We employ more than 50,000 people worldwide, all of which we have a
clear commitment to provide a healthy and safe working environment
for. Supporting safety, physical health and mental well-being
is fundamental to personal and professional growth.
We offer a healthy and engaging workplace, supported by a
comprehensive Health and Safety programme. To this end, we have
implemented our Health and Safety management system across our entire
global organisation to ensure such conditions for all employees and contractors.
Corporate policy and governance
Our corporate values,
the Novo Nordisk Way, with Essential no. 8 “We have a healthy and
engaging working environment”, state clearly that health and safety is
a key priority. Our global health and safety policy is based on our
focus on prevention and continual improvement.
We strive to uphold a safe working environment and promote the
health of our people.
This means that we:
- Operate by high health and safety standards throughout the
- Promote a healthy lifestyle
- Ensure our
employees are involved in how we maintain and improve health and
- Hold our people accountable for their actions
regarding workplace safety
- Ensure that the working
environment is not compromised for economic or productivity
- Fulfil applicable legal requirements
relevant international conventions
The health and safety policy is
governed and implemented through our global health and safety
management system, which is described in a global procedure. The
management system defines that health and safety of our employees is a
managerial responsibility. The procedure contains specific health and
safety requirements regarding e.g., risk assessments and emergency
procedures and preparedness. The global procedure is supported by
local instructions and dedicated training of all managers and health
and safety staff as well as basic training of all employees in
research, development and production. All production facilities have
health and safety certifications according to ISO45001 and are audited
regularly both internally and externally.
Every year, an organisational bottom-up management review is
conducted with the Novo Nordisk Executive Management team as the
Our health and safety strategy sets a clear
direction to make continuous improvements. Through our global
partnering approach, all business areas commit to specific targets and
initiatives for identified health and safety challenges. The strategy
is implemented in a partnering approach, with all business areas and
aims to involve, inspire, and enable managers and employees to make
sure that our people leave work every day as mentally healthy and
physically fit as when they arrived. We want everyone in Novo Nordisk
to act on the safety, physical and mental health and well-being of
themselves and their colleagues.
The health and safety strategy drives improvements on our three
focus areas and targets for safety, mental health and well-being and
ergonomics, illustrated in the list below.
We continuously improve our safety culture
and reduce the frequency of work accidents.
Nordisk target: 10% annual improvement of accidents with absence
per million work hours.
2. MENTAL WELL-BEING
We address well-being
proactively and the share of employees reporting stress symptoms is
EVP area target: 10% annual
improvement of employees reporting stress symptoms.
3. PHYSICAL WELL-BEING
We continuously improve
workplace ergonomics to increase physical well-being and reduce
EVP area target: 5% annual improvement of
employees reporting work-related pain.
Employee health promotion
Our global employee health
promotion programme enables employees to act on their health by
providing a framework for integrating health promotion into the
workday, no matter if they work in a physically demanding or a
sedentary work environment.
The programme is adapted locally by novohealth ambassadors,
and its content is co-created by employees across the organisation.
The employee health promotion programme offers activities, and
encourages employees to act on their own health, within six pillars:
1. Physical activity
employees are encouraged to be physically active.
all employees have opportunities to exercise.
2. Healthy eating
All employees are encouraged to have a
Goal: all employees have information and
access to healthy food, so the healthy choice is the easy choice.
3. Individual mental well-being
All employees are
encouraged to pay attention to their mental health.
all employees can access knowledge and tools to act on their mental well-being.
4. Health checks
All employees are encouraged to care
for their health.
Goal: all employees have access to free
health checks and guidance on how to act on their health.
5. Smoke free
Employees that smoke are encouraged to
become smoke free.
Goal: all employees have access to
help to stop smoking
6. Weight management
Employees at risk are encouraged to
start and sustain healthy weight.
Goal: employees have
access to weight management programmes and obesity prevention.
Below are some of the good health and safety practices and actions
Novo Nordisk has taken globally:
- A global anti-harassment framework has been implemented to
prevent workplace harassment. Trainings on respectful tone and
anti-harassment is offered to human resources experts and managers
- Global leadership guidelines have been developed,
to promote mental well-being and support managers in taking
responsibility for creating healthy workplaces.
- We train
and educate our human resources experts and managers to have open
dialogues with teams, so that issues in the psycho-social working
environment and mental health are identified and addressed.
- Transport and traffic accidents are identified as a major risk
area for medical representatives working in countries with unsafe
public infrastructure. Preventive measures have been initiated in
- Heavy manual lifting has been an ongoing
challenge in production facilities and so we have limited this to a
15 kg maximum load.
We maintain workplace health promotion addressing physical and
mental health and well-being by offering our novohealth programme.
In accordance with the health and safety
strategy, all business areas strive to prevent and improve our
people’s working environment. The safety target is measured in
accidents with absence per million working hours, generally known as
“lost time accident/injury frequency rate” (LTAFR/LTIFR).
In 2021, Novo Nordisk had a LTAFR of 1.3, in line with 2020, and
zero (0) work-related fatalities compared to one (1) in 2020. With
regards to the accidents with absence for contractors, 14 were
registered in 2021, once again decreasing from the 31 of 2020.
The focus area of mental health well-being is measured, in the
annual global employee engagement survey, calculating the percentage
of employees reporting symptoms of stress. Stress is defined by a
situation where the employee may feel tense, restless, nervous or
troubled, or unable to sleep at night because of the continuous
thoughts of problems.
In 2021, 15.9% of Novo Nordisk employees reported symptoms of
stress, a reduction from 18.3% in 2020, meeting the annual improvement
target for mental well-being.
The focus area of physical well-being is also measured in the annual
global employee engagement survey, calculating the percentage of
employees reporting work-related physical pain.
In 2021, 8.1% of Novo Nordisk employees reported work-related
physical pain, a reduction from 11.2% in 2020, therefore meeting the
annual improvement target also for physical well-being.