Because our people are our most valuable resource, maintaining a safe and healthy work environment is and will remain a top priority at Ball. Through employee commitment and the use of various safety tools, we continue to improve our safety performance and strive to reach our long-term vision of zero work-related incidents. The health and safety of employees is everyone’s responsibility.

More Than Just Numbers

For us, our safety metrics represent more than just numbers. They exemplify the health and well-being of our employees. We reduced our rolling average Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR, recordable incidents per 200,000 hours worked) from 2017-2020 by 31% compared to the 2017 baseline. Through our safety efforts, Ball achieved its 2020 goal of reducing the three-year rolling average TRIR by 25%. 

At year-end 2020, 32 of our manufacturing locations worldwide reported zero recordable accidents for the year. Progress towards zero recordable accidents is driven by continuous improvement of employee engagement programs, results of long-term safety culture change and structured projects that included behavior-based safety and standardization of work procedures.

Ball strives to be a leader among can manufacturers and in the manufacturing industry as a whole. We continue to report incident rates (0.9 in 2010) consistently lower than the manufacturing (3.6) and metal can manufacturing (3.9) industry as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2016. We attribute this success to our continued focus on machine guarding, near-miss reporting, behavior-based safety and targeted projects at facilities. Going forward, we will expand our safety focus to further prioritize hearing loss and lacerations.

Committed to Continuous Improvement

Because management commitment and active employee engagement play a vital role in achieving our safety goal — to reduce our TRIR by 25% between 2020-2030 — safety performance is communicated monthly to senior-level leadership and quarterly to executive management to track our progress and ensure accountability.

Our health and safety efforts are focused on continuous improvement and we regularly check the effectiveness of plant programs through internal audits. To support our safety culture, elements of our health and safety management system include policies, planning, implementation and operation, checking and corrective action, and management review. Ball’s global health and safety policy and safety management systems are based on the international Occupational Health and Safety management system standard OHSAS 18001.

Behavior-Based Safety

Eighty percent of all work-related accidents include a behavioral component. Since 2005, we have used behavior-based safety (BBS) to minimize unsafe behaviors by proactively focusing on behaviors that may lead to incidents. We enlist employees at all levels to monitor safe and unsafe behaviors and to report their observations. Plants deploying BBS routinely analyze observations made by all employees and implement corrective measures. The long-term use of BBS programs has greatly contributed to safety performance improvement. We continue to update our BBS process to ensure we prevent injuries effectively and engage our employees to maintain a safe workplace.

Establishing a Culture Dedicated to Safety

While affecting day-to-day employee activities and behavior can be a challenge, creating and maintaining a safety-focused culture is a priority at Ball. To establish a foundation of safe practices, it is important to proactively empower, support and engage employees. We provide employees with opportunities to participate actively in addressing and eliminating safety issues to support our safety culture.

Through a long-term safety culture change process, we are enabling employees to take ownership of their safety and the safety of others. Safety culture change addresses the hidden beliefs, norms and assumptions that govern behavior with the goal of changing norms that undermine safe behaviors.

While we have addressed safety culture using BBS in our plants over the last decade, we began implementing a more targeted process in seven of our North American packaging plants since 2011. Plant employees participate in a survey to assess their plant’s current safety culture, then they review and prioritize the findings and recommendations. Instead of implementing programs developed by upper management, voluntary grassroots teams are trained and empowered to develop solutions and tools to continuously improve safety performance.

Through these grassroots activities, motivated leaders step up and lead the change, which is very positive because it helps to identify and develop talent at Ball. For example, in our Wallkill, New York, plant, employees suggested that salaried employees become more involved on the shop floor. This challenge was addressed by increasing the presence of salaried employees in the plant and improving communication.

Health and Well-Being

At Ball Corporation, investing in our people has been and continues to be a critical part of our business. One way Ball does this is by investing in the health and well-being of our employees and their families. Our health and well-being programs are centered on one goal: to help our employees and their family members become healthier versions of themselves. Healthy people have a better quality of life and tend to be more productive in their work-a win-win for our employees, their families and for Ball.

To counteract the rising costs of health care and encourage our employees to be healthy, Ball began a formalized wellness program for North American employees in 2008 (more information below). Over time, we have seen grass-roots efforts take hold around the globe, building further on our culture of health. For example, in Europe, activities are tailored to individual locations, where Ball offers employees onsite health checks, smoking cessation counseling, fitness activities, healthy canteen food and educational opportunities.

In Asia, Ball provides free preventive check-ups, access to fitness rooms and other sports and recreational activities. In South America, Ball also offers free health examinations/annual check-ups, smoking cessation support, fitness activities (including pre-shift workout/stretch sessions) and healthy food options and/or subsidies, as well as other education materials and workshops.

In the future, we plan to develop a formal global health and well-being strategy and supporting policies.


In the U.S., where Ball offers company-sponsored medical insurance programs, we have ensured that employees have access to affordable, competitive and comprehensive health coverage. Ball also promotes good health for employees and their families outside of the insurance programs. In 2008, we introduced health fairs with biometric screenings at Ball's U.S. work sites, where employees could measure their:

  • Body Mass Index (or BMI), which is the ratio of a person’s height to their weight
  • Blood pressure
  • Cholesterol and glucose (i.e., the amount of sugar in their blood) levels
  • Tobacco use

Since then, we have held three additional national biometric screening events to encourage employees to "know their numbers." Additionally, we have sponsored an activity campaign, health risk appraisals, three worksite weight management programs, and personalized health coaching online and by phone.

In 2013, we began offering medical plans that encourage employees to focus on receiving high-quality care at affordable prices through better consumer behavior. Acting as smart consumers in the medical treatment space is important for two reasons:

  • Receiving low-quality care results in unnecessary pain, suffering and stress associated with a medical issue. Ensuring our employees receive high-quality care is critical in helping with employee health and happiness, and an ability to continue contributing at work. Again, a win-win for our employees, their families and Ball. We continually look for ways to help our employees and their families get the best care at the best price, vetting new tools or services that remove some of the complexity of today's U.S. health care system.
  • We started integrating "financial wellness" into our U.S. wellness program to help employees spend wisely and save for their future. This covers how to maximize savings using the quality/cost ratio for medical care, and how to save, invest and prepare for retirement more broadly. For example, we sponsor periodic "Financial Wellness Days," during which employees and their spouses can learn about Ball's 401(k) and pension programs, Health Savings Accounts, the basics of investing, estate planning and other topics associated with retirement savings.

Ball continues to invest in our employees' physical and financial well-being, resulting in a happy, healthy and highly-engaged workforce.