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Keeping People Safe

A Culture of Safety

Our workplace safety vision is to “Live values that return people home safely. Every person. Every site. Every day.”

This vision is guided by our safety policy, which applies to all employees and others working at our sites, including consultants, agents, sales representatives, distributors, independent contractors, third-party suppliers who work on GM premises and contract workers when performing work for GM.

Workplace safety is governed at the highest levels of the company through monthly operating reviews with global functional senior leaders, including the CEO and the Global Safety Leadership Council (GSLC), which comprises more than 20 senior global leaders. The GSLC determines strategic global safety direction and approves workplace safety initiatives, both of which are the responsibility of the vice president, Global Workplace Safety, who also provides a bimonthly update on the company’s safety performance to the Board. Enterprise workplace safety risks and control initiatives are reviewed on an annual basis, and updates are provided to the Board’s Risk and Cybersecurity Committee. Workplace safety reviews are also a part of every meeting of the full Board.

In 2021, COVID-19 continued to be a major focus of workplace safety management. We continued to align our practices with the protocols of each country where GM operates. GM employees were also encouraged to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and GM partnered with health systems, local health departments and national pharmacies to offer and administer the vaccine to employees.

GM also published a vaccine guide for employees and continues to update a COVID-19 Employee Guide, which contains preparedness measures and a response plan for all employees. All employees are required to undergo training for COVID-19 protocols. Additionally, applying the “work appropriately” philosophy has helped us reduce employee exposure to COVID-19. Where the work permits, employees have the flexibility to work where they can have the greatest impact on advancing our goals.

Global Workplace Safety: Culture, Knowledge, Systems, Data, and Risk Mitigation

Global Workplace Safety (GWS) Strategy

Our comprehensive GWS strategy highlights five key focus dimensions, seen at left, that will enable us to achieve our vision to return people home safely as we aspire to zero injuries and fatalities. We have a five-year plan for each of these dimensions, which is refreshed annually with new initiatives to help us continuously improve and make progress toward this vision. The five dimensions include:

In 2021, we emphasized continued improvement on safe decision-making skills at the site level. Following a global effort in 2020 to conduct site culture assessments at major manufacturing facilities, we provided personalized, one-on-one coaching for more than 500 leaders at Ramos Arizpe Assembly in Mexico and at Spring Hill Assembly in Tennessee. Additional site culture assessments were conducted at our powertrain plant in Toledo, Ohio, GM Silao site in Mexico and other sites.

Culture: An Enterprise Safety Culture

We strive for a culture where each person decides to keep themselves and their team members safe. In 2021, we continued our focus on how senior management can lead safety. To help create mindsets where people consider safety and health in all that we do, a new process called Safety and Health In Everyday Leadership Discussions (SHIELD) was implemented for use by senior leaders in meetings where strategic business decisions are made. During safety moments, in lieu of a traditional message, senior leaders ask probing questions within agenda topics of discussion to help create awareness and understanding of potential safety impacts. Using the SHIELD process has increased safety engagement during meetings and in overall decision-making.

The Manufacturing Leadership Team is also focused on improving the effectiveness of High-Risk Global Performance Standards, which address pedestrian/vehicle interaction, electrical safe work practices, lockout energy control and fall protection practices. Senior leaders visited 26 manufacturing and nonmanufacturing sites and conducted small group discussions and floor walks. As a result of these visits, senior leaders gained a deeper understanding of how standards are being applied and provided additional support to strengthen relationships and grow our safety culture.

The Employee Safety Concern Process is the most efficient way to identify and resolve workplace safety concerns. The process provides a structure for employees at manufacturing sites and office environments to report potential safety issues.

Knowledge: Hazard and Risk Identification

We aim for every person, at every site, to be able to recognize hazards, understand risk levels and feel empowered to address safety concerns. In 2021, learning topics that impact serious injuries and fatalities (SIF) potential (e.g., Pre-task Planning, Management of Change and Lockout Energy Control) were conducted in more interactive, conversational forums versus traditional classrooms. Overconfidence, normalization of deviance and other biases which often lead to perceptual distortion and poor judgment were explained and openly discussed. This helps employees recognize situations where they may be inadvertently putting themselves or others in harm’s way.

Systems: Workplace Safety Systems

Our global safety management system, Workplace Safety System (WSS), drives continuous improvement in all five global workplace safety dimensions: Culture, Risk Mitigation, Systems, Data and Knowledge. The system is aligned with our continuous improvement philosophy and with internationally recognized standards such as ISO 45001.

In 2021, our sites continued maturing and improving their WSS. Additionally, a cross-functional team collaborated to improve our safety governance system to align and interconnect site, regional and global safety boards. Efforts were focused on reducing SIF potential and supporting our performance assurance processes.

Workplace Safety System Governance

1st Line of Defense

Initiatives

Annual
Site Self-Assessment

Responsibility

Site Directors

2nd Line of Defense

Initiatives

Regional/Global
Validations

Responsibility

Regional/Global
Leaders

3rd Line of Defense

Initiatives

GM Audit Services

Responsibility

Board of Directors

Data: Data-Driven Decisions

Accessible, easy-to-analyze global safety data promotes data-driven decisions. A data management system is used to report, collect and analyze all safety information, including incident reports, audit findings, inspections, corrective actions and risk mitigation data. This data provides us meaningful information to develop risk mitigation plans that address issues, like hazards, with the most repetitive exposure, the most repetitive type of injuries and the most repetitive gaps detected during safety tours.

In 2021, we introduced a new SIF metric globally that allows GM to analyze exposure data and identify opportunities to proactively ensure safety. SIF subject matter expert teams were established at site, regional and global levels to validate accurate reporting and drive actions at the more effective levels of hierarchy (e.g., elimination, substitution and engineering). In 2022, GM will set specific improvement targets around leading SIF metrics to promote more effective control methods and monitor our exposure reduction efforts.

Any loss of life or serious injury in the workplace is unacceptable. Our target is zero, so that every person who enters a GM facility leaves safe and unharmed.

GM has a robust prevention program developed to promote the reporting and control of events that could result in severe harm or a fatality. Through the program we identify critical activities and develop global performance standards with mandatory safety controls. In 2021, we expanded our program and transitioned to tracking global performance through our new SIF metric and have established additional corrective actions focused to reduce SIF exposure and drive continuous improvement.

Risk Mitigation

We aspire to do business with companies and contractors that share the same commitment to returning people home safely. Historically, most SIF events occurring on GM sites have involved contract labor. In order to manage the impacts of COVID-19 on our represented workforce, we temporarily leveraged contract labor at a higher rate than in past years. We work to provide contractors and temporary employees the necessary safety and process training to prevent safety occurrences and build a culture of safety among everyone. In 2021, we updated our Safety Contract Management calibration method to include a series of assessments to measure the engagement and safety culture of our contractors. We also expanded our attention to supplier pre-screening and on-site safety culture validation processes for suppliers to ensure they also share our value for people and safety.

As we transition to EVs, we continue to ensure our procedures and policies are updated to address any potential risks associated with new technologies. GM has formed a cross-functional team to help protect our employees. The team uses research, benchmarking and professional networking to create standards and develop training to support a safe environment for everyone working with EV components and vehicles. Although we are at the beginning of our journey, our team is already collaborating with others in the industry in the transition to an all-electric future.

Global Workplace Safety Performance1

Lost Workday Case Rate2
(GM Employees)

Bar chart showing our yearly lost workday case rate for GM employees from 2017 through 2021

Number of lost workday injuries and illnesses per 1,000,000 work hours. This key performance indicator focuses on those injuries and illnesses that resulted in employees and contract labor losing days from work. This helps us identify areas and processes where we should center our focus to improve our safety controls.

Lost Workday Case Rate2
(Contractors)

Bar chart showing our yearly lost workday case rate for contractors from 2017 through 2021

Number of lost workday injuries and illnesses per 1,000,000 work hours. This key performance indicator focuses on those injuries and illnesses that resulted in contractors losing days from work. This helps us identify areas and processes where we should center our focus to improve our safety controls.

Fatalities
(GM Employees and Contractors)

Bar chart showing our yearly fatalities (for GM employees and contractors) from 2017 through 2021

A work-related incident resulting in death. Our target is zero, so that every person who enters a GM facility leaves safe and unharmed.

Recordable Incident Rate
(GM Employees and Contractors)

Bar chart showing our yearly recordable incident rate (for GM employees and contractors) from 2017 through 2021

Number of incidents that resulted in injuries or illnesses that required medical treatment beyond simple first aid treatment per 1,000,000 work hours. This metric helps to identify hazards, eliminate risks and drive reporting for all incidents so that we can identify and assess areas for improvement.

Global Calls to Action
Closed on Time

Bar chart showing our yearly global calls to action closed on time from 2017 through 2021

Percent of Global Calls to Action closed on time. A Global Call to Action is a list of lessons learned and required corrective actions to be performed by each GM site globally in response to serious incidents that occurred on any GM site.

  1. In 2021, we are no longer tracking Sentinel Events Proactive as we transition tracking the potential for SIF.
  2. Lost workday case rate is defined as an incident that resulted in an injury or illness that required a worker to be away from work for one full work day or more after the date of injury.

Lost Workday Case Rate2
(GM Employees)

Number of lost workday injuries and illnesses per 1,000,000 work hours. This key performance indicator focuses on those injuries and illnesses that resulted in employees and contract labor losing days from work. This helps us identify areas and processes where we should center our focus to improve our safety controls.

  1. Lost workday case rate is defined as an incident that resulted in an injury or illness that required a worker to be away from work for one full work day or more after the date of injury.

Lost Workday Case Rate2
(GM Employees)

Number of lost workday injuries and illnesses per 1,000,000 work hours. This key performance indicator focuses on those injuries and illnesses that resulted in contractors losing days from work. This helps us identify areas and processes where we should center our focus to improve our safety controls.

  1. Lost workday case rate is defined as an incident that resulted in an injury or illness that required a worker to be away from work for one full work day or more after the date of injury.

Fatalities
(GM Employees and Contractors)

A work-related incident resulting in death. Our target is zero, so that every person who enters a GM facility leaves safe and unharmed.

Recordable Incident Rate
(GM Employees and Contractors)

Number of incidents that resulted in injuries or illnesses that required medical treatment beyond simple first aid treatment per 1,000,000 work hours. This metric helps to identify hazards, eliminate risks and drive reporting for all incidents so that we can identify and assess areas for improvement.

Global Calls to Action
Closed on Time

Percent of Global Calls to Action closed on time. A Global Call to Action is a list of lessons learned and required corrective actions to be performed by each GM site globally in response to serious incidents that occurred on any GM site.