Employee Health and Safety

The health and safety of our employees is an important focus at Caterpillar, and we strive to continuously reduce injuries. Safety is forefront in our strategic goals and metrics, with visible commitment and support by leadership. In addition to metrics, we believe the best way to drive a culture of safety excellence is to create an environment where our team is accountable for their own safety and the safety of those around them. We relentlessly strive to ensure our workforce returns home safely every day.

Creating Accountability for Everyone

We track enterprise metrics and targets as well as individual business unit goals. Common enterprise targets create structure and accountability, while business unit strategies focused on safety culture and involving leaders and employees in developing their culture create opportunities for innovation. We drive clear accountability and have an EHS management system that establishes expectations worldwide. From day one, we provide every newly hired employee with the knowledge they need to perform their job safely, and leaders regularly receive training on their role in safety compliance and setting an example for our strong safety culture. These actions help us manage risk while creating a culture focused on worker health and safety.

 

Man working on Cat Machine
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Man working on Cat Machine

Our Global Response to the Pandemic

Protecting the health of our employees is ingrained in Caterpillar’s culture at every level. In 2021, our safety-first culture led the company’s continued response to the COVID-19 pandemic by maintaining a global, enterprise-level task force comprised of business, environmental, health and safety (EHS), medical, human resources, facilities, legal and communications leaders. The task force further strengthened our response to the existing enhanced safety measures and improved benefits by increasing vaccination opportunities in many workplaces and paid time off to receive vaccinations away from work. The task force also developed and implemented a playbook for our businesses to support a limited, voluntary return to the workplace for some of our employees who were working remotely. This helped ensure employees returned to the office in a consistent and safe manner.

Supervisors, managers and leaders in every region of the world delivered frequent communication with employees to help facilitate resiliency throughout the year. In return, our employees responded by focusing on driving business results, despite the challenges created by the pandemic.

In 2020, the Caterpillar Foundation donated $10 million to support response efforts and organizations directly impacted by COVID-19. The Foundation donated an additional $3.8 million in 2021 to relief organizations to provide essential medical supplies and support increased access to vaccines. In addition, many employees also continued to help fight the spread of COVID-19 in the communities where they live and work through donations to local families and volunteer work supporting local efforts.

 

 

  2030 Goals


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Safety - We aspire to prevent all injuries and will further out industry-leading safety results by reducing RIF by 50% from 2018 to 2030.
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Safety - We aspire to prevent all injuries and will further out industry-leading safety results by reducing RIF by 50% from 2018 to 2030.
Recordable Injury Frequency (RIF) - Recordable injuries per 200,000 hours worked.
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Recordable Injury Frequency (RIF) - Recordable injuries per 200,000 hours worked.
2 men looking at a laptop on a worksite
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2 men looking at a laptop on a worksite
Man working on Cat Machine
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Man working on Cat Machine

OUR PROGRESS REPORT CARD

In 2021, driven on by our relentless focus on safety, we delivered our best recordable injury frequency (RIF) performance on record for the third year in a row. We improved our RIF rate by 23% from our 2018 base year and by 2% from the previous year. We accomplished this result while leading our organization through the global pandemic, effectively deploying enhanced safety measures and encouraging and making available vaccinations. While we are proud of our progress, we are also very saddened that a contractor suffered a fatal workplace injury at one of our facilities in 2021. This incident highlights that safety must always remain the number one focus of all workers, and it further strengthens our safety resolve.

SETTING THE BAR HIGHER

As we pursue our 2030 goal, business unit leaders are engaged in the evolution of our safety vision. Our plan includes further strengthening our safety-first culture by continuing to involve employees in developing solutions, listening to their concerns and ensuring they feel comfortable talking to their peers about potential hazards or unsafe behaviors. Continuing to provide safety learning opportunities for our leaders, safety professionals and employees will enhance our efforts. We know the journey ahead will be challenging but vitally important as we continue to prioritize the safety of our employees and their families.

Here are some ways our various locations have helped us achieve a safer work environment.

United States
Safety is a priority starting on day one. Within our Large Power Systems Division in East Peoria, Illinois, we incorporated feedback from operators, manufacturing engineers and subject matter experts to define the key skills for each job, improved standard work and provided job-specific training by validated trainers to certify new hires prior to releasing them to perform their jobs. Since this change, recordable injuries to newly hired employees have been dramatically reduced.

Europe
Practicing good ergonomics protects employees against injury. Our Grenoble, France, facility implemented several innovative approaches to ergonomic design. This included evaluation of traditional ergonomic risks, as well as an assessment of the work environment within the area and operator feedback about the work. These approaches identified several ways we could use technology to perform a task and protect employees from potential harm. This facility recently celebrated one year free from ergonomic-related injuries.

India
The Caterpillar facility in Thiruvallur produces structures for off-highway truck frames. We formed a diverse team of line operators, line section facilitators, section managers, manufacturing engineers and the operations excellence team to review the risk analyses for the various stations. As a result of the project, we implemented a collaborative robot in two stations to eliminate fall risks, bending at the waist, pinch points and repetitive motions of loading and unloading the station manually. In another station, we installed a common adapter to eliminate the need for manual change-out in between models, reducing the risk for pinch points, slips and trips, as well as grip force injuries. These improvements not only improved safety, but they also engaged employees with the workstations to identify issues and develop solutions. Safety, efficiency and employee fatigue all improved substantially.

Global
The development of our Product Support & Logistics Division’s Safety Application Suite has allowed for a one-stop location where facilities can access all available safety resources in a multitude of languages. Translated materials have helped drive a better understanding of the materials and improved the quality of data accrued from non-English speaking locations. We increased participation now that the suite is accessible from any mobile device or computer. The project has increased diversity and inclusion within our safety programs and provided our sites with an enhanced ability to engage directly with employees, regardless of location or language.