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Occupational injuries are plaguing the automotive industry worldwide, and a group of manufacturers are banding together to address the problem. The severity of the problem is leading the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) in Southfield, MI, to launch a new initiative in the area of occupational health and safety, says Kenneth Godzina, AIAG executive director. He says the group wants to bring attention to global occupational health and safety issues in the automotive industry, reduce the number of work-related injuries, and improve overall work environments.
"We hope the guidelines and standards that AIAG defines will help save lives and improve work environments throughout the automotive supply chain," Godzina says. "The automotive industry spends billions of dollars each year on work-related injuries and illnesses. With this new initiative, AIAG will help play a role in identifying key health and safety issues and in educating the supply chain on how to reduce and prevent these injuries and illnesses."
According to Godzina, the guidelines and standards also will help the automotive industry reduce workers’ compensation costs. Other benefits expected from the initiative include common specifications, cost-effective approaches to global issues, labor harmonization, and a common voice to influence national standards bodies.
The initiative has received the support of General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co., and DaimlerChrysler Corp. The initiative will be overseen by the AIAG occupational health and safety steering committee, currently being formed. The committee will be responsible for supervising work groups, which will focus on key safety issues in the automotive industry and further educating the supply chain on these issues:
Additional work groups will be formed as other issues related to occupational health and safety arise.
The new steering committee also will hold numerous occupational health and safety related sessions at AIAG’s 2001 AUTO-TECH Conference & Exhibition slated for Aug. 28-30 in Detroit.
The AIAG is a not-for-profit trade association of more than 1,600 automotive and truck manufacturers and their suppliers.