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It's safety first 365 days each year

KION Group counts workplace health and safety as a top priority, including a secure work environment and accident prevention as well as health and safety measures. The focus is not just on a single day in the year, World Day for Safety and Health at Work, but on all 365 days of each year.

KION Group and its various brands rely on several measures to protect employees and encourage them to get involved as well.


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 production hall 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.

“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

The management team has implemented a range of initiatives in Summerville to continually improve safety. One of the measures is the "5S" lean management methodology. The 5S stands for: 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 management team and the workforce are equally invested in ensuring that workplaces are safe.

Every quarter, executives visit an area of the production facility and work side-by-side with employees, building trust and giving the Executive Board members the opportunity to see first hand what needs improvement.

Employees from several 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

Meanwhile, over in Germany at STILL, everyone is encouraged to look in the mirror and think, “I am health and safety”, since the slogan is being used for a company campaign and it clearly indicates the role each individual plays in following health and safety guidelines. Protecting employees, visitors and customers has been a critical 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 several senior managers explaining what health and safety means to them have been put up in many areas. The goal is for employees and managers to recognize their personal contributions to a safe working environment and to encourage them to follow them 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 ‘I am health and safety’ message. 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 “ they "are health and safety".

The KION North America and STILL Germany initiatives are just two examples of what is being done across KION. Not only do they demonstrate the importance of raising health and safety awareness in daily work routines, but they also show how every employee can help.