Lockheed Martin has reduced the number of employee injuries in its facilities 50 percent since the launch of its “Target Zero” safety program in 2003, according to a company press statement.

“Target Zero” was designed with the goal of eliminating injuries at all Lockheed Martin locations. Through education, training and injury reduction initiatives, the “Target Zero” Program keeps safety in the forefront of processes and procedures for all employees.

“At Lockheed Martin, we are committed to ensuring the safety and security of our employees, customers, visitors and neighbors,” said Chairman, President and CEO Bob Stevens.

At the Missiles and Fire Control facility in Orlando, employees recently passed ten-million hours without a lost-time incident. The National Safety Council recognized the site of 4,000 employees for working 12 consecutive months without a lost-time injury. These kinds of accomplishments make the goal of zero injuries more realistic and attainable each year, according to the company.

While the “Target Zero” program provides the structure and tools for safety improvement, individual business sites, work teams and employees are responsible for designing and implementing specific solutions to prevent hazards from recurring in the workplace.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems developed a “25-Foot Safety Control Zone,” which focuses on employees taking control of the risks and conditions within a 25-foot radius around them. The program has heightened employees’ awareness of — and accountability for — their immediate work area.

“The ‘Target Zero’ program is a good chance to challenge ‘the way we’ve always done it’ by systematically reviewing all processes to mitigate risks to employees,” said Dr. David Constable, vice president of energy, environment, safety and health. “Employee involvement is vital to the success of the program, because those 146,000 people are out there, in every corner of the business, encountering risks daily.”

Lockheed Martin’s environment, safety and health professionals partner with operations teams to improve production and reduce ergonomic and other injuries. Currently, corporate safety professionals are training engineers and shop floor personnel working on the Joint Strike Fighter Program, mitigating ergonomic risks in the assembly process by finding options for improved tools, equipment and methods. As production ramps up for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which the company describes as the world’s most advanced aircraft, reducing the risk of injury on the manufacturing line is an important course of action s.

Lockheed Martin has met its first “Target Zero” goal by reducing injuries 50 percent, but the journey is not over, states the company. The next milestone, to reduce recordable injuries, day away cases and the injury severity rate another 50 percent by the end of 2012, has been set. To reach this objective, safety professionals will continue to implement tools such as the “Injury Reduction Model,” which analyzes safety performance by identifying the root causes of accidents and finding solutions that correct the specific action, process or product that prompted the injury.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 146,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2008 sales of $42.7 billion.