Occupational health & safety

It is vital for both our employees and our business to maintain a safe and healthy work place, with good work-life balance. Some of our focus areas include prevention of accidents and hazards, hygiene, health promotion and product safety.


Novozymes strives to create a healthy, inclusive and injury- and incident-free working environment for its employees.  In our daily operations, we are determined to prevent occupational hazards and diseases by following best practices as described in the occupational health & safety (OH&S) management standard specific to each functional employee group (see our people policy).


Initiative & activities

QMS documents

OH&S standards and requirements are part of our quality controls, and hence OH&S is included in the Quality Management System (QMS): the objectives and processes of a company designed to orient the company toward quality and customer satisfaction.

Safety initiatives

Lessons Learned Sharing (LLS) was rolled out in 2014 and is a safety initiative.  LLS is a platform for sharing health & safety-related experiences and ideas with colleagues across sites and functions.  LLS aims to improve employee safety by avoiding recurrence of incidents and near-misses at other sites or functions.  It was created as a result of Novozymes’ global safety assessment in 2013 and was built as an add-on to the existing "Dare to Care" and "Stop and Think" safety campaigns, which remind employees to take care of themselves and each other in potentially risky situations.

Safe products

As outlined in Novozymes’ quality policy, we will inform our customers about safe handling of products and advise when we are aware that products could be used in a way that violates regulatory requirements. Customers can download product safety sheets on all products at the on-line Customer Centre.

Hygiene requirements

Personal hygiene is a very important factor when working with food/feed products. Novozymes adheres to a set of rules and requirements for personal and site hygiene and uses the cleaning-in-place (CIP) method. Novozymes has set out requirements for clothes, footwear, jewelry, health status, and behavior for all production personnel, who are given training on these requirements.

Health promotion

Novozymes’ health initiatives are designed to fit local needs and to improve employees’ overall wellbeing.  Healthy employees are a prerequisite for a productive and sustainable organization, as low absence improves work flows, saves costs, and limits unnecessary stress and extra work for colleagues.  Our health promoting initiatives focus on work-life balance, lifestyle habits, healthy nutrition, exercise and wellness opportunities that are essential to health in general. 

Management system & guidelines

All business units in Novozymes follow an OH&S management standard in order to continuously improve OH&S, including the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases. The requirements include setting targets and drawing up action plans based on risk assessments and official criteria. OH&S is included in the Novozymes management systems in the business units, which strengthens follow-up on OH&S objectives, implementation of activities set out in actions plans, and an ongoing commitment from line management.
OH&S is a line management responsibility, and management’s duties and responsibilities in relation to safety are outlined in Novozymes’ quality system, an integrated management system covering environment, occupational health and safety, and social responsibility. The OH&S standard is organized according to the principles in OHSAS 18001, including:
  • Identification and compliance with authority requirements
  • Employee involvement in OH&S work at the departmental level
  • Objectives, targets, and action plans based on annual hazard identification and risk assessments to continuously improve safety 
  • Training and re-training of employees
  • Evaluation of the effectiveness and applicability of the OH&S system through annual management reviews
Line management’s access to adequate OH&S competencies is based on two specialized units: one is headed up by a doctor responsible for individual health monitoring and promotion, while the other focuses on managing and coordinating OH&S and preventive work. Read more about Novozymes’ approach to ensuring a safe workplace.

Targets & KPIs

  • Frequency of occupational accidents: For 2015, Novozymes has set the target of keeping the frequency of occupational accidents below 1.7 per million working hours.  For 2020, Novozymes has set the target of keeping the frequency of occupational accidents below 1.0 per million working hours.
  • Employee rate of absence:  For 2015 and 2020, Novozymes has set the targets of keeping employee absence below 2%.