Livingston, N.J.-based Inteplast Group, a plastic films and products manufacturer, implemented a new program designed in-house with feedback from employees to improve both safety and sustainability practices at the company's flagship site in Lolita, Texas.
Employing sustainable practices naturally supports overall mastery of safety on the plant floor, starting at the operator level, according to Dan Martino, senior director of administration for Inteplast's Lolita site.
To that end, the company came up with the Hazard Elimination Loss Prevention (HELP) program.
"This safety communication system was created in-house so that we could hear from the thousands of our employees that know every nook and cranny of the equipment and the process," Martino said in a news release. "We see the operator utilizing the HELP program to report a small resin leak that needs to be repaired. We see maintenance developing preventive maintenance tasks that use just the right amount of oil, a precious resource. It is the operator and technician who provide the foundation of our sustainable actions: resin management, natural resource consumption, landfill avoidance and in many other areas."
Corporate goals across a variety of manufacturing industries will have a better chance of success if sustainability is integrated into operations and training culture, Martino said, even if issues like low job retention make it a challenge.
Martino said the best way forward is to create an in-house safety program that encompasses the needs of the company's immediate workforce, then pairs it with sustainable practices, which require continuous training and revisiting operational practices that may no longer substantially conserve energy or other resources.
Founded in 1991, Inteplast manufactures a wide range of films and products, from sandwich and portion-size food bags to latex gloves to decking and molding for the building products, health care, foodservice, packaging, grocery, retail, sanitation, industrial, and graphic arts markets. The company has more than 7,000 employees at its 50 facilities.