Measuring sustainability progress

Fostering health and safety 

GRI 403-1, 403-2, 403-4, 405-5, 403-7


Workplace conditions directly influence employees and keeping them safe is our primary responsibility as an organisation. This applies not only to Kuehne+Nagel employees, but also to the people who work with us on our premises, our business partners, customers and the communities in which we operate. We continuously evaluate the status of our work environment while fostering its continuous improvement. Despite the aim to prevent any harm, Kuehne+Nagel has incurred fatal accidents. Occupational health and safety is also addressed in the materiality matrix in this report.


Kuehne+Nagel aims at achieving the highest level of health and safety for all parties involved in all our operations.


Continued in 2020:
The journey to NO HARM continued in 2020. The “Get Home Safe” campaign was extended to all countries in the Middle East and Africa region, US, Canada and selected countries in South America and Europe. In Asia, key suppliers have been provided with training material to ensure safe driving and prevent accidents. To manage the Covid-19 pandemic, training and awareness sessions were provided for all locations, Business Continuity Plans were revised, tested and put in place in all countries.

Due to the learning from reporting unsafe situations, our safety performance reached an all-time low and the Lost time injury frequency (LTIF) continues to trend downwards.

For 2021 the Kuehne+Nagel's seven safety anchors will be launched. They will be introduced to increase safety awareness and with that make our workplaces safer.

Next steps in our journey to NO HARM:

  • Review and re-issue of NO HARM level 1 and 2 training to recognise hazards at the work place,
  • Launch of NO HARM level 3 training for management with a focus on behavioural safety,
  • Introduction of the KN Safety Anchors to highlight and raise awareness of major safety and health hazards.   

Unsafe acts and unsafe conditions reported in HSE-app in 2020

Progress 2020

With the online HSE (Heath, Safety and Environment) reporting tool – HSE-app – we can learn and take preventative measures based on reported unsafe acts, unsafe conditions and positive observations.

In 2020 the tool was further rolled out globally and resulted in over 17,000 reported situations. Analyses of these situations have resulted in a significant reduction of incidents with a consequence, as well as smoother operations. They also helped to define our Kuehne+Nagel Safety Anchors. In the course of 2021, the HSE-app will be used for reporting of all Safety and Health related incidents, thus providing global KPIs.

Although rare, incidents do happen. It is important that these are reported effectively and thoroughly to allow a full investigation with actions assigned to avoid future incidents.

The tool facilitates a detailed and effective incident investigation with Risk Assessment and Corrective Action/Preventative Action planning. This will help to bring us further in our journey to NO HARM.

Fatalities in 2020

Corporate, regional and national management is informed of every single fatality, Kuehne+Nagel employees or 3rd party. Respective investigations are triggered and collaboration with authorities conducted to ensure lessons learnt are communicated and trained, with underlying causes corrected. We deeply regret these incidents and we sent our heartfelt condolences to the families.

Information on fines and court cases in 2020

In 2020, Kuehne+Nagel Drinks Logistics Limited in Great Britain was fined for failure to operate its site in accordance with the health and safety policies following an accident on its site. Kuehne+Nagel Drinks Logistics was fined £800,000.00 and ordered to pay costs of £25,000.00.

A Contract Logistics location in Kuehne+Nagel USA was fined for a lack of consistent Safety Shoe policy in the warehouse. The fine was $5,400, down from the original $13,500, and the situation was successfully rectified with our payment of the fine.  

Kuehne+Nagel USA used this incident to present a business/risk case to local management to implement a nationwide safety shoe requirement and programme. This received strong support from regional management, and was rolled out with full procurement support over 2020.

Refer also to the performance data overview here.

Fatalities 2020
Business Unit Location Description Employed by
Road Logistics The Netherlands Truck driver fatally injured in a road traffic accident in Germany Employee
Road Logistics Norway Truck driver fatally injured in a road traffic accident in Norway 3rd party
Contract Logistics The Netherlands Third party employee passed away due to a non work related incident in one of our warehouses 3rd party

Some Kuehne+Nagel employees were infected by Covid-19 and unfortunately eight of our employees passed away due to Covid-19 infections. The Covid-19 restrictions (distance and skeleton teams) did have a negative impact on the reported unsafe situations, but had a positive impact on the number of incidents. Fewer incidents happened.