Environmental, Health & Safety at Lincoln Electric


At Lincoln Electric, we are committed to operational excellence and the continuous improvement of the health and safety of our employees, customers and neighbors, as well as preserving the integrity of our environment. This commitment is supported by senior management, a global EH&S system, and is considered the individual and collective responsibility of all Lincoln Electric employees


“We are proud of our progress and the significant strides our team has made across our EH&S metrics.”


We ensure compliance and the continuous improvement of the environmental performance of our products and operations through our global EH&S system. Our system is guided by the Corporate EH&S Policy and global directives that establish consistent guidelines for the management, measurement and reporting of environmental, health and safety activities across Lincoln Electric’s global platform.


Safety is a priority at Lincoln Electric and the organization focuses its efforts on a rigorous program that emphasizes safety, health and wellness through stringent safety standards, Company-led programs and employee engagement in behavior-based safety and wellness committees. Safety extends beyond our facilities with our active engagement in safety and health standard development committees at key industry organizations such as the American Welding Society and various International Standards Organization (ISO) committees to ensure best practices for our employees and end users.


Lincoln Electric utilizes the ISO 14001 framework as an environmental management system to identify, implement and measure improvements in resource efficiency, waste reduction and resulting cost savings. In 2016, 65% of Lincoln Electric’s applicable facilities were ISO 14001 certified and we anticipate achieving 100% certification by 2020. In addition, certain facilities are in the early stages of adopting the ISO 50001 standard as an energy management system to reduce energy use and costs, as well as greenhouse gas emissions. Lincoln Electric Canada was first in our industry to be certified to this standard in 2013.


Local EH&S initiatives address each facility’s continuous improvement opportunities and support consolidated EH&S goals. A corporate EH&S organization provides oversight and global coordination of best practices, ISO implementation support, and assessment of facility compliance with regional regulatory standards, EH&S Global Directives and Corporate policies. This team reports to the Deputy General Counsel and provides quarterly reporting to the executive management team. Results are further audited and reported to the Board of Directors as part of Lincoln’s enterprise risk management review of operational risk to ensure the highest level of focus by the organization.


Recognizing achievements and rewarding best practices reinforces our culture of continuous improvement. Awards are given for a variety of EH&S’ related achievements, including sustainability, safety, and attaining one million hours without a safety incident (DART case). In addition, the “Chairman’s Award for EH&S Excellence” distinguishes facilities who exemplify best-in-class EH&S performance using criteria that includes ISO 14001 certification, a safety DART rate below the Company average, and that fosters a culture of EH&S continuous improvement as a core operating value.



We place our highest priority on protecting individuals from injury and our foremost responsibility begins with the health and safety of our employees worldwide. We follow a rigorous health and safety program that adheres to best practices to ensure our manufacturing operations, related processes, and products do not negatively impact the health and welfare of our employees, customers and neighbors.

Our safety and wellness program includes:

  • Regional industrial hygiene program standards that exceed local requirements.
  • Extensive auditing, measurement, and process redesign to enhance safety.
  • Employee led behavior-based safety committees help identify safety issues and promote safety awareness.
  • Thousands of annual preventative health screenings and evaluations to identify impact from occupational activities.
  • Wellness Committees organize sport and fitness activities, competitions, nutrition programs, and health fairs.

Achieving an Injury-Free Workplace
2020 Goal: Improve Safety by Reducing DART Incidents by 75%

(Days Away, Restrictions & Transfers (DART) incidents per 100 equivalent workers)
  • Our ultimate long-term goal is zero DART incidents.
  • 2016 vs. 2015 performance: While we exceeded our annual DART safety goal by 8%, annual safety performance declined slightly year-over-year due to the Company’s strong safety performance in 2015 and a modest increase in DART incidents in our Americas Welding businesses during 2016.
  • Key activities driving long-term safety improvement include: increased near-miss reporting and incident investigations, behavior-based safety initiatives, a focus on observations and interventions, and process and equipment improvements.
  • In 2016, 37% of our facilities achieved zero DART incidents (vs. 47% in the prior year).
  • We are focused on achieving our 2020 safety goal by selectively implementing a safety management system such as ISO 45001 to augment the systems we follow today, of which 10% of our manufacturing facilities are third-party certified OHSAS 18001. Additionally, we will be enhancing workplace ergonomics, manufacturing work centers and further leveraging 5S principles.

The DART rate (Days Away, Restrictions & Transfers incidents per 100 equivalent workers) is used as the primary safety metric at Lincoln Electric as it is recognized by OSHA in the U.S. and by regional and international regulatory agencies. DART data reflects performance across all Lincoln Electric manufacturing facilities worldwide, including acquisitions after their first year with the organization


While we maintain safety programs across all facilities, the majority of our global manufacturing and hourly workforce are also represented by an employee-led, peer-to-peer behavior-based safety (BBS) organization that educates and enforces safe work habits and behaviors to prevent injury and reduce workplace risk. BBS was initiated in 2000 with the “WELD Committee” at our Cleveland, Ohio campus, and local BBS organizations have expanded across our global footprint and engage workers at all levels to generate awareness, education and training on workplace EH&S issues. In China, the adoption of a peer-to-peer BBS program reduced lost work day incidents by 400% over a 3 year period and led to additional safety improvements—exemplifying the positive impact of a BBS program.


Lincoln Electric prioritizes customer and end user safety through a commitment to product safety standards and investment in systems to ensure proactive, comprehensive communication of global product hazards and compliance with global harmonization standards for the classification and labeling of chemicals (GHS). These investments are made in anticipation of regulatory changes and are often implemented ahead of mandated adoption dates to support our customers’ compliance requirements, which depend on the quality of GHS information provided by their supply chain to ensure health and safety in their workplace.


We leverage our technical EH&S expertise to advise customers on the continuous improvement of operational processes and procedures to address product safety concerns and compliance issues. We are an industry leader in providing fume analysis and welding application expertise to assist in improving customers’ fabrication processes to protect the health and well-being of their employees. Additionally, we field EH&S regulatory inquiries, provide educational seminars and webinars on regulatory changes that may affect customers, and utilize in-house technical research and laboratory testing for detailed, customized projects.





In 2011, Lincoln Electric installed the largest known urban wind tower in North America capable of producing 2.5 megawatts of electrical energy, or approximately 10% of the Cleveland campus’ requirements. The project represents the Company’s commitment to integrating renewable energy sources into its manufacturing processes. Even more importantly, it stands as a symbol of Lincoln Electric’s commitment to the wind tower fabrication industry—showcasing the unique benefits our products and welding solutions offer to this prominent business segment.