Plavecsky's Ponderings By Jim Plavecsky
by Jim Plavecsky
August 23rd, 2018

A Passionate Regard for Safety

I was recently on the plant floor of a window manufacturing company and was heading for the insulating glass (IG) line to do a quality audit. While making my way through the plant toward the IG production area, I was abruptly stopped by a woman as she shouted, “Stop! I cannot let you pass! You must go back!”

I responded, “Hello, my name is Jim. Relax, I am just here to do a quality audit on the IG line.” Once again, she yells, “Stop! That is very well indeed,” she says, “but I simply cannot let you pass by me without the proper eye wear!” “Well, these prescription eye glasses also meet safety lens requirements,” I explained to her. “That may be the case sir but you are not wearing side shields, so I am afraid I simply cannot let you pass by me unless you first go back to the front office and get fitted with proper side-shields!”

So, I headed back to the office. As soon as I asked for side shields from the front office manager, she started chuckling, saying, “I am guessing you got caught by Roberta? We call her the “Safety Glass Nazi!” She was drawing an analogy between this lady and the head of a famous soup restaurant from that hilarious episode of Seinfeld. If you have never seen it, then you must find the rerun sometime on TBS!

So, once fitted with the proper eyewear, I again headed back toward the IG line and started the quality audit. One of the first things that I check is the quality of the glass cuts. If you have ever spent any time in a glass or window factory, you are accustomed to seeing the operator of the glass cutter throwing a piece of scrap glass into the hopper. “CRASH” goes the sound as the scrap piece of annealed glass shatters inside the hopper almost like an explosion. “Well these side shields could definitely come in handy,” I pondered, “should flying glass shrapnel hit me from the side. I guess I owe the “Safety Glass Nazi” a big thanks on the way out!

Well, this is an example of a window company that really values not only their employees’ safety, but also the safety of their vendors and virtually anyone who steps foot in their plant, and so much so, that they have instilled this level of passion into the minds of their employees as it relates to safety on the plant floor. I remember asking someone there, “So, who is the Safety Director of this facility? His response was, “Every single one of us!”

I was also quite pleased to see another one of my customers reach a safety milestone when reading the recent DWM article that about how Vinylmax has surpassed 2 MM Man-Hours without a lost time accident. See Vinylmax Clocks 2 MM. This company has an electronic ticker tape mounted high above their factory floor. But instead of showing stock market prices, it is showing, in real time, the number of hours without a lost time accident that has been achieved in their plant!  It serves as a constant reminder to their employees that their safety is of the highest priority. This surely contributes to higher overall employee satisfaction levels.

“It is nice to know that our company values our safety!” says one of their associates. “It makes you feel like part of the family!”

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  1. Mr. Plavecsky.

    Great story. We need more like this. Safety = Care = Family.

    Thank you,
    Bruce

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