Our 2011 Safety Record
The year 2011 marked the first since 1918 in which we did not have an employee work-related fatality. Tragically, however, we did experience two contractor fatalities – one in Brazil and another in Russia. Our primary objective remains zero fatalities on Ford property.
Overall, our safety record deteriorated slightly compared to 2010. A major safety indicator – the lost-time case rate – went down slightly, going from 0.54 to 0.57. We experienced 143 serious injuries among our direct employees, compared to 111 the previous year. In most of the cases, the causes were related to slip, trip and fall events or performing work not according to our standards. These numbers unfortunately rose by 28 percent from 2010.
While we are pleased that we did not have a fatality among any of our own employees, we recognize that we must remain vigilant. In 2011, we had 130 reported events that could have resulted in more serious consequences, but did not. Each of the incidents was investigated, and appropriate preventive measures were adopted. While this number may seem high, we see it as a sign of higher organization awareness of potential risks and a willingness to share with others so the same events do not happen elsewhere.
We are attributing part of the increase in injuries to improved reporting. We have been encouraging all employees to alert management to every injury, no matter how small, so that we can learn from any mistakes, take corrective actions and create a safer workplace for everyone. We continue working in a collaborative way with the UAW to change the culture so that individuals are motivated to take greater responsibility and ownership for addressing any safety risks and unsafe behaviors.
We also attribute the rise in injuries to greater activity within our manufacturing operations. As we have rebounded from the economic downturn, our plants are operating at greater capacity than they were in recent years. Given the relative activity levels and relative rates of lost time and serious injury, our U.S. operations have the greatest opportunity for improvement of any of our locations worldwide.
Currently, we do not have a common data-gathering system for work-related injuries around the globe. We recently began the process of upgrading our information technology to create a common system for tracking injuries. Having a common system to record incidents will allow us to conduct much more detailed analyses of each event and, as a result, improve overall performance.
We’re also working to develop a common global approach to the wearing of personal protective equipment. The new data-gathering system will allow us to make comparisons and analyze trends among injuries so we can identify which safety features result in fewer injuries.
Improving our safety record is not only good for our employees, it’s good for our business.
For more information, see the Workplace Safety data page of this report.