On June 5, the Large Packaging facility in Mason, Ohio reached 123 consecutive days without an OSHA recordable injury; breaking the facility’s previous record of days without an injury. In the past, this metal drum facility has had a high rate of annual injuries and incidents. This safety achievement confirms that there has been a positive shift in Mason’s safety culture.
Over the last 18 months, leadership in Mason has made safety the top priority at the facility. Plant Manager Jason Hutchison attributes achieving this safety milestone to the consistent focus on safety by facility leadership and buy-in from employees. Some of the key elements that are driving the safety culture change in Mason are:
- Weekly Safety Meetings
Each Monday, supervisors hold a 30-minute safety meeting before production starts. This meeting reinforces that safety is the company’s top priority and refocuses everyone’s attention on safety after days off.
- Focus On Individual Risk Safety Tours (FIRST)
FIRST facilitates peer-to-peer interaction focused on safety behaviors. Employees are often more receptive to corrective action when it comes from a peer rather than from a supervisor. By involving all levels of employees in the corrective process, employees become more aware of his or her own unsafe behaviors.
- Management Safety Observation Tours (MSOT)
MSOTs are audits and observations that management performs monthly. By participating in monthly MSOTs, there is a consistent evaluation of safety in the facility preventing unsafe behavior from becoming normal practice.
- A Workforce Committed to Safety
High turnover and the reduction of temporary workers at the facility has provided an opportunity to build a team that chooses to make safety a priority. Small but meaningful changes in the workforce have allowed for the development of a new culture focused on safety.
Nick Sheets, EHS Director for Large Packaging, comments, “Injury rates are driven down by our daily actions…and long term hazard reduction activities. Even though there is a lag time between effort and a decrease in rate, when we continue to place emphasis on safe actions, we will over time see rate and long term behavioral changes.”
Glenn Frommer, President of Large Packaging, challenges leadership across the company, “If your safety performance is not trending positively, please take a look at how the plant is being led and whether “Safety First” is the rallying cry each and every day.”
The ability for any facility to achieve safety milestones relies on an unwavering safety commitment from all employees. Any successful safety process relies on consistency – consistent messaging, consistent accountability and consistent elimination of hazards in the workplace. This accomplishment in our Mason facility demonstrates that change is possible when there is an active commitment to creating a safety-focused culture.
"When we continue to place emphasis on safe actions, we will over time see rate and long term behavioral changes."