Observed each year in June, National Safety Month “focuses on reducing leading causes of injury and death at work, on the road and in our homes and communities.” Employing nearly 7,000 associates across the globe and with a presence of more than 40 manufacturing plants internationally, Milliken keenly understands how safety forms the foundation of our work across our divisions. Our legacy in safety, championed from the beginning by the highest levels of leadership, is more than just a protocol — it is a means of protecting our associates to ensure the well-being of our entire community.
This National Safety Month, we reflect on Milliken’s fundamental formula for achieving safety excellence on the manufacturing floor:
Invest to protect
A safe organization will invest in training, resources and equipment to protect associates. From creating on-the-job programming to analyzing and implementing preventative measures, investing in education is critical to carrying out behavioral-based safety measures. Education, too, does not end once the initial training programs are completed; ongoing training helps to ensure a workforce is on the cutting-edge of compliance and safety initiatives. One key way we achieve this is through the use of plant safety teams, who perform daily safety reviews and serve as an avenue for open communications.
This unwavering emphasis on protecting our associates has resulted in Milliken achieving one of the lowest total incident and injury rates of North American manufacturers. In addition to our own certification efforts, we also mentor and audit other companies to achieve OSHA Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) STAR certification status.
Leadership and accountability
While measures can be put into place to protect associates, maintaining a culture of safety excellence is a team effort. Plant managers lead by example, modeling the correct procedures day-in and day-out, and completing and monitoring safety audits. Similarly, production associates can take ownership in the safety process by contributing to discussions in weekly meetings or reporting potential hazards in a timely manner.
These simple yet vital elements contributed to Milliken becoming the first-ever company named to the America’s Safest Companies Hall of Fame, presented by EHS Today. It is a significant honor to receive, and it is one we find true value in as it helps foster the safest possible environment for every Milliken associate.