The National Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Strategic Partnership (OSP) with the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW), the Ford Motor Company (Ford), and Automotive Component Holdings, LLC (ACH) was originally signed in August 2000 and renewed twice; first in February 2004 and again for two more years in June 2007. While the 2007 OSP official end date was November 2009, all partners agreed to work together, in good faith and under the terms of the existing agreement, beyond November 2009 while drafting a new OSP agreement. The new OSP agreement was finalized during 2010 and is scheduled to be signed in June 2011.
The key goal of the 2007 OSP was to reduce injuries and illnesses at each participating site (see Appendix A). Twelve Ford and ACH sites employing 15,194 workers in three OSHA regions were covered by the OSP: OSHA Region V had 10 participating sites; Regions II and VII had one each. In addition, Ford continued its partnerships with the State Plan states of Indiana and Michigan under similar but separate agreements. A single Partnership Management Team (PMT) with representation from all organizations which were signatories to the partnership agreements (OSHA, UAW, Ford, ACH, MIOSHA, and INOSHA) managed the OSP.
This Executive Summary and the attached Annual Partnership Evaluation Report address the OSP results from January 2010 through December 2010 and covers the participating Ford and ACH sites under federal OSHA jurisdiction only.
2010 OSP Highlights and Results
In 2010, the UAW, Ford and ACH continued to improve and enhance their safety and health management efforts at the 12 participating sites with the implementation of a comprehensive health and safety management system called Safety Operating System (SOS). The SOS expanded and built upon Ford's previous Safety and Health Management Systems (SHMS), known as Safety and Health Assessment Review Process (SHARP), by enhancing roles and responsibilities for key positions in the Ford plants, providing clarity on safety policies and standards, and improving safety training. This effort adds focus on leadership engagement and enhances the employer's processes to assess competency and adherence to safety policies.
To enhance senior joint leadership support of its safety and health policies, Ford, with the UAW and Canadian Auto Workers (CAW), developed a Joint Safety Charter. This initiative put into place bimonthly Manufacturing Safety Council meetings with company and union leadership in attendance. Participants at the Management Safety Council meetings review safety trends, processes, and upcoming safety initiatives to ensure support by all stakeholders and streamline the dissemination of safety information and processes to all of its plants.
During this evaluation period, Ford implemented several initiatives and standards that have an impact on their safety performance:
- Updated and implemented its Energy Control and Power Lockout (ECPL) and Confined Space Entry training programs.
- Developed a comprehensive Walking Working Surface Global Standard requiring all facilities to take action to minimize trip, slip or fall hazards through housekeeping, elevation changes, and snow and ice removal.
- Updated its electrical safety policies to align with the latest version of the NFPA 70E Standard (2009), and conducted training for all electrical Senior Authorized Persons on updated tools for compliance.
With its safety and health efforts, the OSP was able to demonstrate improvements with the injury and illnesses rates of the participating sites:
- The Total Case Incident Rate (TCIR) of the OSP participating sites decreased by nine percent, from 13.9 in 2009 to 12.6 in 2010.
- The overall Days Away and Restricted Activity and Job Transfer (DART) rate of the OSP participating sites decreased by 15 percent, from 3.3 in 2009 to 2.8 in 2010.
- Seventy-five percent (75%) of the OSP participating sites had DART rates below the 2009 Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) average for their respective industry.
- Fifty percent (50%) of the OSP participating sites reduced their individual TCIR in 2010.
- Fifty-eight percent (58%) of the OSP participating sites reduced their individual DART rate in 2010.
Training continued to be an integral component of the OSP in 2010. This training helped the sites work toward the OSP goals. Electronic training is offered on more than 25 different safety-related topics including Confined Spaces, Ergonomics, and Hexavalent Chromium.
Conclusions and Recommendations
The OSP agreement calls for OSHA to visit participating sites to verify the status of the OSP goals. These visits are known as “OSHA Day” events (onsite, non-enforcement verifications). Due to the interim status of the OSP, no such visits were performed in 2010. Onsite non-enforcement verifications will resume under the new OSP once it is signed.
The OSP between the UAW, Ford, ACH, and OSHA produced overall positive results in 2010. With the revised safety and health management system in place, the partners believe that additional work will be accomplished to ensure occupational injury and illness rates continue their downward trend. Based on the positive experience of the OSP and the safety and health performance at participating sites, OSHA and the other OSP signatories plan to sign a new OSP agreement to continue to working together on achieving greater safety and health successes in the next three years.