Life-Changing Injury and Fatality Elimination (LIFE)
The LIFE Program focuses on deliberate improvement projects, audits, employee engagement and physical condition upgrades, along with new and updated procedures, policies and technologies, to work toward our ultimate safety goal of an accident-free workplace.
LIFE is designed to make everyone in the company — from the leadership level to operating personnel — aware of the risks of serious injury. We achieve this awareness through LIFE lessons, an innovative communication tool shared with all employees highlights lessons learned from LIFE injuries. This tool is just one of many that allows our company to identify risks and implement sustainable solutions to prevent future injuries.
The LIFE program has five major focus areas:
- Driver safety;
- Exposure to harmful substances or environments;
- Machine safeguarding; and
- Motorized equipment on the manufacturing site.
While teams are focused on deliberate improvements in each of the five areas, 2012 data analysis revealed half of all LIFE incidents stemmed from interactions with moving or energized machines. In 2013, we focused our LIFE efforts extensively on Machine Safeguarding. Specific improvements achieved in 2013 in this area included:
- Strengthening safeguard inspection programs;
- Developing new guarding specifications for equipment with risk potential;
- Performing comprehensive machine guarding evaluations;
- Taking corrective action at all IP locations to ensure that no guards were damaged or missing; and
- Conducting inventories of safeguards on equipment with risk potential.
These actions covered more than 70,000 machine guards at our paper mills and 150,000 at our converting facilities.
Other LIFE initiatives launched in 2013 include our comprehensive driver safety program, which includes an enterprise-wide ban on cell phone use while driving; our fall prevention efforts, which began by targeting falls from heights during the tarping and un-tarping of chip delivery trucks; and a new emphasis on contractor safety. Training efforts related to motorized equipment, a 2011 and 2012 focus, continued in 2013 and involved a record number of participants.
In 2013, there were five LIFE events involving contractors. Each LIFE incident was thoroughly investigated and actions were taken to prevent future incidents from occurring (see Chairman’s message, page 2). Lessons learned from these incidents were shared with all employees using our “LIFE Lesson” one-page communication tool. We deeply regret the deaths of three employees as a result of work-related accidents in 2013.