SAFETY IS ALWAYS FIRST AND FOREMOST AT BIXBY INTERNATIONAL
A factory floor does not always provide a perfectly safe environment for workers. When conditions are not reviewed and corrected accidents can and do happen. As acustom thermoplastic sheet extruder and laminator with many pieces of equipment that rely on high heat and intense pressure, Bixby International's shop floor has the potential of being an unsafe place for workers, which is why management took the initiative to make it safer.
Trickle-down theory of safety
The company's approach to improve employee safety starts at the top, with Bixby CEO, Dan Rocconi. Rocconi came to Bixby from chemical giant, DuPont, a company known throughout the industry for creating the safest environment possible for its workers. In addition to bringing this way of thinking to Bixby, Rocconi also brought in a safety consultant to gain an outsider's perspective.
Tips from those on the frontline
The quest for creating a safe work environment did not end there, Rocconi and other members of his management team went out onto the factory floor to hear directly from employees what needed to get done. Once the employees learned how much management cared about creating a safe work environment, the recommendations came flooding in. Besides some basic issues that were resolved such as machine guarding, tripping hazards, and the like, employees came through with numerous other safety suggestions. Bixby went further still, and called upon the local office of OSHA, inviting officials in on numerous occasions to conduct safety audits, which have proven to be extremely helpful.
Employee safety is a right
Bixby's unwavering commitment to safety originates from the fact that the company feels that each and every one of its employees has the right to go home at the end of the workday uninjured. Employees are not the only beneficiaries of a safe work environment at Bixby, so are its customers. The company has found that safe employees are more focused and do better work, which ensures better products for customers. Having a safe environment also helps Bixby to control costs. Interestingly, other people in the industry who have learned about Bixby's pursuit for safety have asked about the company's program. Bixby is proud to set a good example across the plastics industry as a company that does all that it can to create a culture of safety throughout its organization.
The quest never ends
All this has taught Bixby that safety is a journey, not a destination. Which is why the company is constantly trying to improve the work environment. To accomplish this,Bixby continues to conduct audits, and encourage and accept suggestions from employees-all while maintaining an open dialogue regarding safety. Moreover, Bixby collects as much data as possible on "near misses". Information like this is very useful in trying to identify unsafe conditions. The reason the data is comprised of "near misses" is that Bixby's ongoing safety program has reduced the number of accidents to only one or two per year. With numbers this low it is hard to find trends, leaving Bixby no option but to analyze "near misses".
The boss says it best
Rocconi speaks to Bixby's commitment to safety this way, "Safety has to come from the top. If I lose my focus on safety it will not be long before we start to slip as an organization. Fortunately, I have a great team here and they are not shy about reminding me of the importance of safety. When your employees are comfortable enough to call you out on safety you know you have a strong safety culture."