Dräger: 125 years and still saving lives
This year marks Dräger’s 125th anniversary as an international leader in the fields of medical and safety technology. The company celebrated the occasion with a customer event in Johannesburg, highlighting milestones in the company’s corporate history.
Founded in Lübeck, Germany, in 1889, today the company remains a family owned and run business – although it is listed – with 40 000 employees and subsidiaries in 50 countries.
Well known in South Africa, Dräger has a production plant in the Eastern Cape that produces disposable dust masks for the sub-Saharan markets. All Dräger products comply with the latest European Standards (EN), South African National Standards (SANS) and the company’s own standards.
“In 1990, with German investment, we decided to open a subsidiary in South Africa,” explains Stefan Dräger, chairman of the executive board and the fifth generation of the Dräger family to run the company. “The establishment of a Simulation Centre in the Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, which we are in the process of implementing, is one example of our current investment in this country. It is a clear indication of our commitment to communities in South Africa and its neighbouring countries.”
According to Dräger, and South African country manager Marius Fourie, South Africa compares well with other international countries in its attitude to occupational health and safety. “South Africa is constantly improving,” says Fourie. “It’s a driven focus area with systems in place which are being added to all the time.”