OPTERRA Woessingen

Cement Plant ▪ 117 employees

The trigger for Vision Zero strategy or rather the beginning of the changing from a production culture to a safety culture was a fatality in our sister plant in Karsdorf in October 2010. A contracted truck driver tipped–over during unloading of slag sand and was expelled from his cabin.

This change in behaviour was initialized from the company management particularly the CEO, the Industrial Manager, the Purchasing Manager, the Plant Manager and the Safety department.

One result of the Root Cause Analysis is the development of two systems for managing contractors and drivers / truck companies. These systems consist of several steps, from the pre-job qualification over the selection and contract process, the monitoring and audit process up to the post-job evaluation.

The essential tools of these systems, and for the employees the most important part, are the management catalogues of consequences. For ignoring our rules, depending of the violation, penalty points are defined, the scope reaches from a vocally warning over a written admonishment up to the dismissal from the plant. If any employee remarks a disregarding of our safety rules by a truck driver or a contracted worker, he is allowed to award these points.

In the last years, it has been shown that the system is integrated and has become a part of the process. The number of necessary admonishments is decreasing, the drivers and contracted workers have started to accept and overtake the system.

“H&S is not a project with a defined end; it is more a continuous process. To keep H&S always present as a “Number One” priority in our employees mind it is therefore very important to:

  • Continuously start new H&S initiatives
  • Have managers who are consequent and who are leading by example”             

Woessingen today:

  • ca. 117 employees (inclusive apprentices)
  • annual production capacity: approximately 0,8 Mt
  • 2009: Modernisation of the clinker production (new preheater, new kilnline)
  • Woessingen is one of the most energy-efficient cement plants in Germany and Europe
  • Woessingen is a municipality in the Kraichgau region, about 15 km east of Karlsruhe


Stephan Schenk, Plant Manager Woessingen