Quincy Recycle’s New Haven, Indiana plant recently reached a significant milestone: 365 days accident free.
There are major advantages to going a full year without an accident, the most obvious being “we want everyone to go home alive,” as Safety Manager Joe Genenbacher points out.
Given the complex environment of a modern material recovery facility (MRF) like those we operate, Joe’s concern is valid. Conveyors, shredders, balers, a fleet of constantly in-motion forklifts – all contribute to a workplace with many potentially dangerous situations.
“A commitment to operational safety is the best way to avoid injuries,” New Haven General Manager Michael Malloy said, “It’s also another way to continually improve our business. This benefits our suppliers and customers, too – fewer delays, consistent performance, and lower costs.”
Benefits of a safe work environment include:
- a replacement doesn’t have to be trained to cover for an injured worker
- production continues at our normal pace as key positions are staffed by the same people
- the same workers doing the same job over time makes them better and more efficient at it
A culture of safety also means that our employees learn to trust each other and look out for safety issues before someone is hurt.
“Our team has done a great job of continuing the safety-minded culture that helped result in a 1,008 day record a couple years ago,” said Operations Manager Tom Saylor.
All of which makes us more productive, more efficient, and better able to serve our suppliers and customers.
Leading by Example
“The mentality has to be that when management walks the floor, if you don’t adhere to the safety rules, others will think it’s okay to ignore them too,” Genenbacher said.
Each of our plants’ General Managers and Operations Managers lead by example, following the same safety requirements as all employees. They also monitor their plants for safe operations, and use a standardized set of procedures and processes to ensure compliance.
“As someone smarter than me once stated, ‘safety is not an accident’ and I think this milestone is the result of each employee’s daily commitment to focus on safety as a process as well as Quincy Recycle’s overall focus on safety as a company,” Saylor says.