If you take a walk through a manufacturing facility, you may notice several things: loud machines moving faster than a blink of an eye, different sizes and shapes of materials stacked on rolling carts, forklifts moving product from one end of the building to the other, ladders being used to retrieve product on the top shelves, and multiple tools used to keep dies sharp. All of this is surrounded by the many dedicated workers who tirelessly manufacture product.
The manufacturing industry requires workers to engage in high-risk activities such as cutting, assembly, machine maintenance, heavy lifting, and more. These tasks are vital to the workflow process on a manufacturing floor, but all can pose a potential safety risk. It is imperative that companies take every possible step to mitigate the risk of potential injury to employees.
Here are a few of the ways PGC prioritizes employee safety:
Safety Committee: At PGC, we have an employee led Safety Committee. This committee is responsible for implementing processes that help mitigate risk but also, evaluate those processes and make changes if/when an injury occurs. The organization welcomes safety suggestions both anonymously and in person as this allows for all employees to be involved and feel heard as it relates to the safety of the workplace.
In the event of an injury, accident, or near miss, the committee meets with necessary management to collaborate and work cross functionally in making processes safer moving forward. This can be done by providing additional training, updating processes, new signage, personal protective equipment, or modifying equipment (like adding light curtains), amongst others.
The committee updates employees, company-wide, of any new safety measures or trainings by providing a quarterly Safety Spotlight Newsletter. This newsletter brings awareness to safety topics that can be useful inside and outside of the workplace. In conjunction with the Newsletter, an annual review of the OSHA Log is completed by the Safety Committee to identify any potential trends or recurring injuries to see where steps can be taken to minimize future risk.
Safety Walks: Each week, walks around the facility are completed by different members of PGC staff. These walks are meant to help identify areas throughout the building that could present a potential hazard. This strategy allows all PGC employees to be involved in safety initiatives and allows for different perspectives, as some may see things that others may not.
Machine Safety: PGC has implemented several tools to assist in keeping our machine operators safe while on the job. Each machine has visible Job Hazard Analysis Cards. These cards make it clear to the operator what the specific hazards are associated with each machine and how to avoid them. We use signage to remind operators of the required safety gear to be worn during the use of each machine. This could consist of gloves, goggles, or other clothing to prevent injury or contamination of the part program. Light bars have been installed on all applicable machines and equipment. These are used to identify when a person's hand or arm has crossed into the space of where they could be injured when the machine is in motion. When this sensor is triggered, it shuts down the machine immediately to prevent injury. Emergency stop buttons have been installed on all machines allowing operators to immediately stop the machine if necessary.
PGC utilizes a Lock Out/Tag Out kit to protect employees from any hazardous energy sources when machine maintenance is being done. Energy sources including electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal, or other sources in machines and equipment can be hazardous to workers. During the servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment, the unexpected startup or release of stored energy can result in serious injury or death. PGC utilizes written Lock Out/Tag Out procedures, kits/equipment, and regular lock-out/tag-out training to protect our team. Once the maintenance is completed, only the employee who locked the machine can unlock it.
Specific cranes and lifting equipment are available to aid employees in lifting heavy materials and assist in transporting those materials to other areas of the facility.
PGC is a Triple-Bottom-Line Company. People. Planet. Profit.
Our people are our greatest asset and keeping them safe is our most important responsibility. While keeping in line with the specific processes we have set in place and the tools we use to mitigate the risk of injury onsite, PGC cares about our staff outside of the organization as well. Our newsletter will contain safety tips for at home, Winter weather, summer sun or travel tips as vacation season approaches. It contains tips for healthy eating, financial security, and links to programs or additional information that may be helpful.
We Do Our Part to keep our employees safe so that we can continue to manufacture high quality parts, provide excellent customer service, and help our customers solve problems to get to market faster.