Columbus, Ohio — For Alec Pierce of Par4 Plastics, a safety specialist at the Marion, Ky.-based injection molder, the importance of a zero-tolerance policy hit home years ago.
A good friend and electrical worker with whom Pierce had played football in high school was high up on a power line in Paducah, Ky., when a small nick in one of his insulated gloves proved fatal.
Pierce's friend left behind a wife and two children.
"So this is something I really do take to heart," Pierce told a packed room as part of a May 25 panel at the 2023 Environmental, Health and Safety Summit sponsored by the Manufacturers Association for Plastics Processors and the Association for Rubber Products Manufacturers. "Being safe on the job site is about the best thing you can do day in and day out."
Many companies employ safety committees and their composition, best practices and lessons learned kicked off the second day of the EHS Summit at the AC Marriott Downtown Columbus.
Having a committee is one thing, but what matters is whether company safety includes a full buy-in on a culture of caution.
"They did not have a program when I arrived at Engineered Profiles years ago," said Kirk Bunner, safety manager at Engineered Profiles LLC. a plastics extruder based in Columbus. "So we started with internal audits ... and we went out to the manufacturing floor to make sure people understand the importance of safety and that people are committed to it."
Bunner and his initial team identified risks at Engineered Profiles — including machine guarding, a point of intense focus for OSHA — and wrote them up to be fixed.
And they are to be remedied—not on some amorphous timeline, but immediately.