Rockwell Automation launched its Manufacturing Safety Excellence Awards when it began noticing customers that exemplified the collaboration between EHS and engineering groups—a more holistic approach—that’s necessary to drive manufacturing safety. Now in its third year, the program awards best-in-class companies for this behavior, says Steve Ludwig, safety program manager at Rockwell.
Recipients of this year’s Manufacturing Safety Excellence Awards, names recently at the Safety Leadership Conference, are Clorox, Goodyear, Kimberly-Clark, and Paper Converting Machine Co. (PCMC).
Ludwig calls Clorox, in particular, a “no-brainer” because the manufacturer has placed such a high premium on safety being a value, and makes all the required investments in processes and technologies as well. “Clorox really stood out as a company that talks the talk and walks the walk,” he says.
PCMC is only the second OEM that Rockwell has given its safety award to. “When they started putting safety into their machines in a big way, they really found that customers wanted it,” Ludwig says. “They started looking at safety as a value that they added to their machines.”
“We differentiate ourselves from competitors by guiding our customers through the safety process and educating them on the opportunities safety presents,” says Jason Stover, senior electrical project engineer at PCMC. “Some might not recognize safety as a fundamental part of the equipment, but by the time we’re done, they see the value.”
All the winners have a very strong safety culture, Ludwig says. “People know what they’re supposed to do and know how to do it,” he explains. “They’re incentivized to do the right thing. They also invest in technologies that are not easily overwritten.”
No company is perfect, Ludwig says, and Rockwell doesn’t expect these award recipients to be either. “We’re not looking at them from the standpoint of is everything perfect at your company,” he says. Instead, the winners recognize that safety is a journey. “We’re looking for companies that adopt that philosophy, and look at how to overcome the risks.”
Goodyear is continually driving toward a goal of zero incidents and injuries. “We’re very proud of the progress we’ve made with safety, but know that it’s a journey, and we’re committed to getting better every day,” says Mike Porter, director of global EHS at Goodyear.