Safety at Amgen

"I want everyone who comes to work to be able to work in a safe environment and go home to their loved ones every day in the same condition that they arrived in."
–Esteban Santos, Executive Vice President, Operations

Amgen’s Approach to Safety

Amgen is a dynamic company that continuously innovates and evolves in the service of patients. We never stand still. In the midst of change, our culture of safety is a constant. Protecting staff and providing a safe work environment is vitally important to Amgen. 

Our goal is to have a world class safety record through safety leadership and risk management practices—integrating safety throughout our business processes. We are committed to complying with country and local safety regulations and laws and to making safety a fundamental part of how people perform work at Amgen.

Safety Image

To foster our safety culture, we implement a comprehensive safety program, driving to understand and mitigate the root cause of safety incidents and manage and control variability. We use leading indicators to assess the health of our safety programs and make course corrections as needed. Additionally, we perform formal executive management review of functional safety performance for Operations, Global Commercial Operations and Research and Development on a quarterly bases with a focus on identifying early signals and taking action to drive continuous improvement.

In 2019, we set a safety goal of 0.27 incidents or less per 100 staff. Though we fell short of meeting that goal (with a rate of 0.31), we continue to focus on new and improved ways to promote staff safety.

Safety Improvement Campaigns

As of 2018, all of our manufacturing sites are using a behavior-based safety approach, focused on reinforcing desired safety behaviors and diminishing unsafe behavior through the practice of positive reinforcement. In 2019, we leveraged the lessons learned from this effort by implementing a revitalized campaign to focus on safety behaviors across the organization, looking not only at how we work, but also how we get around day to day such as driving and walking in parking structures on our campuses.

Contractor Safety Program

Contractor safety is an ongoing commitment and an area of focused attention for Amgen. Each year we hold a safety summit specifically geared for contractors. In 2017, we made a concerted effort to improve contractor safety, updating our safety manual and orientation requirements for contractors. The company expanded the contractor pre-qualification program globally using a standardized evaluation process. We accomplished hundreds of safety observations of contractors throughout the year.

In 2019, we set a contractor safety goal of 0.40 incidents or less per 100 workers. Though we fell short of meeting that goal (with a rate of 0.50), we continue to focus on new and improved ways to promote and engage contractors on safety.  

Safety Culture Starts at the Top

Annually, senior management in our Operations, Research and Development, and Global Commercial Operations functions gather for a safety summit to assess the year’s safety performance, share insights, and plan and set expectations for the coming year. This is a hands-on event where leaders roll up their sleeves and take a deep dive into safety topics and approaches to improve safety programs. Each leader comes away with a concrete plan for the year ahead that they actively share with staff members who are expected to assimilate and own the plan. In 2019, the summit was led by the executive vice presidents of each function and the theme was integrating an “actively caring” culture. Our leaders provided real life examples of how their view of safety was influenced by a boss or coworker who took care of them. Safety Summit actions were cascaded throughout Amgen to improve leader engagement around increasing relationship communication and positive reinforcement of safe behaviors at all levels in the organization.  

Ergonomics in Focus

We have achieved continued success with injury prevention through initiatives focused on ergonomically correct equipment, environments and behaviors with emphasis on early detection and prevention of injuries. We’ve demonstrated a marked decrease in the number of ergonomic incidents over the years.

We have tailored our ergonomics approach and program to facilitate new “active working” offices and labs where staff do not have designated work stations. We make proactive ergonomic risk assessments of new work areas, provide extensive safety training for ergonomics, and provide resources to guide staff in ergonomically correct work habits. Driving a culture of early reporting of discomfort has also enabled us to perform proactive medical treatment, in depth risk assessment and improved engineering controls.  

Fleet Safety

Some of Amgen’s staff as part of their work spend a considerable amount of time on the road. We are looking closely at data to inform our understanding of the impact of driving behaviors and provide more training to staff for safe driving practices. In 2019, we implemented improved driver training programs, GPS-monitoring of the fleet (telematics), and proactive management of high-risk drivers.

The Value of Emergency Preparedness

Amgen dedicates significant resources to emergency preparedness. We believe that our preparedness served us well when in 2017 Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico where our largest manufacturing facility is located. Staff injuries were mitigated by, among other things, implementing reduced staffing at the site during and immediately following the hurricane.

Chemical Safety

We implement a robust business process for cradle-to-grave management of chemicals. Through this system, chemical inventory is closely monitored from the time it is purchased to the time of disposal. Among its many benefits including cost savings and waste reduction, the system improves safety by reducing the amount of inventory that is stored in the labs. A revised labeling system provides clear and user-friendly directions for proper storage of chemicals and safe handling information.    

Promoting Safety at Work and at Home

At Amgen, promoting safety doesn’t stop at the fence line. At its worldwide headquarters, Amgen holds a large Safety Fair event every year that promotes safety practices at home and at work. Hands on instruction for proper use of fire extinguishers, ergonomic equipment, and earthquake preparedness are among some of the areas showcased at the fair.

Safety Performance



Safety Metrics Units 2007 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Amgen Staff*                    
Injury and Illness Rate Cases per 100 Staff Members 0.81 0.56 0.57 0.42 0.37 0.44 0.36 0.42 0.31
Lost Day Case Rate Cases per 100 Staff Members 0.25 0.17 0.11 0.12 0.12 0.15 0.12 0.14 0.12
Lost-Time Injury Frequency Rate Lost Day Cases per million hours 1.26 0.85 0.55 0.62 0.62 0.75 0.62 0.71 0.60
Fatalities Number of Fatalities 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
Injury and Illness Rate Cases per 100 Contractors 0.53 1.62 0.89 1.14 1.02 0.99 0.70 0.44 0.50
Lost Day Case Rate Cases per 100 Contractors 0.07 0.75 0.25 0.29 0.29 0.34 0.32 0.08 0.27
Lost-Time Injury Frequency Rate Lost Day Cases per million hours 0.33 3.73 1.27 1.47 1.44 1.69 1.61 0.41 1.33
Fatalities Number of Fatalities 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

*For purposes of these metrics, Amgen staff includes full time employees (FTE) and contingent workers that are directly supervised by FTEs. Injury and illness rate and lost day case rate data have undergone limited assurance by Apex Companies, LLC.