Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems
Manufacturer of active safety & braking systems for commercial vehicles
3,000 employees | 20 sites | 15 EHS professionals
2018 was the safest year in Bendix’s nearly 90-year history, as its 18 North American facilities saw a 30% reduction in injury rate from 2017. Nearly all of them reported significant safety milestones last year, and 12 of them surpassed the one-year mark with no recordable injuries.
“For us, safety is a value and has been integrated into our company culture in all that we do,” explains Edward Casper, group occupational health and safety manager. Bendix itself is a manufacturer of safety products (brakes for commercial vehicles), so “there is a clear connection between what we do and who we are.”
Within Bendix’s safety culture, they no longer use the term “accident,” as that word carries the connotation that luck might have played a role in causing an incident. “We truly believe that ALL incidents are preventable,” Casper says. “Bad luck doesn’t cause incidents. Business processes and a lack of visibility to at-risk conditions and behaviors cause incidents.” Toward its goal of achieving zero injuries, Bendix has the attitude of no compromise.
Every meeting at Bendix—no matter the size, no matter where or when—begins with a Safety Share, described as a short personal safety lesson that can be of benefit to the whole team. “Peer learning, where we learn with—and from—each other, is a powerful way to promote a caring culture,” Casper notes. “World-class safety requires an active caring culture, where people look out for the safety and welfare of others with courage and compassion, ultimately enabling the achievement of an injury-free environment.”
One of the keys to success for Bendix’s safety program has been the integration of the Knorr Production System (KPS), a German spin on the famous Toyota Production System (TPS), which focuses on quality, productivity and continuous improvement (Bendix is a member of the Germany-based Knorr-Bremse Group). “KPS tools and rituals have helped quantify improvement activities, increase visibility to safety losses, escalate safety concerns, and drive team-level ownership of safety,” Casper explains.
Also, Bendix’s Safety STARS (Safety Top Achievement Recognition System) program provides a framework designed to enable employees to be proactive in identifying unsafe conditions, unsafe behaviors and safety improvements.