Associate Health and Safety

Protecting the health and safety of associates across our family of companies is a top priority. In fact, Safety is one of our Values.

We believe our industry-leading safety results make our stores, manufacturing plants and facilities among the safest places to work in America. Safety is a core value at Kroger. Keeping our 449,000 associates safe is an important part of our commitment to them. Our ultimate safety goal is zero accidents.

We focus on providing proper safety training and equipment, safe working conditions and access to resources to maintain and improve associates’ well-being.

In our retail operations, our Safety initiative is called STAR – Stores Targeting Accident Reduction – Safety 360. Our store STAR teams plan special events to bring increased attention to the importance of health and safety in our business. In Manufacturing and Logistics, we use a behavioral safety observation process.

Kroger tracks and monitors health and safety metrics and data for all business operations – retail operations, logistics and manufacturing – centrally to allow for an enterprise-wide view of issues, trends and opportunities. We track associate injury metrics like total injuries, OSHA injury rates, and lost time injuries, as well as customer injury metrics like slip-and-fall injuries.

In 2017, the injury rate for all locations combined - retail stores, manufacturing plants, distribution centers and offices - was 3.46 per 100 FTEs, down slightly from the previous year. Our steady reduction in accidents over time is due to increased efforts to promote safety with our new associates and a continuous focus on preventing workplace injuries.

Feature Story
Spotlight on Safety: Smith’s

In 2017, Smith's District 7 — which includes seven Smith's grocery stores in northern Nevada — ranked second in safety performance out of all retail supermarket districts across our entire family of companies. This is a huge achievement for D7 associates – rising from 110th in 2016.

“We know how important safety is to our business, and to our customers and associates,” says Paul Schultz, safety manager for the Smith’s Division. “Last year, we decided to engage our store safety teams to improve our performance and take a new approach to preventing accidents.” Paul credits his entire management team, particularly District 7 Operations Coordinator Angel Velez, for the huge gain.

Key to the effort was timely communication. D7 managers began reporting all accidents in detail to Angel or other trained team members within 15 minutes. They thoroughly reviewed every accident report and conducted further investigation if needed to ensure accuracy. To keep safety top of mind, the Smith’s team asked D7 store safety leaders to conduct a safety review every day. And because building a culture of store safety starts on day one, District 7 also increased safety training for new associates.

Now, when an incident happens, the department manager discusses the cause and follow-up actions on a monthly call to help prevent it from happening again. “Routinely sharing information helps everyone in every store stay up to date and aware of potential hazards,” Angel says.

In 2018, Paul and the Smith’s Division team are adding to the sound safety practices already in place. D7 – and teams across the country – continue to demonstrate Kroger's ongoing commitment to safety.