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Environmental, Health & Safety

Applied’s Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) process promotes associates’ safety and environmental awareness by defining a set of systems, activities, roles, responsibilities and accountabilities that support the EHS goals and culture of Applied®.

Our EHS management system follows the continuous improvement model of Plan, Do, Check, Act as we continue to evaluate our performance against objectives and provide flexibility as new EHS regulations or circumstances arise.

Communication is key to the continuous improvement cycle. Leadership – at all levels of the organization – has a critical role in communicating EHS processes and procedures for compliance and specific objectives. Key learnings from root cause analyses are sent to our teams for awareness and mitigation as applicable.

In fiscal year 2020, 78% of our rubber shop facilities and 100% of our distribution center locations had completed audits of Life Critical Procedures implementation as part of the Plan, Do, Check, Act cycle. By the end of fiscal year 2021, nearly all of the rubber shops will have completed the Life Critical Procedures audit.

Addressing the COVID-19 Pandemic

From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Applied’s focus has remained on the well-being of our associates and our organization, and ensuring our capability to serve our customers. As one of the largest distributors and service providers of industrial motion and control technologies in the world, Applied® has remained open for business, cognizant of the essential role we play – providing critical parts, services and solutions; serving many essential industries; offering know-how on specialized capabilities that help keep industry running productively; and ensuring that products meet Applied’s EHS criteria and environmental regulatory requirements for the safety of our associates, customers and the environment.

To ensure the welfare of our associates, customers and the communities in which we operate, Applied has taken multiple actions to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, including but not limited to:

• Creation of a cross-functional Tactical Team in the early days of the pandemic to develop action plans and support the Company’s overall corporate response

• Development of a repository for information regarding COVID-19 on, and to our associates via our Company intranet site

• Communication of resources to assist associates and operations in responding to various challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic:

• Promoting healthful practices and mental well-being (including frequent reminders to associates of our employee assistance programs and safety procedures)

• Pandemic fact sheets

• Business travel guidelines

• Company vehicle guidelines

• Facilities resources 

Applied’s We Are Here, We Are Open, We Are Ready to Serve mantra encapsulates the support we provide due to the critical infrastructure role we play in serving essential industries.

Hazardous Waste Management

As Applied® is primarily a distributor of industrial products, our operations typically do not generate a significant amount of hazardous waste. However, as a responsible steward of the environment, we want to ensure any such waste is handled in an appropriate manner and disposed of properly.

To ensure the proper disposal of this material, hazardous waste from our U.S. service centers is handled through our distribution center network via engagements with reputable hazardous waste disposal companies.

Fiscal year 2020 saw a year-over-year decrease – nearly 12% – in the amount of hazardous waste that was disposed of by our distribution centers. Applied continually looks for ways to reduce the amount of hazardous waste generated within our operations.

Due to the limited amount of hazardous waste generated, our distribution centers are either classified as Very Small Quantity Generators or Small Quantity Generators.

Associate Safety

Applied® is committed to the safety and well-being of all associates. In the U.S., all associates are required to complete specified training courses annually, which include offerings on workplace safety hazards and vehicle safety.

In addition, role-specific training is provided based on the types of hazards our associates may face while carrying out their job function, ranging from operating in confined spaces, to forklift operation and lockout / tagout training. Overall, we have sought to raise associate awareness of risks in the workplace.

The following metrics display our commitment of a safe workplace to associates, our customers, and the public, as well as associate commitment to their co-workers:

We monitor our Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR), which we believe to be below industry average, as a measure of our safety performance:

We have also sought to reduce incident rates for the most frequently occurring types of injuries in the workplace. As a result, we have been able to drive down frequency of workplace injuries year over year (based on number of events per $10M in payroll) even with increased payroll due to business growth:

In addition, while medical costs have risen in broader society, the average value of our Workers Compensation claims has declined in recent years:

Along with our efforts to reduce frequency of workplace injuries, we promote safe driving. Frequency of liability claims arising from auto incidents is down approximately 15%.

Our EHS Policy

Applied Industrial Technologies is committed to sound Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) practices every day. We actively champion safe behaviors, individual accountability, and continuous improvement to protect the health and safety of our associates and the environment. We ensure adherence to regulatory requirements and pollution prevention efforts including promoting efficient use of natural resources, and proactively managing recycle programs. By aligning EHS activities with our Core Values, we demonstrate our commitment to benefiting all Applied® stakeholders, including associates, customers, communities and shareholders.

Did you Know?

Our flow control teams are providing critical products & solutions for the COVID-19 vaccine production. This includes hygienic diaphragm valves, WFI pumps, & Clean-In-Place flow systems used to clean and regulate material flow and temperature as the vaccine is manufactured. We are proud and grateful to be involved!