Original Date: 10/07/2002
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Safety Program
General Tool Company developed an effective safety program that improved safety and reduced related costs. Primarily, the company has involved the entire work force in the safety program.
General Tool Company (GTC) implemented a safety program based on continuous improvement. The increasing costs of lost productivity, accidents, workers’ compensation insurance premiums, and regulatory compliance caused GTC to review its safety program. The intent of the program is to improve safety, and reduce costs at the same time. After a thorough review and consulting with the State Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, GTC decided that the best approach was the formation of a safety committee to oversee the development and implementation of a revised safety program that maintained regulatory compliance, while enhancing and improving all safety disciplines. The program resulted in an updated safety manual, increased safety training, and increased supervisor safety interventions.
GTC requires all employees, management as well as shop personnel, to attend safety training and comply with all the company’s safety requirements, while new employees are indoctrinated prior to starting work. Safety issues are discussed at most of the monthly employee meetings. Additionally, all employees are encouraged to make suggestions and stop any safety violation they observe. A reward system has also been implemented, which encourages employees to make safety inputs. When there were a few close calls after September 11, 2001, GTC requested a safety audit. The review of the company’s facilities indicated only a few minor discrepancies between requirements and practices.
The company instills in its employees the understanding that they are the first line of defense for safety. This safety- first attitude has resulted in dramatic improvements and savings. Accidents and injuries have been reduced by 50%; there have been no lost time accidents in over two years; employee involvement and attitude have increased; and GTC has saved over $827,000 in Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Insurance premiums the past five years. GTC was also one of only twelve companies in Ohio to receive the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Safety. After two years, the initial policies and programs are in place, the training is ongoing, and program improvement is progressing.
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