Zero Injury Program
Over 10 years ago, Xerox ramped up its safety processes in order to reduce workplace injuries to the optimum level: zero. In 2008, the Total Recordable Incident (TRI) rate decreased by 2% from 2007 while the Days Away from Work (DAFW) rate increased by 6%. These numbers represent a 60% improvement in the TRI rate and a 51% improvement in the DAFW rate since 1996.
Xerox Workplace Injury Rates
At the heart of this program is the overwhelming commitment to make safety a core value of each operation. For 2009, our target was set on the basis of a 5% improvement in injury rates over the better of the last two years’ performance. A focus on proactive methods, such as the use of an effective health and safety management system, an ever-renewed commitment to management leadership and an aggressive hazard recognition and prevention program, and using employee involvement work together to allow us to reach our goals.
We are implementing a safety management process across major operations using the U.S. Occupational Health & Safety Administration’s Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) framework. In 2008, the photoreceptor manufacturing plant in Webster, N.Y. was recommended for “merit” certification in the VPP. This effort builds on the successful efforts of our Oklahoma City, Okla. facility that has achieved VPP “Star” status, indicating exemplary performance in safety management, and our three European manufacturing facilities that are certified to OHSAS 18001.
Xerox Workplace Injury Rates
Motor Vehicle Safety
With our service technicians and sales representatives depending on their vehicles to get their jobs done, motor vehicle safety is a key component of our safety initiatives. Xerox provides employees with comprehensive driver training and ongoing reviews of their driving records. Company vehicles have safety features such as daytime running lights and safety barriers between the driver’s seat and storage areas. Additionally, all new service vehicles come with hands-free Bluetooth cell phone capability.
Musculoskeletal disorders represent about half of our work-related injuries and illnesses. That’s why Xerox has taken significant steps to reduce workers’ compensation claims attributable to musculoskeletal disorders. We recorded a 19% decline in reports of musculoskeletal disorders in U.S. operations in 2008 compared to 2007, a 54% decline since 1992. To improve this number further, Xerox is developing a new ergonomic training program aimed at our aging workforce. The training is designed to provide simple ergonomic strategies, as well as awareness of the normal aging process, to reduce personal risk to employees.
The company’s health and safety organization develops and promotes these ergonomic assessments and tools:
- Office: Self-evaluation program; design requirements that include adjustable chairs and keyboard trays.
- Manufacturing: Nearly every workstation in Xerox facilities worldwide has been evaluated for ergonomic hazards. Ergonomically designed tools such as tilt tables, lifts and hoists make it easier for employees to maneuver parts and equipment during assembly.
- Service: Periodic reviews of service technicians’ tools ensure they are designed with ergonomics in mind. Tools posing an unacceptable risk are replaced.
- Product Design: To identify and eliminate potential hazards, ergonomics are integrated into the design of new products.
Xerox’s emergency preparedness and response program helps protect the safety of Xerox employees, their surrounding communities and the environment. It requires all Xerox operations worldwide to develop documented plans for responding to fires, chemical releases, natural disasters, pandemics and other potential incidents. Mandatory management reviews, scheduled routinely, as well as drills and corporate audits, verify that plans will be effective in protecting our people and our business during emergencies.
Monitoring Workplace Exposures
To protect employees from unsafe exposures to chemicals, noise and radiation, Xerox defines strict exposure limits for worldwide manufacturing, research and service operations. They reflect the most stringent regulatory requirements or industry standards. For some materials – including toners, solvents and certain metals – Xerox has established limits well below the strictest regulations and standards. Exposures are minimized and controlled through use of engineering controls, safety procedures and use of personal protective equipment. Of the workplace exposures monitored in 2008, 97% were within Xerox exposure limits.
Health Studies: Establishing the Safety of Toner
As one of the world’s largest manufacturers and distributors of toner – a fine powder composed of plastics, colorants and small quantities of functional additives, Xerox recognizes the need to help ensure its safe development, production and use by employees and customers. We carefully review the safety of all materials used to make our toners and have invested in studies to examine the potential for any long-term health effects from exposure to toner.
The first of these studies, a comprehensive laboratory analysis completed in 1989, indicated some health effects at very high levels of dust exposure – levels that workers would likely not be exposed to in Xerox plants. Nonetheless, Xerox has lowered toner dust levels in our factories and established strict controls on dust emissions from Xerox products.
Other studies focus on Xerox employees who manufacture toner and service our equipment. One study evaluated more than 32,000 employees who worked at Xerox between 1960 and 1982. To determine if there are work-related mortality patterns, the study used standardized techniques to compare employee causes of death to causes of death for the overall U.S. population. Another study is evaluating the potential respiratory and cardiovascular effects of toner on current Xerox manufacturing and service employees exposed to toner. To date, these studies have shown no evidence of chronic health effects due to toner exposure.
With the burgeoning growth of color printing and Xerox’s market leadership in color production printing, the company has expanded its health assessment studies to employees exposed to color toners.