As part of this year's survey, we asked readers: "Name the organization with a world-class safety and health program that first comes to your mind." Here are the top ten, along with details culled from each company's Web site:

1) DuPont

DuPont is the landslide winner of our informal poll, getting almost ten times more "votes" than any other company.

Here's CEO (and Chief Safety, Health and Environmental Officer) Charles O. Holliday, Jr. commenting on DuPont's 2003 record:

"Our safety and health performance improved overall with double-digit reduction in employee injury rates, and modest improvement in contractor rates -  While our total off-job lost day injuries improved year-over-year, ten employees lost their lives through tragic accidents away from work, with many associated with driving automobiles and motorcycles. This is unacceptable and we have increased our emphasis on safe driving."2) 3M

In the past five years, 3M has spent more than $157 million in capital to improve safety and health, according to the company.

3M's new EHS Scorecard, an important part of the company's EHS management system, tracks safety and health progress at the facility, division/subsidiary and corporate levels. In the EHS Scorecard, health and safety metrics cover all critical performance issues of operations. For some of these, 3M sets targets to drive safety and health improvements.

3) Alcoa

Alcoa has clear goals for measuring progress toward achieving safety: zero fatalities, zero lost workday injuries, zero incidents.

Alcoa's goal is to have management systems compatible with ISO-14001 and OHSAS 18001 integrated and implemented at all locations by 2005.

An ISO/OHSAS-compatible EHS management system must meet the following minimum requirements: Be based on a published and well-understood EHS policy; have an effective planning process; have an implementation and operation program; have a process for checking on progress and corrective actions; undergo periodic management review; be based on the concept of continual improvement.

4) Dow

Dow states that the "interests of all Dow stakeholders converge under the Triple Bottom Line of Sustainable Development. The Triple Bottom Line is the ultimate balance sheet, calling attention to the three fundamental areas - economics, environment, and society - where companies impact the quality of life."

Dow reports achieving its lowest illness and injury rate in its history in 2003. The 2003 rate was 0.58 per 200,000 work hours, a 19-percent improvement over 2002 and a 77-percent improvement since 1994.

5) General Electric

GE asserts that it "relentlessly" pursues a set of goals every day that include keeping "our people safe on the job" and addressing "historical contamination issues cooperatively and completely."

How does a company with more than 300,000 employees and 500 manufacturing and assembly plants around the world meet these goals? States GE: "By insisting that every GE employee and every GE leader become a part of our EHS team. By empowering our 1,000 outstanding EHS professionals to develop and drive EHS processes and metrics into the company's operating system. By making EHS performance something that is measured and valued across GE -something that is embedded in our DNA."

"We provide more EHS training than any other company in the world," reports GE. "We believe our results are outstanding but it isn't our opinion that matters. It is up to you and other stakeholders to decide if we have lived up to our responsibilities."

GE reports 2003 was its best year ever for safety: "We reduced our injury rate 12 percent and our lost time rate by nearly 18 percent over 2002. This means we had 820 fewer worker injuries than in 2002, saving the company more than $5 million in direct costs over 2002."

6) Ford

In 1999, Ford began a Safety Leadership Initiative (SLI) aimed at making its workplaces safer. In the five years since, Ford reports "dramatic results" - its lost-time rate has declined by 63 percent and its severity rate has declined by 69 percent. During 2003, 11 Ford plants globally experienced no accidents that resulted in lost workdays, compared to only one plant in 2002.

The key elements of Ford's safety and health model: systematic leadership, safe conditions, safe acts and relationship management.

7) General Motors

GM's global recordable injury rate per 100 employees decreased from 6.1 in 2001 to 3.8 in 2002. Its lost-time accident rate declined from 0.6 to 0.3.

"We are committed to protecting the health and safety of each employee as the overriding priority of this Corporation," states GM's policy. "There will be no compromise of an individual's well-being in anything we do."

8) IBM

"IBM is committed to environmental affairs leadership in all of its business activities," states the computer giant. "IBM has had longstanding corporate policies of providing a safe and healthful work place, protecting the environment, and conserving energy and natural resources, which were formalized in 1967, 1971 and 1974 respectively."

IBM's policies "have served the environment and our business well over the years," the company reports, and are the foundation for corporate policy objectives that include rigorous compliance audits and self-assessments, with results forwarded to the board of directors.

"Every employee and every contractor on IBM premises" is expected to follow IBM policies and "report any environmental, health, or safety concern to IBM management. Managers are expected to take prompt action," the company states.

9) British Petroleum

In the past 16 years BP has reduced its days away from work case frequency rate per 200,000 hours worked from 1.55 in 1987 to 0.10 in 2003. In 2003 BP recorded 11 incident-free days worldwide compared to just one in 2002.

States BP: "We deeply regret the fact that 15 contractors and 5 employees lost their lives while working for BP in 2003. While 14 of these incidents were transport related, the remaining 6 resulted from serious incidents within our operations.

"Our performance record in 2003 was mixed. While the underlying trend in personal safety in the workplace improved, the number of fatal accidents recorded remains a cause for serious concern."

BP's approaches to encourage better health and safety include Advanced Safety Auditing (ASA). Introduced in 1997, ASAs involve observing people at work, talking to them about the safety risks they face, then reaching agreement on how these risks can be managed. More than 150,000 ASA were issued in BP during 2003.

10) United Parcel Service

States UPS: "Since our company's beginning in 1907, safety has been a priority. Safety guidelines were developed for the company's bicycle messengers and then for drivers of the Ford Model T. Drivers were given their first defensive driving handbook in 1917.

"We encourage the involvement of all our people in safety awareness activities and give recognition to employees for safety accomplishments. Because of the physical nature of many or our jobs, safety is a significant challenge and a top priority. We do not tolerate unsafe work practices."


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