At Acme Corrugated Box, safety isn’t lip service. It’s a core value, put into practice daily.
From our corrugator to converting machinery, there are many moving parts at Acme Corrugated Box – and even more of them since we added 80,000 square feet to our facility in late 2021. An enlarged space and increased box output have underscored the importance of something we take very seriously every day of the year: safety.
“We don’t call safety our number one priority, because priorities can change,” says Tom Wertman, Acme Corrugated Box’s Safety Manager. “Rather, safety is a core value – part of everything we do, every day.”
The Bigger Picture
We see it this way: Strong safety procedures mean fewer accidents. Beyond the inherent value of fewer accidents, they also mean less workplace disruption. Less disruption equals lower costs and higher efficiency passed along to Acme Corrugated Box customers.
It starts by vigilantly following guidelines set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA.
“Under OSHA guidelines, safety performance at Acme Corrugated Box is measured by a number of factors roughly organized into two groups: Leading and lagging indicators,” Wertman explains.
Lagging indicators are “after the fact” measures, activated following a close call or safety incident. Leading indicators, the more valuable of the two, are preventative practices. At Acme Corrugated Box, leading indicators include weekly shift huddles for all production team members, routine production floor safety audits, and opportunities for all team members to provide safety-related feedback.
But We Do More
These well-executed OSHA-mandated practices go a long way toward maintaining a safe workplace. However, above-and-beyond safety measures are what set Acme Corrugated Box apart from most manufacturers.
The SafeStart® program is one of them.
A behavior-based look at safety, SafeStart® highlights the correlation between human behavior and risk, helping people prevent injuries both on and off the job. This is especially valuable when you consider individuals are 80% more likely to get hurt at home than at work.
“Instead of listing out tactical do’s and don’ts, SafeStart® looks at the underlying causes of most injuries,” Wertman explains. “Parse it out, and most injuries stem from decisions made while rushing, frustrated, tired, or being complacent. From production team members on the front line to all team members in every department of our organization, everyone at Acme Corrugated Box participates in SafeStart® training.”
Our lockout tagout program – another fundamental safety policy at Acme Corrugated – has also been incredibly beneficial to safe daily operations.
“Lockout tagout ensures that no one can energize equipment in scenarios when a worker could potentially be exposed to its hazardous energy, whether that energy is electrical, pneumatic, hydraulic, steam, water, or even gravity,” Wertman says. “There are key controls and other locking mechanisms to make sure that the only person who can re-energize a machine is the one who de-energized it.”
Training for lockout tagout is conducted annually, and is very specific to each machine center in the plant.
Beyond these individual practices, Acme Corrugated Box attributes its positive safety record in large part to efforts that extend beyond the production floor. From conference rooms to offices to lunch areas, safety training is all in a day’s work for Acme Corrugated Box team members, no matter their department.
“In our SafeStart® culture, all business meetings across all departments start with a safety-related story and the lessons we can learn from those stories – whether about business, daily commutes, or personal experiences.” Wertman says. “To this end, all safety-related information is communicated company-wide – not just to production team members. This degree of dissemination and inclusion is how you establish a world-class safety culture like the one we strive for here at Acme Corrugated Box.”
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