John Deere's intensive focus on workplace health and safety continues to make its facilities among the safest places to work.
Safety is a top priority at John Deere. We continually analyze and improve factory workflows and workstation ergonomics, and stress safety training and communications. We have reduced injury frequency and severity rates, and made our facilities among the safest in the world. Out of 124 Deere locations, 80 went without a lost-time injury during fiscal year 2015, and 49 locations exceeded 1 million hours worked without a lost-time injury. This shows a true dedication to safety from all John Deere employees around the world.
Safety is part of everyone's job at John Deere. One of the keys to our success is Continuous Improvement Teams. We have over 350 teams in the U.S. alone, and more than 800 teams worldwide. At every John Deere factory, team members – production employees management, technicians, and engineers – work together to establish quarterly goals, handle risk assessments, develop recommendations, and follow through to make approved changes. Hundreds of safety projects are tackled each year, with results shared throughout the company. Occupational health and industrial hygiene professionals evaluate potential exposures to hazardous materials, plus manage employee injuries and illnesses.
Our goal is a safety-focused culture where employees understand and see the value of safety procedures, and look out for each other. We use comprehensive safety training for all employees, SERA (Safety and Ergonomic Risk Assessment) to identify hazards and prioritizing work on the hazards, CI (Continuous Improvement) in which teams take action to improve specific operations and to address employee safety concerns, and a "red tag" process that continually reviews equipment for safe operation.
One reason our employees are so safe on the job is the company's attention to ergonomics, which is the practice of designing work and workstations to reduce health problems caused by overuse of muscles, bad posture, and repetitive tasks. Ergonomic specialists from every one of our factories gather annually to share ideas and recognize best practices in developing innovative solutions to the everyday motions that lead to workplace injury. More than 1,500 improvements have been shared over the last 30 years within the group through the combined efforts of ergonomic specialists, manufacturing engineers, and production employees.
Our commitment to health and safety goes beyond the workplace. We are focused on each employee's health and welfare … on and off the job. Through health assessments, training, and support, we look to enhance the well-being of every employee. In countries like China, India, Mexico, Brazil, and Russia, we provide bus transportation for some 10,000 employees to get to and from work each day. We take steps to ensure this transportation is as safe as possible.
Compared to other equipment manufacturers, John Deere leads the way in workplace safety. And, surprisingly, we have injury rates below those common even in non-manufacturing sectors.
John Deere facilities regularly earn safety awards and other recognition. For example, 34 John Deere units in the United States earned the Occupational Excellence Achievement Award in 2016 from the U.S. National Safety Council.
This award recognizes units that have no fatalities and report lost-time case rates equal to or less than half the rate for their industry. The lost-time case rates are calculated using 2015 safety performance figures.
The National Safety Council is a nonprofit public service organization in the United States that works through education and training to help prevent accidental injury and death.
"Safety is a top priority at John Deere. With more than 350 Continuous Improvement Teams in the U.S. alone, we are diligent in analyzing and improving factory workflows, workstation ergonomics, and safety training," says Laurie Zelnio, director of Environment, Health, Safety, Standards and Sustainability. "These awards recognize our intense focus on safety, which has made our facilities among the safest workplaces in America."
Deere units who earned the National Safety Council’s Occupational Excellence Achievement Award are:
Parts Distribution Locations
Sales & Marketing Offices, and R&D Locations