2017 Sustainability Report

Xylem People


Xylem’s safety philosophy is to “accept only zero” — meaning that we strive for a zero-incident workplace and one in which our employees return home at the end of each day uninjured.

We have taken several proactive measures to ensure that safety is top of mind for all employees. Safety-related responsibilities are defined in employees’ job descriptions, reinforced through site communications and measured regularly with recognition for outstanding performance. In 2017, we made progress at both the site and enterprise levels — and we are on track to achieve more positive results as safety becomes further integrated into our culture.

Injury Frequency by 2019
Injury Severity by 2019

Risk Reduction Index

In 2017, we focused the Safety Scorecard on risk reduction and renamed it the Risk Reduction Index (RRI). We have raised the bar on the crucial elements and have removed injury frequency and injury severity from the calculation. Each of our sites now tracks safety according to the RRI. In addition, safety continues to be integrated into every area of Xylem’s business. At the end of 2017, environment, health and safety (EHS) was included in our Continuous Improvement maturity matrix. Looking ahead, sites will be assessed, and we will generate a score accordingly that demonstrates the safety acumen of the site.

Recognizing Outstanding Safety Results

Our CEO Safety Excellence Award recognizes one manufacturing facility and one sales and service team each year for outstanding safety performance. Assessment of performance is strongly weighted toward leading program attributes versus trailing indicator performance. Scoring for 2017 entries, like previous years, was conducted by an independent third party and is based on a combination of objective (quantitative) and subjective (qualitative) criteria, including indicator rates and program vitality attributes. In addition, 208 Xylem sites were recognized in 2017 for Zero Incidents or operating throughout the year without recordable injuries or serious near-misses. The number of sites recognized this year represents a 10 percent increase in the number of sites recognized in 2016. Further, more than 40 sites were recognized for improving their safety performance by reducing the injury frequency at the site by 50 percent or more over their performance in the previous year.

Injury Frequency and Severity Rates

Injury Frequency

(medical + lost work day cases x 200,000/number of hours worked)

Injury Severity

(lost work days x 200,000/number of hours worked)

Meeting High Standards

As another marker of our commitment to workplace safety, 20 Xylem sites have been OHSAS 18001-certified. In addition to satisfying the requirements for OHSAS 18001 certifications, these sites also provide training and promote our “Accept Only Zero” philosophy. This program includes online access to more than 80 safety education courses in multiple languages and access to tools that help managers and employees easily and quickly recognize safety and ergonomic hazards, and take corrective actions to eliminate root causes.

Reducing Risks

Despite our best efforts, incidents occasionally happen. When an injury does occur, we investigate and determine the root causes of the incident. We also examine and identify which parts of the organization are experiencing increased incidents and what activities are being conducted when injuries occur. We also provide additional support to sites with increased injury rates as needed.

Risk Profiling is a program that incorporates the standard Job Safety Analysis (JSA) process into a visual management tool. We utilize a common JSA tool to assess specific work cells and score them before and after improvements are implemented. The assessment process engages both management and employees working in that particular work cell. The visual aspect of the program enables all employees to see the current status of that work cell regardless of the facility they are in. The program was deployed at all manufacturing sites in one business unit during the pilot period. We plan to expand the Risk Profile program across the entire organization over the next year.

Another tool for improving safety is the “Get Well” program, which targets sites with the highest injury rates. The program includes a variety of interventions such as employee surveys, in-depth safety data analysis, safety Kaizen events and site visits. These are used to develop site-specific “safety visions,” a safety strategy and appropriate improvement plans. These improvement plans are closely tracked and monitored for implementation by site management and Xylem’s EHS management.