Crown Equipment Corp. receives national safety award
Crown Equipment Corporation, one of the world’s leading forklift manufacturers, has been presented with a 2010 Occupational Excellence Achievement Award from the National Safety Council. The award recognizes Crown for its safety achievements and implementation of effective safety programs and initiatives.
“Everyone at Crown takes great pride in the safety culture we have established and ingrained in our manufacturing facilities and processes. Earning this national award exemplifies and affirms our commitment to establishing a safe working environment,” said Dave Beddow, vice president manufacturing operations, Crown Equipment. “Safety at Crown is a collaboration of supportive leadership, a lean design and manufacturing process, and employees that work hard and care.”
Crown’s comprehensive safety program is enhanced by employee involvement, as well as management support, and focuses on conditional and behavior-based safety. The company’s injury prevention program encourages employees to proactively suggest ways to improve the workplace and create a safer environment while the behavior-based SafeSteps program encourages observation and positive feedback.
Upon its inception in 2005, SafeSteps has shown to improve Crown’s safety numbers year after year. Crown first researched different ways to improve safety. The research led to training managers, then training a key set of employees, modeling the program in one manufacturing location, and then employees taking the initiative to help their colleagues work safely.
“SafeSteps is a unique program that is key to the continual success of our safety initiatives. Our employees observe their colleagues in action and point out what they are doing right and provide positive feedback,” said Brian Duffy, director of corporate environment and manufacturing safety, Crown Equipment. “Often companies make the mistake of only focusing on negative reinforcement and what employees do wrong; rather than encouraging employee participation and the use of positive feedback. SafeSteps works because employees participate, which helps to keep safety top-of-mind throughout the entire workday.”
A significant component to the program’s success is employee access to SafeSteps cards that list positive actions that employees are taking, such as sounding the horn on the lift truck as it approaches a corner, using a face shield while grinding, or using the hoist to lift heavy parts. The plant steering teams receive hundreds of observation and feedback cards a month, resulting in thousands of safety observations by the employees each month.
Within its industrial classification sector, Crown’s safety record was less than half the national average for the number of reported injuries and illnesses that involve days away from work.