Congratulations to all employees at the Arlington Plant for achieving 870 days (and counting) without a lost-time accident! They have beaten the previous record, held by the Headquarters Plant, by 232 days! And that’s really saying something, since the Arlington Plant is primarily involved in large-part molding with high-tonnage presses that require platforms at the machines, as well as the use of other equipment where caution must be exercised.
How’d they do it? Education and recognition, according to Plant Manager Bud Pagliccia. “Starting 10 years ago, we dedicated many communication meetings to safety. We want people to feel safe. And if there is an accident, we want employees to fill out an accident report without hesitation. We have a doctor and nurse on site to provide care and put preventive action into place. That’s how you get better, by preventing potential issues down the road.
“Along with wanting our employees to be safe, we also need to demonstrate that we can run a profitable business,” adds Pagliccia. “So we’ve had frank discussions about the impact of lost-time accidents on our bottom line.”
Pagliccia also credits management for supporting safety. “Anytime I ask for funds to correct a potential safety issue, it’s done. No questions asked.” He referenced a 30-year-old paint mixer that was presenting an ergonomic issue as an example. “Replacing it was a $7,000 investment. The requisition was signed within the hour.”
In terms of recognition, Pagliccia has sprung for gifts, steak dinners and other celebratory fare in honor of the milestones – 100 days, a year, and now, two years and counting. He has also mounted an electronic marquee in the plant that serves as a constant reminder of the number of days without a lost-time accident.
“We’re now at the point where it’s taken on a life of its own,” says Pagliccia. “No one wants to be the one to break the record!”
And when it’s over? “We start anew. We continue to work safely. That’s the expectation and that’s what’s important.”