Driving simulators helped increase awareness of good off-the-job safety practices at an event at John Deere Iberica.
John Deere units worldwide are making off-the-job safety awareness a priority. That's because nine of 10 fatalities and more than two-thirds of disabling injuries to workers each year occur off the job, according to the U.S. National Safety Council. In fact, according to company safety records, John Deere employees are 20 times more likely to be hurt off the job than at work.
Worldwide, injuries account for more than 5 million deaths, says the World Health Organization. Those figures are dwarfed, WHO says, by the number of people who survive their injuries but suffer lifelong disability or health problems.
Without safety meetings and other reminders off the job, people forget that they can be injured. That's why many regular John Deere unit safety meetings include off-the-job safety messages, such as the proper use of ladders, how to handle flammable liquids, or proper welding procedures.
Safety tips may be tied to holidays — how to hang Christmas lights and decorations safely, for instance — or seasonal weather threats, such as where to seek shelter during a tornado. Employees are also encouraged to take equipment such as safety glasses and hearing protection home to use whenever they’re doing something that might put them at risk for injury.
At John Deere Iberica, more than 1,000 employees participated in an off-the-job safety awareness campaign earlier this year.
As part of the event at the factory in Getafe (Madrid), Spain, employees could "test drive" vehicle simulators that mimicked hazards such as bad weather or driving under the influence of alcohol. They also got tips on safely operating motorcycles, received information on common safety hazards at home and how to prevent them, and on ways to help keep children safe.
Employees could also sign a banner to show their personal commitment to safety, on and off the job.
As part of the campaign, Iberica created T-shirts with an off-the-job safety message and sold them to employees and others. Proceeds from the sale of more than 2,600 shirts were donated to the Road Victims' Association, an organization that aims to prevent automobile-related injuries and deaths. The group will use the money to help carry out safe-driving campaigns and provide psychological support to traffic accident victims and their families.
Iberica plans to hold similar off-the-job safety events twice a year.
By investing in off-the-job-related safety training, John Deere units help ensure employees are prepared for the unexpected regardless of the location or time of day.