Gorell Windows and Doors, based in Indiana, Pa., says it has significantly lowered the number of OSHA recordable accidents its company experienced over the past year. The company reported 42 recordable accidents in 2010; so far this year it has just 17. This improved safety record (a 7.9 OSHA Incident Rating) has resulted in much less lost work time due to accidents.

“Awareness and communication—that’s the ‘magic solution’ we’ve used to improve our safety at Gorell throughout 2011,” says Steve Daukas, Gorell’s vice president of operations. “Plant managers are more cognizant of safety issues, and they do more frequent walk-throughs to help identify and resolve potential problems. We also now have more effective monthly safety training programs for both employees and management, which is a big help.”

Daukas also credits the company’s much-improved safety record to several other newly implemented programs, including: monthly safety incentives, faster and more detailed accident investigations, monthly safety meetings that review accidents and solutions, and visual aids like Gorell’s “Green Cross”—designed to illustrate to employees how the company is progressing in terms of safety.

Another key element is its new preventative “Near-Miss Accident Program.” A Near-Miss Event is one that had a likelihood of resulting in injury or property damage but did not because of luck or some other intervening factor. Near-misses are unique, according to Gorell, because they give the company a second chance to correct dangerous behaviors or conditions before they result in future injury or property damage.

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