In response to shifting automotive industry trends along with a record number of product launches planned over the next two years, AIAG is reaffirming its commitment to supporting health and safety throughout the global supply chain.
Lecedra Welch, AIAG program manager, environmental sustainability explains: “While AIAG and the automotive industry’s dedication to safety is not new, this recommitment is timely, as current and emerging technologies — for example, the increase in automation and artificial intelligence in manufacturing processes and the electrification of vehicles and components — introduce new risks for those employed at supplier and OEM organizations alike.”
Other factors with the potential to impact workplace health and safety include the introduction of less experienced workers as a result of generational turnover, intense global competition making speed to market an urgent priority, and the continuously increasing complexity of the global supply chain.
For these reasons, among others, AIAG has launched an initiative to support and renew the industry’s focus on workplace safety. In conjunction with new Health & Safety pages on the Corporate Responsibility section of AIAG’s website, the association also shared a “Commitment to Safety” letter signed by VPs from FCA, Ford, GM, Honda, Nissan, and Toyota. The letter asks:
- AIAG member companies – both OEMs and suppliers – to share programs and best practices.
- OHSE professionals to participate in AIAG’s Health & Safety Work Group and subcommittees.
“This letter serves as a call to action for industry organizations,” Welch notes. “Individually and collectively, we need to ensure that our policies, procedures, and trainings for workers’ health and safety are current and comprehensive — and that proactive measures are being introduced and supported by leadership at all levels to identify hazards and reduce associated risks.”
In addition to asking those in the automotive supply chain to join in the industry-wide commitment to safety, the letter also introduces, and asks for input on, AIAG’s new Health & Safety Best Practices webpage. Intended to provide a space for suppliers and automakers to share their organizations’ most effective health and safety programs, policies, and initiatives, the page will be updated as industry partners provide additional content.
Collectively, all of these components — AIAG’s new webpages and resources, the OEM ‘Commitment to Safety’ letter, and even the related work groups convening at AIAG — point to the same fundamental message. As Welch concludes: “The health, safety, and well-being of our workforce throughout the global supply chain is vitally important to the automotive industry’s future success and progress. From our guideline documents and new best-practices webpage, to our health and safety work groups and upcoming programs and trainings, AIAG stands ready to support industry efforts to more effectively identify and address emerging health and safety issues and implement solutions.”
Presently, AIAG is collaborating with occupational health, safety and environmental (OHSE) professionals from automotive OEMs and suppliers to create programs and trainings that will assist suppliers of all sizes throughout the global supply chain. Newly forming teams at AIAG will focus on manufacturing OHSE and OHSE leadership and culture to improve the OHSE for their respective employees, and subsequently family members and retirees.
Ready to get involved? E-mail Lecedra Welch at LWelch@aiag.org. To learn more, visit https://www.aiag.org/corporate-responsibility/health-and-safety