Sustainability 2011/12


Health and Safety Governance

We have comprehensive governance systems for health and safety management. Our overarching Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) policy is established through a corporate Policy Letter and Directives. In addition, global OHS standards cover all health and safety topics, including safety, ergonomics, occupational hygiene, toxicology and clinical operations.

Often the most efficient and cost-effective way to reduce safety and ergonomic risks in the manufacturing process is to engineer them out upfront. Our global manufacturing engineering teams use the latest technology of “virtual manufacturing” to predict and eliminate risks during the design stage. We also have a global process to ensure that all materials used in our factories are safe for our people.

We review safety regularly at the plant level and in regional OHS committees. Our President and CEO and our senior operating team review safety performance as part of their regular Business Plan Reviews, as does the global Manufacturing Operating Committee.

Our new Safety Operating System (SOS), a pillar of both our global manufacturing strategy and our ONE Ford values, supports the strategic plan for global manufacturing and provides a template for safety improvement. While the tasks within the SOS are not new, the system now provides a more detailed approach to ensure we address health and safety risks. The SOS assists our plants in identifying all the tasks required by our safety standards and how they should be managed.

We also conduct unannounced audits, as well as audits of special high-risk areas. Facility staff perform SOS self-assessments and more frequent internal audits to verify key processes. Any significant incidents are reported weekly on a global basis so plant managers at other facilities can learn from each incident and take preventive action.

Under the SOS, new safety processes identify and assign roles for individuals. Those assigned an “O” are the “owners” of the element; those assigned an “R” are “responsible” for doing the task; and those assigned an “A” are “accountable” for ensuring the task is done. We have also implemented cross-plant verification assessments, where the element “owners” from one plant visit another plant to verify self-assessments and help to identify gaps. This has proven to be a positive learning experience for both parties.

Nonmanufacturing sites conduct yearly self-assessments of their OHS risks and performance. All sites must respond to a series of safety questions that have been integrated into the Ford General Auditor’s Office basic audit review program.

Safety Culture Survey

We also conduct a safety culture survey, which was recently integrated into our overall annual Pulse survey of employees, to assess employee perceptions of our health and safety effectiveness. The results of this survey, combined with audits and routine gathering and sharing of performance data, provide a comprehensive picture of health and safety performance trends, as well as early warning of conditions that could lead to a decline in performance. The results of the 2011 Pulse survey show that the vast majority of Ford salaried employees – 86 percent – are satisfied with the Company’s safety culture.