The year 2012 marked the second year since 1918 in which we did not have an employee work-related fatality. Tragically, however, we did experience a fatality of a joint venture (JV) employee at our JV facility in Thailand. Our primary objective remains zero fatalities on Ford property.
Overall, our safety record improved, although only slightly, compared to 2011. A major safety indicator – the lost-time case rate – was at 0.51, a statistically significant 10 percent improvement from 2011’s rate of 0.57. We experienced 139 serious injuries among our direct employees, compared to 143 the previous year. In most of the cases, the injuries were related to slip, trip and fall events or performing work not according to our standards.
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 2012, we had 312 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 organizational awareness of potential risks and a willingness to share information with others so the same events do not happen elsewhere.
We have been encouraging all employees to alert management to every injury or hazard, 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.
As we have rebounded from the economic downturn, our plants are making more vehicles 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.
We are in the process of upgrading our information technology to create a common global system for tracking workplace injuries, incidents and causal factors. 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 continuing to work to develop a common global approach to the use 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 personal equipment result in fewer injuries.
For more information, see the Workplace Safety data page of this report.