At Grainger, we believe only the highest performing teams — teams that maximize the power of different opinions, perspectives and cultural insights — will succeed in providing stakeholder value in a rapidly changing market. Foundational to this is the safety, engagement, development, diversity and inclusiveness of our culture.
Workplace Safety Grainger is committed to providing a safe work environment and ensuring team members are properly trained in all aspects of their work.
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Team Member Experience A great customer experience starts with a great team member experience and those experiences are driven by engaged and effective leaders. We provide our team members with training and development designed to help them succeed and grow their careers. We focus our efforts in three areas: talent management, team member well-being and creating an inclusive and diverse workplace.
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Inclusion and Diversity At Grainger, we value and respect the diversity of our individual differences. Our inclusiveness is about leveraging our differences to realize better business results. It is about creating an environment that reflects the value we place on the individual strengths team members bring to work each day.
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If we put safety first, we keep ourselves, our colleagues and our loved ones out of harm’s way. ¡Don’t wait until is too late! Make every day count for you and everyone around you – BE SAFE”
Luis Javier Gil Villarreal
Líder Environmental Health and Safety, Grainger México
Grainger’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:
- 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 throughout the year and recognize achievements.
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.
The safety of those in our facilities is a top priority. We continue to make strides in safety across our business, trending 60 percent above the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) U.S. Wholesale Industry Average for Lost Time Incident Rate (LTIR).Repetitive motion sprains and strains are the greatest source of injury in our facilities in the U.S.
Total Recordable Injuries by Accident Category 2017
We continue to align and standardize safety programs across our operations through our 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 completed implementation in the UK in 2017.
Near Miss Events A Near Miss Event is an unplanned event that did not result in an injury but had the potential to do so. Collecting near-miss reports helps us create a culture that identifies and controls hazards, which will reduce risks and the potential for harm to Grainger team members before an injury occurs.
Safety Training One of our top priorities is to ensure our team members get home safely at the end of each work day. That means 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 every team member has the knowledge they need. During 2017, our managers conducted nearly 17,000 behavior-based observations and our team members spent nearly 20,000 hours training on safety policies and procedures.
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 2017, our team members completed 19,600 hours of training. Though our total number of hours for 2017 is lower than 2016, our average number of training hours per operations team member increased from 3.6 in 2016 to 3.7 in 2017.
Safety Assessments In 2017, to further differentiate Grainger as a leader for safety solutions, we completed comprehensive self-assessments in 36 branches. The assessments covered topics such as basic hazards, material handling, emergency preparedness, waste disposal, risk and risk management. Results of these assessments are communicated to branches leaders and Environmental Health and Safety executives, with follow-up, accountability and closure of actions are delineated in a corrective action plan for each branch.
Our EHS program is driven by engaged team members who are committed to maintaining a strong culture of safety. Each Grainger U.S. distribution center has a dedicated Area EHS Manager who helps ensure operations are safe and effective. The company’s Global EHS 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 key initiatives that provide team members with opportunities to be active participants in safety processes. These include:
- Conducting safety audits and inspections and
- Leading safety training and safety reminder discussions during pre-shift huddle meetings.
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 held 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 walk 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.
In 2017, 178 team members participated in safety committees across 10 DCs and 3 master branches, representing approximately 5% of the operational team member population.
Watch My Back, Please! Studies by the National Safety Council suggest that engaged business units have significantly fewer safety incidents than units with lower team member engagement. With this in mind, we rolled the campaign out in our U.S. DCs in Q1 2018. The program, designed to increase team member awareness and engagement around safety initiatives and ergonomic procedures, provides a fun and approachable framework for mutual accountability. Team leaders facilitate conversation in stand-up meetings with team member suggestions for watching each other’s backs for safety throughout the workday. Aligned with OSHA voluntary protection programs, which promote effective worksite safety and health through cooperative relationships, our campaign satisfies a critical part of any safety culture: encouraging team members to own their safety and the safety of their fellow team members.
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. Contractors provide important services to the company but may be unfamiliar with their surroundings. Through 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 147 contractors onto our EHS Management System.
Systems and Partnerships
Partnerships Grainger remains as 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.