The Safety Best Practice Awards seeks to celebrate, recognize and share best practices from MAPP members in Safety. Submissions aligned with topics that included employee safety training, safety committees, safety audits/walk-throughs, emergency training, behavior-based safety, tracking/displaying safety metrics, equipment and mold change safety, safety communication and other innovative safety best practices. The submissions from MAPP members included photographs, video, copies of policies and activity checklists.
The following 2019 Safety Best Practice Award winners were announced at the EHS Summit:
- 1st Place – Automation Plastics Corporation
- 2nd Place – Intertech Plastics
- 3rd Place (tie) Currier Plastics and PolyFlex Products
Automation Plastics Corporation
Description of Best Practice: Implementation of cultural change by enhancing physical appearance of the facility, while also improving and standardizing systems and procedures. Changes included upgrading older equipment on production floor, installing a new chiller system, adding new presses and lathe, installing security cameras, moving the Maintenance Department to a dedicated location, painting floors and walls throughout the building, adding new decor in offices and installing new signage outside.
Realized Results: Culture change happened. Personnel on all levels are involved with sharing ideas for improvement, cleaning up spills, putting away tools and organizing equipment. People are seeing safety issues more easily and reporting them sooner to management. We also are noticing safety issues are fixed within a short time of reporting. It’s easier to work in a clean, bright environment. We are tracking a downward trend in Incidents & Accidents, with zero slips or falls at the same level this year. Pride and positive behavior have helped us to become safer.
Description of Best Practice: Although we have been working on improving safety from many angles, we feel that our investments in technology to improve forklift/pedestrian safety have had the biggest impact in demonstrating Intertech’s commitment to safety for its employees. These include wirelessly monitored forklift impact sensors that detect and report forklift impacts and send out operator performance reports so managers can reinforce safe operating behavior. Intertech also uses collision avoidance devices at all blind corners in the warehouse; LED forklift warning spotlights that are projected at 10ft in front/behind forklifts; and guardrails to define all pedestrian walkways within the facility.
Realized Results: Since making these improvements, we’ve received lots of positive feedback from employees and they’ve been more engaged and excited about wanting to continue to improve safety.
Description of Best Practice: By the end of 2017, our number of recordable and lost time incidents had plateaued, and we decided it was time to reevaluate our system. Safety had become something that happened but wasn’t a primary focus. We identified focus areas, including Leadership, Conditional-Based Safety, Behavioral Observation, Communication, Training, Incident Reporting, Recognition and Continuous Improvement. Within each area, we focused on how we promote engagement, use data to make decisions and make safety a part of the conversation within the facility on a day in and day out basis.
Realized Results: Currier Plastics recently broke our record for longest period of time without a recordable incident (previous record was 233 days). The safety committee is engaged and having the strongest turnout in years, and we have a high-level engagement as shown by the 550+ close call/first aid reports that have been submitted since the start of 2019. Our recordable injury rate is on pace to be the lowest in our history, and we continue to make significant improvements to our safety engagement and culture. We believe that placing the priority on safety that we have is a major part of what makes Currier Plastics a preferred employer as well as a preferred supplier to our customers.
Description of Best Practice: Here at PolyFlex, we have discovered that the best way to improve and implement safety standards is to go and see the issues. We have a strong belief that you cannot solve problems behind a desk, and that you need to see where the issues are. Since we have implemented this mindset in the organization, we have more people engaging and noticing situations that could potentially lead to an accident. Once a particular situation has been identified, the department heads, the maintenance manager, possibly an HR rep and the plant manager get involved to put special attention on that situation. We work through the problem and come up with a firm plan to prevent the unsafe situation in the future.
Realized Results: Improvements that have developed from our best practices in our Safety Standard include the following: fewer accidents; standard forms and processes; more accountability (more accurate/precise safety plan); better predicting of safety issues; quicker response in implementing safety standards; tracking/updating of SDS sheets; more training videos, pictures and tests; and a more formal lockout/tagout process.