According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ data, fatal occupational injuries have decreased by nearly 25% over the past decade. Additional BLS data shows the rate of (nonfatal) reported injuries and injuries has declined significantly in the manufacturing sector in recent years.
During North America’s largest supply chain expo, ProMat, held in Chicago, IL at the end of March, the Lista team had the opportunity talk with key manufacturers, distributors, and industry publications about safety in the workplace.
To get a sense of how these organizations are handling safety this year (and beyond), we posed the following question:
“How is your organization prioritizing safety and/or how does your product line relate to safety?”
The following is a collection of responses from industry experts:
Increased Facility Safety
“Safety is a hot button issue. It always has been, due to strict OSHA regulations. The things that govern our workplace safety have to be met. That's the minimum requirement.
We believe in going above and beyond that. For example, the new Edge Alert product is our open-gate safety alarm. So, when workers are actively engaged in an elevated platform and the gate is open, an alarm goes off to indicate there’s an open gate. That’s a big deal because it notifies the workers to then close the gate when they're finished. It also alerts other employees that there is an open area.”
Kelly Kamlager, Senior Marketing Specialist, Wildeck
“The big thing about UNEX is our products tend to eliminate reaching, so we're trying to flow all the products at the front so that are solutions are ergonomic. In that sense, we're eliminating a lot of bending and reaching and that sort of thing.
In our factory, the ergonomic issue we contend with is back injuries. They say it costs a company between 60,000 and 100,000 a year per one injury. So if we can eliminate even one injury, we’re in good shape.”
Dave Scelfo, Marketing Manager, UNEX
“We've all seen how an unsafe working environment can be very costly for a company. I think, for that reason, safety measures have more of a voice now – not just a little corner office of the warehouse but operationally speaking.
We’re also starting to see safety increasingly become a priority for organizations of all sizes. It’s not just the larger corporations and warehouses anymore. At the mom and pop level, they’re starting to say to themselves, ‘All right, since we’ve done it this way for 40 years, it doesn’t necessarily mean that’s the way we need to be doing things going forward.’”
Sean Mullikin, Regional Account Manager, Aleco
Many thanks to Wildeck, UNEX, and Aleco for their insight and perspective on safety in manufacturing and distribution!