Workplace safety is extremely important and should be a priority to all employers.  That is why industries across the world have health and safety procedures in place.  All employees desire to work in a safe and protected environment every single day which becomes the responsibility of not only the company’s but also the workers, too.  We interviewed Yazoo’s HR/Safety Coordinator, Trisha May, to get her take on workplace safety and how Yazoo continues to implement safe practices throughout our locations.

  1. How are you involved with safety?
    • As safety coordinator, I conduct safety orientation for new employees. We review safety policies and make sure that employees know where all emergency exits and first aid kits are located and where to report in case of an emergency evacuation.  I coordinate safety training for all employees, such as Lockout/tagout, First Aid/CPR/AED, Fire Extinguisher training, SDS training, etc. and make sure our records are up-to-date. I am also the secretary of the safety committee, so I take notes during each meeting and make sure each member receives a copy of them. I also assist in the investigation of any workplace accidents.
  2. How long has safety measures been in place at Yazoo?
    • Safety has always been a priority for Yazoo so some have definitely been in place for a long time! It’s important to review them periodically and keep them up to date. We do have some safety measure that have been recently put into place, such as new mandrel carrying procedures and forklift attachments.
  3. Since you have taken over, what kind of safety measures have you implemented/changed at Yazoo?
    • This was definitely a team effort, but we developed a comprehensive safety manual so that all safety policies and guidelines would be in one place and accessible to all.
  4. How often does the safety committee get together? What all is discussed in your meetings?
    • The safety committee meets every 2nd Wednesday of the month. The committee has a supervisor and representative from each department in the plant, and we have a new group of members each year. We go around the room and each committee member shares any safety concerns, successes, or ideas on behalf of their department. We also review any injuries and/or near misses that have occurred since the last meeting, and upcoming training.
  5. Are there any new safety measures that are going to be implemented in the future?
    • Safety is always evolving and we are always looking for ways to improve so there will definitely be more measures put into place in the future. We welcome feedback and suggestions from our employees anytime and during the safety committee meetings. We also complete a quarterly safety observations checklist. In this process, an employee is selected to do a thorough walk-through of the plant and provide a rating on a list of about 30 safety observations.

      

Workplace safety and proper training is critical in every workplace environment.  Whether you work in an office, a manufacturing plant, outside, or wherever your job may take you, making sure that you’re implementing workplace safety and taking proper precautions is a must… no question about it.  Workplace safety and training aims to provide the workforce with the right amount of knowledge and skills needed to perform a job safely and avoid creating hazards that could potentially place yourself and others at risk.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 40% of workers injured have been on the job less than a year.  The reason given is lack of safety information provided by the employer.  For all Yazoo employees, safety begins from the very beginning.

On an employee’s first day, they are introduced to their supervisor and trainer who will be guiding them in their new position.  They spend time with HR to review safety procedures and videos, expectations, etc.  After that, they continue on to meet with their trainer, are introduced to their new coworkers and do a walk through of the department in which they will be working in.  During the walk through, safety protocols are explained on equipment such as where the start, stop and safety switches are located, pedestrian traffic and other safety facts.  They are introduced to their immediate work area to learn procedures, location of materials, etc.  Employees spend 12 to 16 weeks in a formal training program, meeting weekly with their trainer and supervisor to discuss how the training is going, their needs, improvements needed to be made and what they need from Yazoo to become a great employee.  Additionally, for new employees, Yazoo also reviews the first aid areas, accident reporting policies, evacuation plans and the list of first responders in case of emergencies.

Yazoo maintains safety measures with all employees by offering training such as lock-out/tag-out, electrical training, welding review, forklift training, fire extinguisher training, first aid and CPR, bomb threat and workplace safety equipment hazards.  With the correct workplace safety training in place, Yazoo has been able to ensure safety among all employees and departments as well as maintaining efficiency to manufacture high-quality paper tubes and cores.

Here at Yazoo, we are constantly looking at diverse ways to train our employees when it comes to safety training. Safety training has always been in place at Yazoo and continues to remain of high importance to all of our employees.

Recently, Yazoo met with Tony Samento of Samento Industrial Training Systems, Inc. to learn more about workplace safety, how to better educate employees with safety training, and lists of topics to discuss with employees throughout the year.  Every third Wednesday of each month, Yazoo supervisors meet with their department employees for one-on-one safety talks.  Each supervisor picks a department topic to discuss with their group as well as an in-home safety topic.

The one-on-one safety talks are to help raise more safety awareness at home as well as work.  The safety talks have been extremely beneficial for Yazoo employees as they are constantly learning more safety tips and what to do if a safety issue arises.  Yazoo will continue to meet with Samento Industrial Training Systems, Inc. quarterly to discuss and review the safety talks and training.

Safety Training For Employees At Yazoo Mills
As a company, we are constantly looking at safety training for our employees to take advantage of.  Safety training has always been in place with Yazoo and continues to remain of high importance.  Every other year, the company has the American Red Cross teach CPR, AED, and First Aid training and the New Oxford Fire Company also teaches fire extinguisher training on a yearly basis.  Currently, we have a total of 15 employees on staff that have training in all four areas.

Both employers and employees reap the benefits of safety training.  For employers, it helps lower the insurance risk and premiums, creates better workplace safety, and is very marketable in the hiring process.  For employees, it helps ensure health and safety, brings safety awareness within the company, provides accident and emergency response training, and helps prepare employees to potentially save lives.

Safety is one of our main priorities day in and day out.  We take satisfaction in our business and products.  We pride ourselves on our production and quick turnaround but also want to make sure that all of our employees are taking the necessary safety precautions with every move they make.

According to OSHA, nearly 4 million workers each year are seriously injured on the job.  With that in mind, it had sparked some worthy conversations about safety concerns from our more seasoned operators.  There are several different machines that we use when it comes to making paper tubes and cores.  We wanted to make sure that all of our employees knew the correct steps to take when operating the equipment so we decided to create a few videos emphasizing the key safety points.

A team of videographers spent several weeks preparing and filming the necessary footage to produce four high quality safety videos.  These videos include safety tips on maintenance, shipping, re-cut, winding, a step-by-step process on how to properly use the equipment at all times, reporting process of accidents, lockout/tag out procedures, and the location of safety data sheets.

Since 2004, Yazoo Mills has organized a Safety Committee that consists of 13 people including production employees, supervisors and managers.  The group identified the importance of the committee, therefore, it has been certified and registered in PA since 2009.  They meet once a month and address all safety problems that have triggered concern and work on solutions to fix the problems.

The committee was formed to draw attention to employee safety awareness, learning more about safety training, and to ensure all training and techniques are up-to-date, as well as earning discounts on worker’s compensation rates.  The committee continues to grow and be a successful component of an overall emphasis on company-wide safety.