Automotive Industry Group Tackles Safety, Health Issues

The Automotive Industry Action Group formed a new initiative in occupational health and safety to reduce the number of work-related injuries in the automotive industry.

The Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) has formed a new initiative in the area of occupational health and safety to reduce the number of work-related injuries and improve overall work environments in the automotive industry.

"We hope the guidelines and standards that AIAG defines will help save lives and improve work environments throughout the automotive supply chain," said Kenneth Godzina, AIAG executive director. "The automotive industry spends billions of dollars each year on work-related injuries and illnesses. With this new initiative, AIAG will help play a role in identifying key health and safety issues and in educating the supply chain on how to reduce and prevent these injuries and illnesses."

According to Godzina, the guidelines and standards will also help the automotive industry reduce workers'' compensation costs.

The initiative has been given the support of major automakers such as General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and DaimlerChrysler Corp.

"Employees safety is an overriding priority at General Motors, and we are proud of our achievements in reducing injury and illnesses," said Donald Hackworth, General Motors senior vice president and group executive, North America Car Group. "Using AIAG as a forum to deal with common problems in the auto industry will further help to reduce risks in the workplace."

DaimlerChrysler believes employee is a fundamental value for a corporation.

"Employee safety is of paramount importance at DaimlerChrysler and is incorporated as a critical element of our operating principles," said James Thomas, director of health and safety and legislative affairs for DaimlerChrysler. "Having the opportunity to work collaboratively on health and safety issues will produce favorable results for the companies, employees and consumers."

The initiative will be overseen by the AIAG Occupational Health and Safety Steering Committee, currently being formed.

The committee will be responsible for supervising work groups which will focus on key safety issues in the automotive industry and further educating the supply chain on these issues.

The initial work groups will focus on:

  • industrial truck operator restraint and pedestrian safety guidelines;
  • machine/energy controls best practices;
  • industrial guarding of machinery guidelines;
  • Hazmat guidelines; and
  • optimum shipping and receiving systems.

AIAG said additional work groups will be formed as other issues related to occupational health and safety arise.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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