Within our company, over the past several years, there has been rapid worldwide growth (more than doubling in number of manufacturing facilities and employees) followed by rapid shrinking and considerable organizational change that invariably accompany such change. Prior to the growth our safety and health management system consisted of a safety and health assessment process and considerable assistance from corporate safety and health program supervisors in helping our manufacturing and research and development operations with understanding and meeting corporate and legal requirements. While this proved to be an adequate management system at that time, it became apparent during the ensuing roller coaster ride that we needed to develop and implement a global safety and health management system (SHMS). Other drivers for the development and implementation of a global SHMS were facility requests for guidance in loss control requirements and the need for consistency in managing safety and health processes across all businesses.

Safety and Health Management Systems and Corporate Culture

It is important when developing, implementing and sustaining a corporate safety and health management system to understand the corporate culture into which the system will be introduced. It is a much more difficult task if the system does not draw strength and support from the culture that surrounds it. Corning Incorporated's Values are the framework within which our other culture systems reside. Our Values are:

  • Quality;

  • Integrity;

  • Performance;

  • Leadership;

  • Innovation;

  • Independence; and,

  • The Individual.

In 2002 the Corning Operational Priorities were:

  • Performance

  • Quality

  • People

For 2003 the Corning Operational Priorities are:

  • Protect Financial Health

  • Restore Profitability

  • Invest in the Future

  • Live the Values

It is easy to see an association with Values and Operational Priorities and the goals of loss control management. It is fairly simple to make a logical case for the need to develop and implement a global SHMS to assist us in living our Values and meeting the goals for the Operational Priorities across the corporation.

Getting Started

To assist us in defining the type of SHMS that would work best for our corporation we enlisted the assistance of a safety and health management consultant with experience in developing systems for multinational corporations. Additionally we examined systems and system guidance information that were adopted or proposed in the global arena. After considerable work with the consultant to construct a framework document we decided to complete the SHMS in-house and mold it to fit our particular culture and applications.

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