October 09, 2017

Keeping a Continuous Focus on Safety

by Joe Erb

It’s easy to get caught up with some of the challenges and changes our industry is facing. Whether it’s labor, new technologies, or something else, staying one step ahead takes constant vigilance.

But no matter what we’re up against on a given day, the most important thing we can do is to put safety first on the plant floor.

Consider that we’re on the tail end of busy season. We’re working tirelessly to keep up with high volumes and get orders out the door on time, and during times like these it can be easy to lose sight of safety as our number one goal every day.

And we can’t let that happen. As we work through the end of busy season, here are some critical tips we should always be keeping in mind:

Common sense is king.
In any given organization, there are rules that govern safety. Whether it’s OSHA standards or in-house rules, safe working practices are clearly defined.

But when you’re working or walking on a plant floor, chances are you’re not thinking back to those by-the-book definitions of working safely. Because the truth is, we all know the difference between safe and unsafe behavior. We know it when we see it—and when we take those actions.

When the pressure is on, and orders need to get out the door, the temptation to cut a corner here or there grows significantly. And the truth is, there probably won’t be a direct consequence from that one specific action. But the odds add up. The more corners you cut, the greater the likelihood an accident will occur.

To make safety a true part our workplace culture we must be accountability to each other and promote good common sense decision making. Doing that takes….
Organizational commitment.
Building a culture of safety is the responsibility of everyone in the organization—from the bottom to the top.

From the employer perspective, we should be thinking beyond the statistics. Yes, we want to minimize any OSHA violations happening on our plant floor, but think about the real reason we’re committing to safety—to protect the people in our plants and the families that they support. Sometimes it’s critical to take that step back and consider the human cost if we’re not putting safety first. And it’s just as important to set the expectation, from the top down, that the most important accomplishment your teams can achieve each day is to go home safely, no matter what.

Safety is everyone’s responsibility. And we need to make sure we’re taking it seriously, all the time.

Questions or comments? Contact me directly at Joe.Erb@Quanex.com.

For more information about Quanex visit www.quanex.com
Posted: October 09, 2017 by Joe Erb Filed under: employee, safety, workplace