Creating a Healthy Work Environment for Our Employees
Zero Injury Program
Over 10 years ago, Xerox ramped up its safety processes in order to reduce workplace injuries to the optimum level, with an aspirational goal of zero injuries. We strive toward continual improvement in safety performance in both injury frequency and severity. Monitoring of injury frequency rates occurs for different geographies and organizations. The reporting of work-related injuries, illnesses and fatalities is based on the same criteria for all operations worldwide, regardless of the geography in which they reside. In 2009, Xerox had exceptional performance in both recordable and day away from work case injury rates, which proved challenging to maintain in 2010. Although the 2010 rates (1.06 and 0.51, respectively) increased compared to 2009, since 1996 there has been significant overall improvement in performance (56% reduction in total recordable injury rate and 51% reduction in day away from work case injury rate). Xerox experienced no work-related fatalities in 2010.
Xerox Day Away from Work Case Rate (history)
Xerox Recordable Injury Rate
The basis of Xerox safety management is the integration of safety into business processes and a commitment to make safety a core value of each operation. Each calendar year, every operation’s performance is reviewed and targets are set based on the nature of the operation and injury performance levels and trends. The overall corporate 2010 injury rate target was set on the basis of a 5% improvement in injury rates over the better of the last two years’ performance.
While overall Xerox year-over-year performance did not meet 2009 levels, several operations did record exceptional improvement. For example, operations in Europe and Developing Markets achieved substantial improvements in injury performance when compared to 2009. Our Developing Markets Operations had a 38% reduction in recordable injuries and a 48% reduction in day away from work case injuries. Our European Operations had a 26% and 22% reduction in each of those metrics. Although performance in the United States was not favorable relative to 2009, those operations continue to show much better performance when compared to the average of our peers conducting business in the same or similar industries (38% better in recordable injures and 18% better in day away from work case injuries).
In 2010, the Xerox family of employees expanded dramatically with Xerox’s acquisition of ACS and its employees. Since the acquisition, our focus with ACS has been on standardizing processes and requirements in priority areas, integrating them into existing Xerox processes where appropriate. Injury reporting and incident reviews are among the first areas identified for integration, and significant progress has been made toward that goal. ACS fire protection and facility safety reviews have also been aligned with Xerox safety processes, and progress continues in coordination of emergency planning and business resumption processes.
Xerox Injury Rate Performance, by Geography
Priority Focus Areas
We have prioritized safety improvement efforts in those areas which have the greatest opportunity both in terms of injury rate and population. In particular, Xerox Service Operations have unique challenges in hazard recognition and control. The service technicians travel heavily to customer accounts and work in a large variety of customer facilities; often times, they don’t visit a Xerox facility in the course of their job. Slips/trips/falls and motor vehicle accidents are focus areas to improve technicians’ safety, as well as improving overall health and safety awareness. In 2010, we launched a health/safety/wellness initiative to our service force that integrates employee wellness messages with our more traditional safety communications. On a weekly basis, wellness educational topics are distributed to the workforce and programs are in place to support wellness practices.
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 has in place a company car program that specifies motor vehicle safety requirements of drivers, and Xerox provides employees with comprehensive driver safety 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. We also continually benchmark with other companies that manage fleet vehicles to identify best practices to help improve our motor vehicle safety record.
Musculoskeletal disorders represent about one-half of our work-related injuries and illnesses, which is why Xerox has strong processes to reduce ergonomic stresses in the workplace. Since 1992, we have achieved a 52% decline in reported musculoskeletal disorders within our U.S. operations. We address potential ergonomic issues in a variety of ways, always keeping in mind that the most effective way to prevent ergonomic injuries is to minimize the risk factors up-front when the job is designed.
For example, the company’s health and safety organization develops and promotes these ergonomic assessments and tools:
- Office: Our ergonomics staff has created an online self-evaluation program, which walks employees through the appropriate setup of typical Xerox office furniture; office design principles 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: Xerox service technician exposure to ergonomic hazards has been studied, and tools and procedures have been put in place to mitigate musculoskeletal disorders. New equipment and tools that are introduced are evaluated to ensure they are designed with ergonomics in mind.
- Product Design: To identify and eliminate potential safety hazards, ergonomic review is a formal element of our product development process.
To improve ergonomic conditions across the population, Xerox developed an 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. Additional training is underway to improve employee competency in ergonomic risk factors and procedures they can follow to maximize their safety.
Ergonomic support of ACS has been prioritized according to risk. For example, some ACS office operations have a greater potential for repetitive motion injuries than others. In these operations, actions are underway to improve the assessment, communications and controls to better characterize these exposures and mitigate the consequences.
Xerox’s emergency preparedness and response program helps protect the safety of Xerox and ACS 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 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. In addition, Business Resumption Plans are in place and drills are conducted annually to ensure effective processes are in place to restore business operations post-incident.
Our plans strive to strike a balance between being detailed enough to address specific issues and being flexible enough to allow us to effectively deal with the uniqueness of any particular event. Our planning has been tested by a variety of events including power outages, hurricanes and flooding. It is evident our plans have been successful in mitigating the consequences of these events.
As part of our emergency planning process, prospective facilities that will be occupied by Xerox or ACS employees undergo a comprehensive review of fire and life safety attributes. Upgrades are implemented as necessary to establish and maintain the safety of building occupants. We have also begun the process of bringing ACS into Xerox’s Business Continuity program.
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.
Industrial Hygiene and Safety Professionals monitor and characterize workplace exposures through implementation of the Xerox Exposure Assessment Process and execution of Annual IH Sampling Plans. Exposures are minimized and controlled through use of engineering controls, safe job procedures and use of personal protective equipment. Of the workplace exposures monitored in 2010, 96% were within Xerox limits, and all were well within regulatory limits.