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Workplace Safety

John Deere is committed to a safe workplace. That commitment has resulted in John Deere being regularly recognized as a leader in this area. But the commitment goes beyond the workplace. We are focused on each employee's health and welfare … on and off the job. Because our employees' overall health can impact performance, as well as the performance of their co-workers. So, through health assessments, training, and support, Deere looks to enhance the well-being of every employee.

A great work environment

Safety is everyone's responsibility. Part of everyone's job at John Deere. The difference at Deere is that we constantly work to reduce risk by concentrating on potential issues before someone gets hurt.

One of the keys to Deere's success are our Continuous Improvement Teams. Over 350 teams in the U.S. alone; more than 800 worldwide. At every John Deere factory, team members – production, management, technicians, engineers – work together to establish quarterly goals, handle risk assessments, develop recommendations, and follow through to make approved changes. Hundreds of safety projects are tackled each year, with results shared throughout the company.

Every John Deere facility has safety goals. It's a management imperative. But having goals is not quite enough. Every employee must commit to those safety goals, as well. And, specific safety metrics are reported monthly.

The results? Major changes to factory floors, more ergonomic workstations, even improved training and safety communications have reduced injury frequency and severity rates. In fact, John Deere facilities continue to be among the safest in the world. Out of 138 Deere locations, 79 went without a lost-time injury during fiscal year 2013. And at year end, 38 locations had exceeded 1,000,000 hours without a lost-time case. This shows a true dedication to safety from all John Deere employees.

Health and wellness

Health and wellness programs are staple ingredients in John Deere's activities day to day. Risk assessments and coaching help employees maintain, improve, and manage their personal health and work-life needs.

At many John Deere units, occupational health and industrial hygiene professionals work to evaluate potential exposures to hazardous materials, manage employee injuries and illnesses, and protect the confidentiality of medical information.

Deere has also set up procedures for dealing with extraordinary health risks such as pandemics. Factories and other Deere facilities have local response plans, as well.

All this is done globally. We've established health programs that address specific and varying issues and infrastructures from country to country, culture to culture.

How we rate

Compared to other equipment manufacturers, John Deere leads the way in workplace safety. And, surprisingly, we have injury rates below those common even in non-manufacturing sectors.


Graph of Lost-Time Injury Severity Rate Graph of Lost-Time Injury Frequency Rate


Graph of Safety Metrics


John Deere facilities regularly earn safety awards and other recognition.


In 2013, John Deere units in the United States, for example, earned 46 safety awards from the U.S. National Safety Council.


Included are 43 Deere units that earned the organization's Occupational Excellence Achievement Award. This award recognizes units that have no fatalities and report injury and illness rates that are less than half the average of organizations whose employees do the same kind of work. The rates are calculated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics using 2012 safety performance figures.


Two units earned the National Safety Council Industry Leader Award: John Deere Sunbelt Outdoor Products, Charlotte, North Carolina, and John Deere Coffeyville Works, Coffeyville, Kansas. The award recognizes the top 5% of recipients of the Occupational Excellence Achievement Award.


John Deere Turf Care, Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, earned the Million Work Hours Award for one million consecutive hours worked by full-time and contingent employees without incurring an occupational injury that resulted in days away from work.


The National Safety Council is a nonprofit public service organization that works through education and training to help prevent accidental injury and death.


Here are the John Deere units that earned National Safety Council awards.


Industry Leader Award
  • Coffeyville (Kansas) Works
  • Sunbelt Outdoor Power Products, Charlotte, North Carolina

Occupational Excellence Achievement Award
Manufacturing Operations
  • A&I Manufacturing, Rock Valley, Iowa
  • Coffeyville (Kansas) Works
  • Commercial Products, Augusta, Georgia
  • Cylinder Group, Moline, Illinois
  • Davenport (Iowa) Works
  • Deere-Hitachi, Kernersville, North Carolina
  • Des Moines (Iowa) Works
  • Dubuque (Iowa) Works
  • Engine Works, Waterloo, Iowa
  • Harvester Works, East Moline, Illinois
  • Horicon (Wisconsin) Works
  • John Deere Landscapes, Alpharetta, Georgia
  • John Deere Reman Core Center, Springfield, Missouri
  • John Deere Reman, Springfield, Missouri
  • John Deere Water, San Diego, California
  • John Deere Water, San Marcos, California
  • John Deere Water, Valdosta, Georgia
  • Nortrax, Inc.
  • Ottumwa (Iowa) Works
  • Phoenix International, Fargo, North Dakota
  • Power Products, Greeneville, Tennessee
  • Seeding Group, Moline, Illinois
  • Seeding Group, Valley City, North Dakota
  • John Deere (Louisiana) Thibodaux
  • Turf Care, Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina
  • Waterloo (Iowa) Works

Parts Distribution Locations
  • A&I Products, Rock Valley, Iowa
  • Atlanta (Georgia) Regional Parts Distribution Center
  • Dallas (Texas) Parts Depot
  • Denver (Colorado) Parts Depot
  • John Deere Water-Vista Warehouse, Vista, California
  • Lathrop (California) Regional Parts Distribution Center
  • North American Parts Distribution Center, Milan, Illinois
  • Portland (Oregon) Regional Parts Distribution Center

Sales, Marketing, Office, and R&D Locations
  • Construction Equipment Company, Moline, Illinois
  • Deere & Company World Headquarters, Moline, Illinois
  • John Deere Cary (North Carolina) Office
  • John Deere Financial, Johnston, Iowa
  • John Deere Financial, Madison, Wisconsin
  • John Deere Intelligent Solutions Group, Torrance, California
  • John Deere Intelligent Solutions Group, Urbandale, Iowa
  • John Deere Olathe (Kansas) Office and Training Centers
  • Sunbelt Outdoor Power Products, Charlotte, North Carolina

Million Work Hours Award
  • Turf Care, Fuqua-Varina, North Carolina

Building a Strong Safety Culture

Employees at work

When John Deere acquires a business, nothing is more important than working with new employees to establish a strong safety culture. The goal is a safety-focused culture where employees understand and see the value of safety procedures, and look out for each other.

Read the full article.