Workplace Safety Award

North America Water Heating


Values Safety storyWorkplace safety is the cornerstone of A. O. Smith's commitment to being a good place to work, and a primary focus of continuous improvement. In conducting its routine risk assessments in late 2020, the team in Ciudad Juárez (MEX) reviewed 20 major pieces of machinery and equipment and calculated risk according to an industry-standard formula: Severity x Probability x Exposure = Risk

The risk analysis revealed 20 different unsafe conditions, ranging from missing safety guards, malfunctioning safety light curtains and ergonomic devices in disrepair. The team created a risk map identifying all of the issues and prioritized them by risk level. They addressed each problem with the person responsible for each area, designed and fabricated new guards where needed and sourced and installed the required safety systems. 

2022.06.22 Values ButtonAfter addressing all the outstanding issues, the follow-up risk assessment showed a risk reduction of 80% in two machines, 90% in 14 and 95% in the remaining four. When calculated against the two plants' productivity, the improvements prevented the equivalent of 17 accidents with a probability of entrapment or crushing, two (2) accidents with a probability of severe ergonomic injury and one (1) accident with a probability of free falling, with a possible consequence of a severe injury.

"This safety project was the result of a combination of efforts as a team," said EHSS superintendent Javier Márquez. "Our employees provided key information for the improvements, the multidisciplinary team evaluated the risks found and implemented the improvements, and top management provided support and leadership throughout the project."

"Our selection committee chose this project because it clearly aligns with our values of both creating a good place to work and investing in our people," said Kevin Wheeler, chairman, president & CEO. "By taking the initiative to apply continuous improvement principles to our work processes, the team identified opportunities to reduce risk, created a strategy to address them and thoughtfully and efficiently implemented it. As a result, the project reduced risk by nearly 90% and further strengthened an already well-established culture of safety in Ciudad Juárez."

"Winning this important award has given us a feeling of confidence and motivation in our daily work, as well as strengthening our commitment to continue building a strong safety culture," Javier said. "We want to prove that our EHS program is consistent, and that the Values Recognition Award wasn't just due to a lucky break!"

2022.06.22 Values Recognition SAFETYLeft to Right: Kevin Wheeler, Kevin Domack, Rogelio Reyes, Alma Gámez, Felix Gallardo, Erika Maldonado, Dave Warren, Francisco Gómez. Not pictured: Javier Márquez, Raymundo Carrasco, Nohemi Castañeda, Geovani García, Oscar González, Samuel Reséndez, Samuel Rodríguez, Alejo Salgado, Francisco Tello, Jesús Villarreal, Gastón Villela. © 2022 Aaron Johnson for A. O. Smith Corporation.

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