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Safety Culture

At Toyota, we live and breathe a safety culture in all we do 
Safety is our top priority. Ultimately, we aim for zero traffic accidents in a society where people can freely and safely move around. This ambition requires a comprehensive approach that extends beyond car and road safety to include overall safety awareness and education. 

Safety is embedded in our DNA

Safety has always been an integral part of our company culture. As early as 1938, Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan launched a Safety and Health Committee and organised Safety Week activities. In the mid-20th century, facilities were adapted to meet increasingly stringent safety standards and protocols. From the 80s onwards, campaigns focused on prevention of serious accidents. Initiated in January 1992, the STOP6 initiative covers the six items of the Safety TOYOTA 0 (Zero Accident) Project, including accidents caused by (1) moving machinery, (2) heavy objects, (3) contact with vehicles, (4) falls, (5) electric shock and (6) high temperatures. With an explicit reference in Toyota’s 2011 Global Vision, safety is sure to remain embedded in our company culture.
“My Safety Commitment is to lead a safety-first, diverse, equal and inclusive culture across all Toyota businesses in Europe.”
Matt Harrison, Chief Operating Officer Toyota Motor Europe

Dojo: A key safety weapon

Our safety culture is not defined by the things we say, but by the things we do. That is why our key logistics and manufacturing facilities have a so-called “dojo” on site. Dojo is Japanese for ‘a training room for immersive learning’. Newcomers at Toyota typically go through an extensive training programme before putting a foot on the work floor. In the dojo, theory is put into practice. It is where our people learn everything they need to know about safety at work, in a highly visual and impactful manner. 

Impressions of a dojo space

  • Why is it important to wear safety glasses that tightly fit to the face? Because it prevents the sparks or chips that are released when working with a saw from getting into the eyes.
  • Ergonomics is a key part of preventive safety training, covering how to safely lift loads by keeping your back straight and placing your feet correctly.
  • Employees that are not convinced of the importance of safety shoes, usually are after seeing the demo with a crushed can at the training.
  • Walking areas are systematically demarcated with gates to separate pedestrians from vehicles moving around.
  • Stay vigilant for safety risks 

    Training is an efficient way to introduce safety, but is not sufficient to keep the topic top of mind in day-to-day work. Reminders, preferably visual, are key. At our UK operations, for example, a Safety Calendar raises awareness with a daily safety tip. It could cover ergonomics, preventive exercises, overall well-being and health, safety tools and procedures … And throughout Toyota in Europe, October is Safety and Well-being Month. Each year a campaign is rolled out across all our European facilities to continuously improve and ensure safety at work.

  • Overall health & well-being 

    We can only bring about the best in people in an environment where they feel safe to work. Safety and overall health & well-being go hand-in-hand. It is widely recognised that we are more prone to stress in today's modern way of living, and stress can affect the physical and mental well-being of people. At Toyota, many preventive programmes are put in place to reduce stress by coaching employees. Action is taken to encourage people to flag problems early on, so they can be addressed more quickly. More than ever, we need to care for each other.

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