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On The Front
Lines Of
GM’s Safety
Culture

Lansing Delta township

A failure on a skillet conveyor scissors lift halted assembly of the Chevy Traverse and Buick Enclave crossovers. During repair, skilled trades team members identified an unexpected, large structural crack in the lift. The team remembered a near miss with similar equipment from a few years ago. To avoid another significant incident the team stopped and reassessed their situation. Then, they engaged engineering and developed a safe way to properly fix the structural crack, causing half a shift of downtime that necessitated in sending more than 500 people home. The experience demonstrates how the team members recognized a hazard, felt empowered to stop production, ignored the “invisible hand” that would pressure them to take risks and worked together to safely plan and engage others to help.

San Luis Potosi Mexico

During a Safety Observation Tour, Concepcion Orta, a body shop launch team member, noticed an operator pulling dash panels from a rack without using a mechanical assist. Although this issue was not causing operational problems, Concepcion recognized the risk. Dash panels have an oil film from the stamping process that makes them difficult to handle without dropping. Concepcion immediately contacted her team leader to evaluate the risk and, together, they brainstormed a safer method to perform the task using manual suction cups to safely handle the panels — a simple solution that greatly reduced the risk. Concepcion demonstrated the GM value “It’s on Me” when she saw someone in harm’s way and engaged with the team to mitigate risk.

GM del Ecuador

Luis Buestan, a QCOS auditor, was using the staircase with his child after returning to his new home from work, when he realized there were no handrails. Thinking back to a safety talk he had just listened to at work on handrail safety, he recognized the hazardous environment at his new house. Luis made safety personal in this moment. He immediately arranged for a handrail to be installed on the staircase. He then shared with his family the importance of having and using handrails to prevent slips, trips and falls while using stairs. Luis demonstrated the “It’s On Me” GM behavior by taking his knowledge from a safety message at work and bringing it home to his loved ones.

Lansing Grand River Stamping

When die makers were asked to unload new dies and their associated steel blank from a semi-trailer flatbed, the driver of the flatbed suggested they use a crane. He even showed the die makers how they could attach to four knobs located on the pallets underneath to unload the steel blanks. Recognizing a safety hazard — the knobs were not an approved rigging point — they refused to use the crane for unloading. The die makers contacted the plant safety department, which determined that the knobs were not approved and could potentially fail if used. The diemakers used an approved fork truck instead. They demonstrated the “Be Bold,” “It’s On Me” and “One Team” GM behaviors by speaking up about a hazard, engaging knowledgeable personnel, asking the right questions and then acting to ensure the safety of themselves and those around them.