2016 Sustainability Report


Health and Safety

PPG is committed to operating safe and healthful workplaces.

Our top priority is to ensure our people return home safely each day by:

  • Engaging with them to improve our operating practices around the world;
  • Investing in a safe work environment; and
  • Running our business with sound operating practices.

Our health and safety policy, standards and goals define our expectations, and we implement programs and initiatives to reduce health and safety risks in our operations. Our robust environment, health and safety management system provides tools and resources, tracks performance and facilitates access to information at a location, across a business and on a global level.

We had zero fatalities in 2016. However, we did not achieve our goal of reducing our injury and illness rate by 5 percent per year. Our rate of 0.31 held steady from prior year and remained the lowest injury rate in our history.

It’s important to note that our injury and illness rate includes data from recently acquired businesses. While many of these companies have good safety programs, a few are not yet performing to our expectations. We are refocusing our efforts during the initial integration of acquisitions to accelerate learning on injury prevention.

The injury rates of several other businesses also did not demonstrate improvement from 2015. We have allocated additional resources and are implementing new strategies to achieve our safety improvement goals in these businesses.

In 2016, we continued our multi-year safety awareness and communications initiative called Safety 365 that empowers our people to be safe and speak up if they see something that could be made safer. Major initiatives during the year included creating a toolkit to enable supervisors to conduct weekly safety meetings and expanding the content available through our mobile Safety 365 app.

Historically, driving accidents are one of our highest injury risks. During 2016, we improved and expanded our safe driver training and education programs to ensure our operations in every country have the tools and resources to manage this safety risk.  

Strains and sprains are another leading type of injury among our employees. In 2016, we introduced a new tool called Ergonomic Critical Rules that identifies scenarios and tasks with high risk for strains or sprains and provides low- or no-cost solutions to prevent ergonomic injuries. We released two rules during the year that covered drum manual handling and pushing and pulling.

The rules are part of our larger ergonomic focus, which includes ergonomics training and our annual Ergo Cup competition, which recognizes initiatives that minimize or eliminate ergonomic risks within our operations. In 2016, we had a record number of both award applications and cost savings associated with the projects’ safety and efficiency improvements.

We began introducing human performance to four of our locations during 2016. This safety approach teaches employees how to predict, prevent and manage errors that could result in injury.

At our Circleville, Euclid and Strongsville, Ohio, locations, for example, most all employees were trained on the concepts of human performance in 2016 and are applying the tools in their daily tasks. The facilities have established 2017 goals to drive human performance into their everyday manufacturing environment and anticipate reductions in their safety rates as employees continue to learn and master the tools. 


Sample Ergonomic Critical Rule

Global Health and Safety Performance

Employees and Supervised Workers

  Fatalities PPG Injury and Illness Rate Total Recordable Incident Rate Lost Workday Rate Occupational Disease Rate
2012 1 0.42 1.78 1.33  
2013 1 0.37 1.70 1.15  
2014 0 0.35 1.86 1.35  
2015 0 0.31 1.41 0.91  
2016 0 0.31 1.47 0.98 0.07

A PPG injury and illness (I&I) is defined as an injury or illness that is significant enough that it is unlikely to go unreported, regardless of the reporting culture in the region or site. PPG I&Is include fatalities, fractures, surgeries, hospitalizations, 30 or more days of lost work and other similar criteria. The PPG I&I rate is the number of injuries and illnesses that meet this definition multiplied by 200,000 and divided by the number of work hours. Total recordable incident rate is the number of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recordable injuries multiplied by 200,000 and divided by the number of work hours. Lost workday rate is the number of injuries and illness that resulted in days away from work or restricted activity multiplied by 200,000 and divided by the number of work hours. Occupational disease rate is the number of illnesses multiplied by 200,000 and divided by the number of work hours. A new data management system enabled a more comprehensive collection of occupational disease data beginning in 2016.

2016 Health and Safety Performance by Region

Employees and Supervised Workers

  Fatalities PPG Injury and Illness Rate Total Recordable Incident Rate Lost Workday Rate Occupational Disease Rate
Asia Pacific 0 0.14 0.49 0.31 0
Europe, Middle East and Africa 0 0.31 1.16 0.87 0.02
Latin America 0 0.13 0.35 0.15 0
North America 0 0.48 2.56 1.67 0.17

Customer Health and Safety

Our commitment to health and safety extends to our customers.

Our products are not only manufactured safely in our facilities, but also transported, used and disposed of safely by our customers. Safe use and disposal instructions and safety data sheets are available for all products. Our product stewardship and technical experts are also available to provide one-on-one consultation on safe product use and disposal.

Safety initiatives steer employees toward driving accident prevention

From road safety days to driving simulators, our locations around the world helped increase awareness of safe driving practices during 2016.

More than 90 employees at our Itagui, Colombia, location received training on road safety and prevention, especially important in a country where traffic accidents are the second-leading cause of death. As part of the training, participants used drunk driving and motorcycle riding simulators.

In China, we introduced a motor vehicles safety policy that covers driver qualifications, distracted driving, driver fatigue, driver training, incident reporting, high-risk driver management and more. Each strategic business unit, facility and function is required to assign at least one driving safety coordinator.

Our U.S. architectural coatings business leveraged the capabilities of our mobile Safety 365 app to offer a manager ride-along electronic checklist to replace a manual system. Observations from the ride-alongs are now entered into a mobile device and submitted to a central database for tracking.

To help employees remain safe while traveling, we introduced a seatbelt safety checklist to follow for business and personal travel. It includes best practices for using taxis, shuttles and other forms of public transportation, as well as internal tools and resources for assessing travel risk.

Area safety teams spur improvement at Huntsville facility

To drive the environment, health and safety (EHS) process to the production floor and increase employee involvement, our Huntsville, Alabama, aerospace facility implemented area safety teams on all shifts and in all areas. 

Each of the 18 area safety teams consists of the area supervisor, engineer, behavioral safety representative and two to six additional production and maintenance employees. The teams’ focus is identifying key risk and ergonomic exposures, developing and implementing action plans based on area performance and risk exposures, conducting accident investigations and follow-up, and identifying and, in some cases, conducting area EHS training. 

The location has achieved a 75 percent reduction in its total injury and illness rate since the teams started forming in 2007

Initiatives protect pedestrians from moving vehicles

Segregating pedestrians from moving vehicles, such as forklifts, at our locations globally is an ongoing goal. After our Tianjin location in China installed physical barriers and rerouted forklift traffic in 2015, it had zero injuries related to pedestrian/vehicle interfaces and a 50 percent decline in all spills related to forklifts during 2016.


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