Environmental, Health and Safety Management
Whirlpool has a global environmental, health and safety management process designed to integrate environmental considerations into product design, employee training, monitoring operations, and manufacturing processes. Whirlpool also has a global environmental, health and safety council that supports our global efforts to comply with the environmental, health and safety (EHS) policy requirements.
While Whirlpool agrees that certification against international standards is worthwhile, Whirlpool employs its own rigorous compliance audit process. This process is based on the Whirlpool Corporation EHS Global Standards that assess the same environmental risks as the ISO 14001, and the same health and safety criteria as the OHSAS 18001. The ISO is an international standards organization and the 14001 certification series addresses environmental management systems. OHSAS 18001 is an international occupational health and safety management system specification.
The Whirlpool audit process also uses auditors who are experts in the EHS field within the home appliance industry. The audit process focuses on EHS management systems, performance and compliance to the Whirlpool EHS Global Standards and local legal requirements. In addition to the Whirlpool audit process, a number of locations participate in independent audits in conjunction with ISO or OHSAS requirements. Nearly 30 percent of Whirlpool manufacturing facilities have achieved certification to ISO 14001 and/or OHSAS 18001.
Whirlpool Corporation values the health and safety of all of our employees throughout the world. We have developed internal global health and safety standards and compliance measures through the active participation of employee, health and safety (EHS) professionals throughout the world.
Critical components of our global health and safety program include:
- EHS global council to enhance communication
- EHS global policy
- Global health and safety standards
- Regular compliance audits to:
- Assess compliance with global health and safety standards and management systems
- Assess compliance with local laws and regulations
- Identify risks
- Identify best practices for sharing through Whirlpool
- Global health and safety performance metrics
Whirlpool Corporation’s Day Away Case Rate due to work-related injuries at our manufacturing facilities declined by nearly 11 percent between 2007 and 2008 – a decrease of more than 21 percent in the number of days away since 2004.
Safety Performance (Day Away Case Rate) In the manufacturing process
We continually look for ways to enhance safety at our facilities. Following is an example of our efforts.
We incorporated lean manufacturing practices into our global operating facilities to improve production time, and we integrated ergonomics into the lean process to reduce or eliminate wasteful and harmful motions and tasks. We have done this in a number of ways including:
- Evaluating the associated ergonomic risks of each job and working to reduce this cumulative risks
- Diminishing wasteful and harmful motions (for example: constructing workstations to help employees perform their tasks using more ergo-friendly positions)
- Developing methods to decrease the physical exertion needed for parts assembly (for example: we reduced the insertion force for bleach dispenser installations in washers by 40%)
- Training teams to better understand ergonomics and to conduct ergonomic evaluations