Growth + Productivity
In the face of 1998s global economic turmoil, the Praxair team adopted a two-pronged strategy: focus selectively on high-return opportunities for growth and redouble productivity-improvement efforts.
During 1998 the Praxair team continued to transform the ways in which we are making our planet more productive. This phrase describes the value Praxair brings to customers in the form of increased productivity, cost savings and environmental benefits. At one time, we achieved these results for customers with our gases, supply systems and applications technology. These are still critical to our success, but they are being increasingly augmented by a wide range of Praxair services and management skills. A customer offering can also include, for example, on-site gas management, transaction processing, distribution logistics, global technology transfer, economic analysis of product-supply options, or inventory management. And we are continually developing new services, some of which are highlighted below.
Underlying every employee action in the service of customers is a relentless dedication to safety, and safety performance was a highlight of 1998. Compared to the previous year, injury rates fell 10%, and the number of injuries involving days away from work dropped 25%. A number of programs have created an organization-wide focus on preventing injury and putting a stop to behavior that puts employees or their colleagues at risk. Seeking to learn from those with the best safety records, a team identified Praxair locations around the world with proven, innovative safety systems. The teams analysis will form the basis of new recommendations to further improve the safety performance of our operations worldwide.