Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 12
safety first | TRAINING
The Importance of
Why should mills invest in safety
education for employees and contractors?
There are multiple, critical reasons to do so:
* Protecting the welfare of all employees,
both company and contractor
* Providing a safe work environment
* Controlling costs
* Staying current on mandated safety
Investing in safety education can ensure
both employees and contractors are duly and
fully trained in each mill's specific safety
rules, regulations, and requirements. This
can help reduce the occurrence of events,
and the incidence of citations and/or violations issued by OSHA for contractor actions
taken on your worksite, even if your mill did
not create a hazard nor expose employees
to a hazard.
Protecting the welfare of employees,
whether contractor or company, should be at
the forefront of every facility manager's mind,
and not just because downtime from injury
and turnover costs impacts production.
To create and maintain a safe and healthy
culture in a mill, it's important for all
employees to be engaged and have a personal
stake in the success of the safety program.
Owners should encourage involvement in
any safety programs, and hold both employees and contractors accountable for adhering to safety expectations. Rewarding and
recognizing employees for proactive safety
actions like hazard reporting and taking
corrective action is a great way to track
success. Additionally, a safety and health
program should always be part of both a
contractor's and a mill's overall business
plan and strategy, including a system to
identify/control hazards, compliance with
OSHA requirements, and continuous training. Involving mill managers, employees,
and contractors in the plan helps create a
communal commitment to making the entire
From a human perspective, the goal of a
safety program is to add multiple and varied defenses to the tasks people perform so
that when an unanticipated result occurs, a
worker will not experience severe injury or
other unwanted outcomes. Safe execution
of work-resulting from rigorous training,
process, and expectation-can also be a good
barometer of whether an organization manages other aspects of its business well.
Safe execution makes it more likely projects will produce quality outcomes while
meeting cost objectives. Significant injury
events obviously prohibit both the mill and
the contractor from achieving their respective goals. The ramifications of a significant event can go on for years and result in
considerable expense and potential penalties for both parties-over and above the
BENEFITS TO THE BOTTOM LINE
A dedicated commitment to safety education can help ensure mill success and have
considerable positive impact on the bottom
line. Implementing safety procedures to prevent high-dollar losses caused by injuries or
property damage events may significantly
reduce overhead and hidden costs.
While most organizations do have safety
programs in place, it is crucial to stay on
top of current safety issues and changing
safety and health regulations. Workshops
dedicated to safety training offer attendees
exposure to various perspectives from different organizations-not necessarily restricted
to pulp and paper. Participants learn about
key issues that result in poor safety performance, as well as some of the foundational
requirements that lead to safe and effective
Earlier this year, the Pulp and Paper Safety
Association (PPSA) conducted just such a
workshop. This two-day, sold-out course
makes it more likely
projects will produce
provided various perspectives on minimum
requirements and best practices related to
the safe execution of work performed by contractors within the pulp and paper industry.
Day one focused on safety from the perspective of companies who employ contractors,
while day two examined the contractor viewpoint. Both sides shared what they felt were
the necessary elements and activities that
must exist for any work to be executed safely.
Because of this event's resounding success,
PPSA is already planning future workshops.
PPSA is dedicated to safety in the pulp and
paper products industry, and provides a platform for information sharing and networking. Our goal is to enable members to assist
in the prevention, and reduce the severity, of
incidents among employees and contractors
on and off the job. Learn more about future
workshops at www.ppsa.org.
The most important thing for organizations to remember is that the safety of every
individual on a job site is paramount, regardless of who they work for. We all have friends
and family who depend on us to come home
safely each day-and we desire to see them
home safely, too.
Larry Warren, senior director of health and
safety, pulp and paper/corporate for Domtar,
is a member of the Board of Directors for the
Pulp and Paper Safety Association (PPSA).
He has volunteered in several leadership
positions, including his current role as the
Education Committee chair. To learn more
about PPSA, please visit www.ppsa.org.