We know that achieving zero incidents requires a culture of safety, so our multilayered management approach includes monitoring performance, improving training and feedback, inviting employee engagement and requiring accountability.
As we track incident-free days and celebrate these milestones, we also clearly articulate to employees and managers that although we strive for zero incidents, the real goal is to take care of each other and make sure all employees go home safely to provide for the people they love and to do the things they are passionate about in life.
Employee-led safety begins with ensuring our work areas are safe for every employee, customer and vendor. Every morning, store departments conduct a Daily Safety and HazMat Review (DSHR) to ensure that the area is open and ready for business. Employees are responsible for monitoring their work area and using their company-issued mobile devices to track, correct, and communicate any potential hazards found in their daily reviews and throughout their shift.
Our employees face a range of potential safety risks in the working environment, including those caused by manual handling and other types of hazards commonly associated with a working warehouse. We log and monitor types of injuries to identify problem areas and prioritize new training programs. In 2015, the average Lost Time Incident Rate at our stores and distribution centers per 200,000 hours was 2.08, down 21 percent from the 2012 baseline year.
The Total Recordable Incident Rate per 100 full-time employees at our distribution centers was 2.50 in 2015 — 52 percent lower than the North American Industry Classification System Warehouse and Storage overview rate of 5.20.
Tracking causes of employee injuries is essential to ensuring that our safety programs are targeted and effective. In 2015, 36 percent of employee injuries were caused by strain from lifting, pushing and pulling, which we’re combating through our back injury prevention campaign, “Lift with Your Brain.” Since its launch in 2012, it has yielded a 16-percent reduction in related claims, down to 4,539 claims in 2015 from 5,431 in 2012.
Every new store and distribution center employee, regardless of role, receives mandatory health and safety training featuring real-life scenarios that relate to their work at Lowe’s. These inductions are the start of our employees’ ongoing health and safety training. From then on, all training sessions are logged in the Lowe’s Training Center, a database that promotes accountability and offers sophisticated analysis for management review over time.
Our training programs, which will continue to evolve in 2016, are delivered in three phases:
- Fundamental: Basic practices to be ready for the sales floor, including safety and environmental training
- Developmental: Promoting career progression and skills building
- Advanced: Building existing skills to expert level
At our distribution centers, team-led training sessions give employees an active voice in safety management.
In addition, all Lowe’s employees meet with their supervisors to discuss their learning plans and are evaluated annually to ensure they maintain our high level of safety standards. At our distribution centers, team-led training sessions give employees an active voice in safety management.
In 2015, we launched a new certification course for our in-store safety teams as part of our safety journey. Safety teams make up 10 percent of store employees and meet monthly to discuss key safety themes, incident causes and prevention tips. The training modules cover three topics: Safety@Lowe’s, Hazard Identification/Root Cause and Presentation Skills for effective communication of safety information. The training is already helping store employees work together to ensure that incidents are not repeated.
The correlation between engagement and safety is clear; the 2015 Employee Opinion Survey revealed that our top 180 most-engaged locations have a 33-percent lower incident rate than our 180 least-engaged locations.