Below is a message from Jimmy Settles, UAW vice president and National Ford Department director and Jim Tetreault, vice president, North American Manufacturing.
There is nothing that should take higher priority than ensuring superior levels of safety and quality in our plants. These are two key areas in which we should be striving for continuous improvement and excellence each and every day – and yet, we currently find ourselves as a company in a position of needing to improve both.
As we move forward in our effort to become the world's best in both workplace safety and product quality, we must always remember the importance of working together. Together we are a strong team and together we can make a difference in our safety and quality measures in significant and important ways. We have the right processes in place through our Safety Operating System and our Quality Operating System and we simply owe it to our families and our customers to relentlessly follow and drive them every day.
Our current safety record is particularly troubling. The number of serious injuries – and particularly those related to slips, trips and falls – occurring in our plants over the past six months is simply not acceptable. Everybody needs to become more actively involved in providing a safe work environment.
Think about safety before you begin your job. Stay laser focused and continually aware of your surroundings while you walk or drive in the plant, or move about your workstation. Not only are you responsible for your own safety, you should be looking out for your work family as well. If you see anyone in the plant in an unsafe position, please have the courage to speak up and bring it to his or her attention. And if you see a potential safety issue, please report it to a member of the union committee or plant management. If each of us takes the time for these few important steps, we will be a healthier – and much safer – team.
At the same time, we all need to make certain that we are following our processes to build our Ford and Lincoln vehicles with consistently high levels of quality. We recognize that many of the quality issues we are experiencing right now are not things any of you can directly control. But, this means it is even more important than ever to pay particularly close attention to the things you do control. The competition is fierce and customer expectations for quality are now higher than ever.
We all have to keep our heads in the game and continue to work together as One Ford to once again show the world how it is done.
Jimmy Settles Jim Tetreault
UAW Vice President & Vice President, North American Manufacturing
Director National Ford Department Ford Motor Company