Occupational safety in Eastern Europe and neighbouring Turkey is not just gaining in importance, but also serves as a model example for Messer. This is shown by nine awards to the Messer Group from the European Industrial Gases Association, EIGA, for exemplary working safety.

Two gold prizes in the \\$quot;˜Zero Accidents in 15 Years\\$quot; category were awarded to the two Croatian sites of the industrial gases specialist Messer in Dugi Rat and Kutina. Stefan Messer, CEO and owner of the Messer Group accepted the awards. For his companies in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Czech Republic and Turkey, he received another two silver and four bronze \\$quot;˜Safety Awards\\$quot; for exemplary occupational safety.

At the awards ceremony during this year's Summer Congress of the European Industrial Gases Association, EIGA, in Bergen, Norway, the 51-year-old entrepreneur expressed his satisfaction: "This is confirmation that, in Eastern Europe and Turkey, we are meeting the demands and requirements of our customers, workers and partners, as well as of the applicable laws, guidelines and standards." This result shows that the Messer Group, with a rate of two occupational accidents per million hours worked throughout its 60 companies, is well below the EIGA average of 3.3. Occupational safety is not just part of Messer's corporate values, but is a priority for the Group as a whole.