Safety Zero fatalities for the first time in 10 years

Target: Zero harm is caused to our people and contractors; we aim for a yearly reduction in lost-time incidents

At ABB, safety is our highest priority and the foremost standard by which we measure our performance. Our ability to ensure the safety of our people is critical to our long-term success, reputation and standing as the best partner for our customers and other stakeholders.

In 2021, we recorded a lost-time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) of 0.14. In our previous sustainability reporting cycle, we used a total recorded injury frequency rate (TRIFR) to measure our progress in making ABB a safer place to work. We opted to use LTIFR for the current sustainability cycle because it is directly related to productivity and more widely accepted within our industry. Furthermore, LTIFR is generally more accurate, because in today’s reporting culture, there is a minimal probability of a lost-time incident going unreported.

Safety at ABB
Safety at ABB
Safety at ABB (graphic)

For the first time since 2011, ABB recorded zero employee fatalities and zero contractor fatalities for the year in 2021. While we are very pleased with this result, we are aware that any safety incident has the potential to lead to a fatality. With this caveat, we have reason to be proud of the robust safety culture ABB has built over the past decade. Our Business Areas’ safety programs have been highly effective at reducing or eliminating conditions that can lead to incidents, for example by focusing on hazard reporting and conducting sustainability observation tours. This is also evidenced by the downward trend in the total number of serious incidents ABB has recorded since 2014.

Since they have the freedom to design and implement their own safety programs, our Business Areas and their Divisions were able to create a wide variety of thoughtfully targeted and granular approaches to the specific risks that each Division, service product group or industry faces. These programs are not required to conform to “one size fits all” prescriptions.

To mitigate the risks associated with this flexible, decentralized approach to safety, our Business Areas and their Divisions are required to take full ownership of their respective safety programs. They are thus fully accountable for delivering results commensurate with our Group’s strong commitment to safety. Furthermore, to increase corporate monitoring of corrective actions and lessons learned, we are strengthening the governance of ABB’s safety activities via regular council meetings and steering committees. In this way, ABB’s corporate leadership and its Business Areas can identify, align and collaborate on company-wide improvement programs.