Safety first

2019-04-29 – The KION Group counts health and safety at the workplace as a huge priority, including a secure work environment and accident prevention, as well as health and safety measures. The focus is not on just one day a year, the World Day for Safety and Health at Work, but for every day. The KION Group and its brand companies rely on a number of measures to protect employees and encourage them to get involved as well.

Tags of the article: #responsibility #safety

“You can tell how much a company cares about its employees by the way it implements health and safety regulations.”

Max Vome, HSE Manager, KION North America

KION North America: Safety begins the moment you step in the door

The importance of occupational health and safety is clear as soon as you enter the plant in Summerville, South Carolina: “Visual aids are an effective way of ensuring that health and safety information is more easily understood,” says HSE manager Max Vome.

At the entrance, visitors and employees are welcomed by a dummy wearing the required protective clothing. As you venture further in the facility, you will encounter diagrams, pictograms, color codes and floor markings throughout the complex explaining how to stay safe.

A range of initiatives have been implemented in Summerville to continually improve safety. One the first measures is the 5S lean management methodology. The five S’s are sort, straighten, scrub, standardize and sustain. There is a list with the necessary steps to ensure that the facility remains safe for all employees.

The Executive Board and the workforce are equally invested in ensuring that workplaces are safe.

Every quarter, executives visit a different area of the plant and work side-by-side with employees, building trust and giving Executive Board members the opportunity to see for themselves what needs be improved.

Employees from a range of skill groups participate in a safety committee where they can discuss the latest relevant safety matters. New members are selected every six months to ensure a steady supply of new ideas and perspectives. The employee’ reactions to the various measures have been very positive. They are all keen to get involved and are getting a better sense of what potential safety hazards are at our location. “This is very important since occupational health and safety is all about getting back home to our loved ones in one piece at the end of the day,” says Vome.

STILL Germany: We are all responsible for health and safety

At STILL, everyone is encouraged to look in the mirror and think, “I am health and safety”, since the slogan is the name of the company’s campaign clearly indicates the role the individual plays in implementing health and safety measures. Protecting employees, visitors and customers has been a key long-term goal at STILL, and the company continually plans and implements new initiatives accordingly.

At the campaign’s launch, stickers were placed on many mirrors at STILL production sites to raise awareness. Posters featuring a variety of senior managers explaining what health and safety means to them have been put up in work areas. The aim is to for employees and managers to recognize their personal contributions to a safe working environment and to encourage them to implement it together. And every detail counts – from protective clothing to defective lights.

As the campaign moves forward, stand-up displays and key rings will be used to reiterate the message ‘I am health and safety’. Scheduled to run over several months, the campaign encourages individuals to think about their actions, promote discussion and obtain new ideas and suggestions. As the campaign wraps up, everyone should be able to understand why “I am health and safety”.

The KION North America and STILL Germany initiatives are just two examples of what is being done across the KION Group. They not only highlight the importance of raising awareness of health and safety in everyday work but also show what the individual can do to help.