Original Date: 06/26/1995
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Worker Safety Improvement Program
Prior to the 1990s, Dayton Parts, Inc. (DPI) had no worker safety program, and injuries were viewed as a natural part of manufacturing. In the early 1990s, new DPI management and staggering worker's compensation costs prompted the company to aggressively pursue and manage worker safety. Many initiatives were implemented to reduce injuries and resultant costs.
The primary goal of the safety program is to increase safety awareness at DPI. The following initiatives, designed to help DPI meet its goal, are supported by a strong company commitment to safety, and an executive safety committee that meets quarterly to address current safety issues and make plans for the future.
An employee safety committee has been established with representatives from across the company. This group tours the plant, lists safety problems, and works with maintenance personnel to have those problems repaired.
A “stretching” program is required for all manufacturing distribution and service employees to stretch prior to starting production work each day to help avoid work-related injuries.
A “Working Safe” Incentive Program rewards safe workers. After one year without a lost-time accident, workers become eligible to win a “Safety Day” off from work in a monthly lottery, or a $100 bonus at the end of the year.
A housekeeping committee monitors the cleanliness of the manufacturing plant. This program has evolved into a competition for the cleanest department in the plant.
A formal safety training program includes monthly meetings where short safety videos are shown and safety issues are discussed. Longer training classes have been established for topics such as forklift operation, personal protective equipment, and back injury avoidance.
When injuries occur, DPI now works closely with the injured employee to be sure he receives the necessary medical attention and returns to work when able. A case manager ensures that the injured employee sees a doctor on the approved list and accompanies the employee to the doctor’s office. DPI makes weekly phone contact with the employee when he is not able to work. In addition, light duty jobs are created to provide productive work while employees are under injury restrictions.
In 1988, DPI had 1000 days of lost work due to injuries. After the safety program took effect, the number of lost days dropped substantially to 91 days in 1993 and 69 days in 1994.
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