By Jason Kravik
Sometimes referred to as Mission: Zero, Vision: Zero, Target: Zero or Goal: Zero, the concept of a zero-incident workplace has been a mantra in the safety space for some time, and the reason is obvious: Anything other than zero means that someone has been injured, and that’s unacceptable.
We should all work toward the goal of a zero-injury culture. That starts with the belief that it is actually possible. When we believe in something, our commitment, focus and attention get directed toward that reality. When this happens, we will inspire others by what we do, and not by only what we say.
At Corelle, we talk about it in terms of our “Safety Always: See Something, Do Something” value. When I joined the company about three years ago, the “Safety Always” value had just been named, and I really liked it. It says to me that safety truly needs to be at the forefront of everything we do at work, at home, or at play. It should become a way of life, versus something we set out to do, and the integration of preventive and proactive practices will reinforce the safety mindset and level of awareness in all aspects of our lives.
Using the Right Equipment
A few years ago at Corelle, we noted a trend of people getting cut when using a traditional utility knife, if the knife slipped, or accidentally cut across the hand and went through the glove. We realized the knives we previously used were a significant risk factor, and switched to OLFA safety utility knives, which have been highly effective in virtually eliminating injury due to proper knife usage.
Having the right equipment, therefore, plays a big part in creating a positive safety culture. Safety managers should look for equipment that their employees are comfortable with, because that means they’ll actually use it, and use it as designed; if it’s too cumbersome or complicated, they might remove a guard or manipulate it in a way that seems to make their job more efficient, but really creates risk.
If you give your employees tools and personal protection equipment that are engineered for safety as well as designed to be effective and productive, they’ll actually use and/or wear them, and that’s good for everybody.
Zero is Possible
Not that long ago, there were plenty of Corelle facilities where people didn’t believe a zero-injury workplace was possible, but now a number of facilities are achieving it.
For example, as of this writing, our Malaysia facility has gone more than 350 days since the last recordable injury; Charleroi, Pennsylvania, has gone more than 260 days; and many of our retail stores have gone more than three years. Those are significant achievements – those numbers reflect almost a full year without a recordable injury. These facilities show that zero is possible with the right safety mindset.
We like to use the “See Something, Do Something” phrase to manage safety, which reminds people we are all part of this. It all comes down to creating a culture of engagement, and getting people involved in meaningful ways to reduce and prevent injury.
Jason Kravik, CSP, is Sr. Director, Global EHS, for Corelle Brands, which owns OLFA.