Vulcan GMS has surpassed the 1,300 day mark without a lost time accident and this has not happened by accident. Many companies will say they focus on safety or that they put safety first but yet they unfortunately still have lost time accidents. It is one thing to put a sign up that says safety is important and it is an entirely different thing to live it. At Vulcan GMS, we truly live it and put safety first. How did this happen?
Lean manufacturing, 6S manufacturing and visual manufacturing. What do they have in common? All of these techniques are similar as a method of organizing safety, maintaining it and living it. Anyone that has ever been part of these techniques or has been responsible for these principles in their organization will tell you that the hardest part is sustaining it. You must live it to make it work. If management simply says this is what we are doing, it will become the flavor of the day and you will not actually achieve your goal.
To succeed in safety, you must have a bottom up strategy of implementation and maintaining the safety culture. At Vulcan GMS we put safety first. This means:
Daily safety meetings with each shift for 15 minutes to discuss safety on and off the job.
Training sessions with your staff and staff leaders.
Specific and general training on manufacturing processes.
Open mic meetings on safety and improvements.
Company supported first aid and health training.
Tracking and reporting on all near-miss incidents no matter how small they are.
Listening to employees and implementing their ideas.
Tracking safety records and reporting on them for the entire company to see.
At Vulcan GMS, we also hold monthly all-employee meetings where all manufacturing is shut down for 45 minutes to share information; which includes a safety section. All employees hear about our safety measures and the message from management is always safety, quality and delivery – in that order. We stress that if someone sees something unsafe, stop the job and discuss it.
Safety is a way of life and not a sign on the wall.
We have plenty of signs on the walls, but they are there to support the way of life we embrace at Vulcan GMS. Examine your organization to look at the little steps to begin or to better your program. Many little steps become many miles on your safe workplace journey. Vulcan GMS is at 1,318 days and counting! Safety first!