartoon character named Ferdi. Ferdi portrays a clumsy but likeable Weidmüller employee who experiences all kinds of work-related accidents. The comics about Ferdi and his teachings are always direct and funny. They communicate in a simple and personal way how accidents can be avoided. The comics are published several times a year in six languages and are distributed through numerous channels such as notice boards, the company intranet and the staff newspaper. The comics cover a wide range of topics related to occupational safety and health. In the 2020 comic, for example, the correct way to deal with flu and cold symptoms at the time of the pandemic was addressed.

Ferdi has become a general identification figure for successful occupational safety.

Gerrit Plaßmann, Head of Occupational Safety at Weidmüller

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There are various pictures of Ferdi for presentations and instruction and a life-size Ferdi cardboard cut-out that is used at events. The key figures on occupational accidents have decreased significantly since the introduction of Ferdi. While in 2016 the number of occupational accidents per 1,000 employees at the main site in Detmold was still 7.1, in 2020 it was 5.2. That is a reduction of 27 percent. The number of days lost due to accidents at work has even fallen by 48 percent during this time: from 248 to 128.

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Ferdi promotes an occupational safety culture that is characterised by personal responsibility and mindfulness. This is how we achieve successful prevention in occupational safety and health. This was also confirmed by the nomination for the German Occupational Health and Safety Award in the category "Strategic" in 2019.

United Nations sustainable development goals

United Nations sustainable development goals

United Nations sustainable development goals

This activity helps towards achieving the following goal: Goal 3 - Health and well-being