Worker Safety and Health

Safety and Health for Our Employees

Managing our safety performance
Within our decentralized structure, the primary responsibility for implementing critical day-to-day safety and health initiatives resides at the business level. ITW’s corporate team provides support, best practice guidelines and training opportunities, and management at each site is responsible for tracking data and driving improvement. At ITW, we strongly believe that each and every team member, from senior leaders to the factory floor, has a role to play - together - in the safety of our team and workplace around the globe. As part of our continuous improvement efforts, members of our leadership team regularly evaluate the management of safety across the enterprise to identify opportunities. In 2015, our Construction Products segment made the decision to hire a full-time, segment-level safety colleague to partner with its businesses and drive safety improvement throughout its operations. “Our businesses have been doing a great job managing their safety performance, but we wanted a dedicated team member to help drive best-practice sharing across the segment,” said Mike Zimmerman, executive vice president of Construction Products. “We believe this role will help drive collaboration and further improvement, something we’re always striving for at ITW.”

Safety as a team effort 
When it comes to safety and health, ITW businesses rely on a team effort to ensure preparedness and identify areas for improvement.
At Permatex, a manufacturer of premium chemical products, the Solon, Ohio, facility employs a crossfunctional safety committee to work together to make positive changes and address potential issues and concerns. Safety committee members share best practices and solutions from their respective departments to create a safer work environment.
In 2015, the committee implemented safety initiatives such as creating a pedestrian safety path throughout the distribution building with accident/collision sentry devices at two key intersections. Blue lights that shine backwards were also installed on all lift trucks, allowing pedestrians to see a lift truck around a corner and avoid a possible collision. Fifty line risk assessments were completed, which resulted in improvements to caution signage, the eye wash station and air circulation in the epoxy filling area. As a result of these initiatives and more, in early 2016 the facility celebrated nearly a year of being injury-free.

Reporting 2015 safety data
Continuous improvement is a tenet of ITW, and safety is no exception. We continued to make progress in 2015 on several of the safety statistics we track. For example, we are focused on reducing lost work days because those are generally associated with higher severity. After more than five years of zero fatalities, we were saddened this year to lose four team members in workplace incidents. Three of the people were killed in a single accident, and ITW is conducting a thorough investigation into this tragic event. The fourth fatality involved the loss of a team member in the workplace due to a personal health-related condition. We take these incidents seriously and remain dedicated to having zero injuries and fatalities.

ITW businesses implement key safety objectives
ITW’s businesses have primary responsibility for day-to-day implementation of the company’s health and safety initiatives. Many of our businesses go well beyond what is required by law or corporate policies. In particular, our teams focus on these four safety objectives:

Team member involvement
Helps create ownership of safety and health through safety committees, safe behavior observation programs and extensive training

Near-miss reporting
Ensures that the organization identifies incidents and hazards and addresses them early – before they cause injuries

Job safety analysis process
Enables ITW to systematically analyze and improve any portion of a job that poses an undue risk

Drives strong management-team member relationships to ensure that responsibilities are clear and any issues are addressed and resolved in a safe mannerare addressed and resolved in a safe manner