For any manufacturer, safety is a key concern. There are many reasons for this that go beyond simply complying with impersonal government regulations:
Productivity. Safe workplaces keep employees productive by avoiding injuries. Workers who have a broken arm or leg won’t be able to work their best, and productivity suffers as a result. Lost time accidents bring production to a grinding halt, and subsequent investigations cause further delays.
Employee Retention. Finding the right people to work at a manufacturing job is difficult enough without having to continuously look for replacements. Unsafe workplaces can cost you employees through injury, and through increased turnover (few people want to work a job where there’s a high risk of getting hurt).
Reduce Costs. While many manufacturers might balk at the cost of some safety measures, they can actually save manufacturers money in the long run. Not only does the uninterrupted flow of production keep finished products going out (and new orders coming in for fulfillment), the expenses of headhunting new recruits are lessened and potentially ruinous lawsuits are avoided.
Because Maintaining a Safe Workplace is the Right Thing to Do. More than anything else, Marlin Steel keeps the factory floor safe because it’s the right thing to do. Marlin’s employees work hard to meet production goals and support the company, and they deserve a safe and healthy work environment.
These are just a few of the reasons why Marlin Steel works hard to maintain a safe production floor.
How has Marlin’s focus on safety paid off?
Well, as of October 19, 2015, Marlin Steel has gone 2,504 consecutive days without a lost time accident happening.
How Marlin Keeps the Factory Floor Safe
So, how has Marlin Steel managed to make the production floor so safe that the company has gone over six years without a major accident?
There are many things that went into this incredible safety effort by the Marlin Steel team, including:
Safety Committees that are Empowered, Creative, and Inquisitive. Each month, a team of Marlin Steel employees gathers for a safety committee that identifies potential hazards on the factory floor and works out how to avoid them. These individuals not only study other factories for successful safety techniques, they’re empowered to make changes to Marlin’s own practices with their own ideas.
Focused on the 80/20 Changes. The safety committee starts by looking at the top 20% of issues that will cause 80% of the accidents, and works to resolve these issues first. By doing so, they’ve managed to prevent innumerable incidents.
Embraced Suggestions from Outside Sources. Marlin Steel invited in representatives from both OSHA and the company’s compensation insurance company CNA to make safety suggestions to further improve worker safety. The ideas that these organizations brought to Marlin’s attention helped to make the company safer than ever.
Adopting Workplace Automation. One of the biggest hazards in metal forming processes is the heavy labor that is involved in reshaping and welding metal. The adoption of manufacturing robotics changes things. Now, workers can take a supervisory role, standing well away from the dangers of moving metal and weld sparks while robots handle the manual labor.
The combined efforts of the safety committee and the benefits of automated manufacturing equipment have worked wonders for Marlin Steel’s safety record.
In fact, safety at the Marlin Steel factory has improved so much that it won OSHA’s coveted SHARP status designation, making the company one of only five businesses in the state of Maryland to do so.
Marlin’s workers and management are proud to make Marlin Steel’s factory one of the safest manufacturing plants in the country, and will continue to work hard on improving safety, productivity, and efficiency in the years to come.