During the past two years, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company invested time and effort to change and improve the safety culture of the workplace and global organization. A major component of the focus has been improving the ergonomic conditions of the workplace and work practices by associates. The purpose of this presentation is to share Goodyear's approach, successful practices, and challenges deploying a common, sustainable and effective ergonomics improvement process in a global organization.

In late 2004 Goodyear's executive Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) Leadership Council asked if more could be done to improve safety performance. Although Goodyear was the safety leader in the global rubber manufacturing industry, it was believed that too many associates were getting hurt. The Council challenged the global health and safety team to develop a strategy that would lead Goodyear to industry safety excellence. Beginning with a thorough analysis of our global safety performance, key areas of concern were identified and, subsequently, a strategic roadmap developed. Our four key roadmap elements include: Leadership, Behavior, Ergonomics, and PM/Compliance.

Globally, 27% of Goodyear's injuries were a result of pushing, pulling, lifting, twisting, and bending - ergonomic related incidents. In the U.S., data indicated that half fell into this category. The global health and safety team had included ergonomics in their safety management system but now wanted a step-change. The goal was to turn their 'ergonomic program' into a full 'ergonomic process'. Since Goodyear did not have the internal skill set to lead this process, it would require a strong partner. Humantech was identified as a leader in the field with a global footprint that could provide the necessary knowledge, tools, and resources.

Goodyear Organization and Need for Improvement

Goodyear, one of the world's leading tire companies, has a presence on six continents and annual sales of $20 billion. In addition to Goodyear brand tires, it produces and sells tires under several other well-respected brand names including Dunlop, Kelly, Fulda, Sava and Debica. Its non-tire business units provide rubber products and polymers for a variety of automotive and industrial markets. Goodyear markets its products in 185 countries, manufactures them in more than 100 plants in 29 countries, and employs more than 80,000 associates.

For the better part of a century, Goodyear's corporate values have been centered on the phrase, "Protect Our Good Name." Being a global company with a diverse workforce, Goodyear's ergonomic initiative had to be consistent, effective, and culturally adaptable. It would also have to demonstrate both a reduction in incidents as well as a return on investment.

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