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Safety Comes First in Factory Design

Imagine working in a factory with zero recordable injuries, illnesses, or accidents. That’s the safety culture we’re striving for at John Deere, starting with a factory’s master plan.

When John Deere Bruchsal (Germany) announced plans for a new logistics area and welding facility to make tractor and harvester cabs, safety considerations came first.

The master plan eliminated all forklifts from the new building, replacing them with a “tugger train” system, in which trolleys are pulled by a small tractor. In other buildings, forklift traffic was restricted to specific routes to limit cross-traffic. As a result, Bruchsal Works has reduced overall forklift traffic by 42%, reducing risks for collisions or other accidents.  

From an ergonomics standpoint, adjustable lifting devices were installed in the new welding building to help employees safely handle bulky or heavy objects.  The devices have height adjustments to accommodate all employees.

In addition, the master plan called for extra walkways inside specific workspace areas. This helped reduce potential tripping or fall hazards and gave maintenance teams adequate space to safely access equipment.

Care was taken to place extraction systems where they could best reduce welding emissions and minimize noise. They also reduce potential tripping hazards in areas where manual welding is done.

Finally, to improve lighting throughout the factory, Bruchsal added skylights and installed LED lighting to optimize working conditions.

Together, the new building’s safety features further improve the factory’s already strong safety culture.