Grainger is committed to providing a safe work environment and ensuring team members are properly trained in all aspects of their work. Therefore, the company’s Environmental, Health and Safety Program (EHS) is designed to integrate EHS initiatives into all aspects of business operations. The program encompasses five key components as follows:
• Leadership provided through partnership with Operations and EHS Teams;
• Policy Guidelines outlining company and regulatory requirements;
• Education and Awareness which is disseminated throughout Grainger’s Operations;
• Goals and Measurements defined as Key Performance Indicators; and
• Monitoring and Recognition to evaluate progress intermittently throughout the year and recognize achievements.
At the core, safety is the foundation that our branch network metrics, goals and our everyday tasks rest on.”
SENIOR DISTRICT MANAGER, BRANCH NETWORK
EHS is also responsible for interpreting and acting upon applicable federal, state and local regulations and/or proposed legislation relevant to the Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Department of Transportation (DOT). Our safety program infrastructure is designed to have tangible links from Grainger headquarters to field operations with local expertise and resources allocated to support implementation regionally.
Since 2011, Grainger’s injury rate for all U.S. team members has declined by 13%. During 2016, our managers conducted more than 11,000 behavior-based observations accounting for 2,308 hours of coaching. In addition, our team members logged over 22,000 safety training hours.
Training We know that in order to get everyone home safely, our safety practices and principles must be fully embedded in our corporate culture. That is why we ask all team members involved in shipping our products to complete extensive training so they can confidently perform their duties. We provide very clear parameters to our safety leaders to ensure that every team member has the knowledge they need.
All operational team members continue to demonstrate their personal commitment to safety by completing the required certifications. In addition, team members re-certify at least every three years and, in some cases, annually. Team members also complete training to fully understand the expectation of behaviors defined by the Global Environmental Health and Safety Policy. Although precise year-over-year training numbers can fluctuate due to the staggered recertification process, in 2016, our team members completed 22,000 hours worth of training.
Our EHS program is driven by engaged team members who are committed to maintaining a strong culture of safety protecting themselves and their colleagues and creating a safe environment every day. Each Grainger U.S. distribution center (DC) has a dedicated Area EHS Manager who helps ensure operations are safe and effective. The company’s Global Environmental, Health and Safety Policy requires team members to understand and comply with EHS regulations related to facility safety, personal protection and emergency response.
To support this culture, we have several initiatives that provide team members with opportunities to be active participants in safety processes. These include:
• Conducting safety audits and inspections
• Leading safety training and safety reminder discussions during pre-shift huddle meetings
Creating and supporting an environment that allows our team members to go home safe after work each day is our number one priority. We have a number of practices dedicated to achieving this goal including required safety training for all team members, a dedicated safety council, and frequent leadership reviews of ongoing safety practice adherence during market visits.
While these practices are important to us, what I am most proud of is the true passion that we share for the well-being of each and every member of our team.”
VICE PRESIDENT, U.S. BRANCH NETWORK
Safety Committees Our team members assist in safety stewardship and injury prevention through their leadership and participation in our safety committees. These committees were created to align safety-related solutions across DC operations.
Safety committee meetings are executed monthly, foster observational and data-driven decision-making, and ensure common resolution and consistent execution within our DC operations. Leadership of these committees rotates, providing development and recognition opportunities for improvement. “On-the-Floor” meetings enable team members to take walks through a facility and identify opportunities to create a safer working environment. “Off-the-Floor” meetings encourage team members to share safety trends and the chance to review safety videos. These committees create greater engagement among our team members and foster a more team member-led safety culture.
Contractor Safety Program From time to time, contractors enter our facilities to assist in the maintenance of our facilities or systems. Although these contractors are not Grainger team members, they are expected to work in the same safe manner as Grainger team members. Contractors provide important services to the company but may be unfamiliar with their surroundings. Through the creation of this contractor safety program, which includes training and audits, we can create a safe environment for all individuals on-site. Since the implementation of this program, we have on-boarded 96 contractors onto our EHS Management System.
Systems and Partnerships
Technology Grainger continues to align and standardize safety programs across the company’s operations through its web-based EHS Management System, which helps turn complex, global compliance requirements into multilingual, actionable processes and identifies safety risks and trends across geographies. The Digitized Injury and Illness Reporting Module of the system is active in the company’s U.S. operations and the company began implementation in the UK in 2016.
Partnerships Grainger is the National Founding Sponsor of the National Safety Council’s Journey to Safety Excellence®. This initiative mainly targets small-and medium-sized organizations, offering measurement tools and easy-to-access resources to help keep team members safe and healthy.
Acklands-Grainger is the National Founding Sponsor of Canada’s Safest Employers Award, a nationwide competition to raise awareness about the importance of safety in the workplace.