Safety of our employees is a main focus in the Toyota Service Concept. In Spain, we came to the conclusion that investing in new equipment, specialised training and improved communication were not enough to stop accidents happening. Instead, we focused on changing employee behaviour through training and physiotherapy.
In 2012, we increased staffing in the Health and Safety department and analysed our figures starting from 2007. We sorted these data by department and cause of accident. We also talked to service technicians to find out what was driving our high injury rates.
Our investigation showed that by far the most important cause of accidents was overstrain due to incorrect manual handling of loads. With the input of our External Prevention Service, we developed a physiotherapy programme for all service technicians who had suffered an accident through overstrain. We decided to conduct a training every three years, as fewer accidents usually occur in the period following a training.
Our approach, step by step
With the help of an external physiotherapist, we organised a briefing which combines theoretical with practical exercises in our facilities. This briefing was then recorded and shared on our internal e-learning tool, TMHE Academy, making it available for everyone in the company.
We were able to conclude that physiotherapy has had a positive impact on our results. During the last two years, we have more than halved accidents caused through overstrain by more than 50%. The technicians who received physiotherapy treatment have not had an accident with the same cause subsequently.
Our plan has also proven to have financial benefits. We were able to reduce the amount of lost days, which caused a major decrease in absenteeism costs. Overall, the absenteeism costs we have avoided thanks to this programme are equal to four times the money we invested in 337 sessions of physiotherapy treatment.
These positive results also led to a significant reduction in premiums paid to our Work Accident Insurance Company. We will invest the savings in health and safety measures for our employees. Now that we have managed to bring accidents through overstrain under control, we are able start focusing on accidents caused by people being struck by objects – our second most important cause of injuries. We are developing a project to analyse and improve the tools and equipment handled by our technicians.
In 2014 we received the Xcellens Award, together with four other Spanish companies, thanks to our physiotherapy programme. We have since become part of the Xcellens Club, which allows us to share our knowledge and experience with other companies within Spain. In 2015, we were invited to present our results at benchmarking events organised by our EU-OSHA partners SEAT, in Barcelona, and SIEMENS, in Berlin.
“With the right training and physiotherapy we were able to reduce injury rates by 65% and significantly decrease absenteeism costs”.
Health & Safety Manager
Toyota Material Handling Spain
- Injury rate reduced by 65% since 2007
- Lost day rate reduced by 37% since 2007
- Annual investment: €10,000
- Annual savings: €40,000