National Manufacturing Day series- Safety in the workplace

October 8, 2018 YKK USA

We continue our series celebrating National Manufacturing Day addressing some of the most common misconceptions about the manufacturing industry.

This time we are debunking the myth that manufacturing jobs are unsafe. We interviewed Allen Bogenschutz, vice president – risk management at YKK Corporation of America to discuss the safety culture here at YKK.

Question: What are the misconceptions verses the reality concerning safety in the manufacturing sector?

Answer: One of the common misconceptions about manufacturing is that it’s a dangerous place to work. Simple facts of the matter are you’re ten times more likely to have an accident on your travel to work or on your way home than you are to have an accident while within one of the facilities at YKK.

Question: What are some of the initiatives YKK has put in place to ensure safety in the workplace?

Answer: Safety should be a process rather than an initiative. It should be part of the job function and start with a job safety analysis. This helps identify the hazards that are associated with any particular job. And then the employee should be trained on what those dangers are and given the proper protective equipment to perform the job safely and an adequate amount of time to do so.

Question: Share a few tips to keep an injury-free workplace

Answer: Top of mind awareness is probably the most important thing. And by that you can do things such as when you are setting up your production for the day or doing toolbox meetings, make sure that you remind employees of all of the hazards that are associated with their jobs.

Question: Why is workplace safety important to you?

Answer: Well, the simple facts of the matter are at YKK we make fasteners which include zippers, snaps and buttons and commercial webbing as well as windows and doors. None of these products are worth hurting anyone over. Please, keep safety in the forefront.

Question: Can you tell us more about YKK’s safety culture?

Answer: At YKK, we have 25 Fundamental Behaviors that are designed to encourage the right kind of behavior for each employee. Fundamental Behavior #2 is ” Be vigilant about safety” and it says ” every position in our company has inherent dangers. Know how to make your job as safe as possible, while being aware of your changing surroundings. Never take shortcuts that compromise your safety or that of your teammates. If we do this everyday, everybody can go home without any injury and that’s our goal.

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