Workplace Safety is Improving Nationwide, as Exemplified by Emedco

by: Nichole Gunn May 26, 2011

Imagine your company having a year free of notable accidents. Well, Emedco, a security products manufacturer and marketer, just commemorated a full year void of any Occupational Safety and Health Administration-recordable incidents. Rejoicing, the company attributes the accomplishment to a business-savvy strategy, its employee health and safety program.

The Buffalo, New York based company owned by Brady Corporation has around 150 workers, and previously had a poor performing status; in fact, it was one of Brady’s worst facilities. Realizing safety changes needed to take place Emedco’s safety committee initiated these changes by examining prior injury data and conferring with maintenance workers.

Emedco’s vice president and general manager of direct marketing Pascal Deman set a clear-cut objective for the committee: improve the facilities safety record. Reaching beyond being taken off the “worst list,” he challenged the committee to create the safest facility within the Brady Corporation.

Deman explained, "This has been a tremendous effort over the last few years of all the employees in the Buffalo facility. There is zero compromise on safety in our workplace."

Recognizing the facilities accomplishment, director of operations Henry Jacobi said the turn around was “exemplary.”

Emedco was not the only company to strive for and attain safety improvements, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that companies nationwide found similar results.

According to a 2009 study, the most recent data available, 35,300 recorded workplace injuries occurred; this reflects an accident rate of 3.9 percent. In 2008, there were 46,300 accidents recorded, reflecting a 4.9 percent accident rate. The comparison clearly shows that reportable safety incidents are decreasing. The study also found that the most common type of workplace injuries are tears, strains, and sprains.

Another organization working toward workplace safety is the Utah Labor Commission. In its effort to reduce workplace incidents it is distributing grant funds of $300,000 to businesses striving to enhance safety in the workplace. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that the funds are available for the development of safety protective training, implementation of new safety programs, or the improvement of programs already in place.

Utah Labor Commissioner Sherrie Hayashi told the Tribune, “This is a great opportunity for an employer or other entity to augment its safety program budget and provide additional means to reduce workplace accidents for its employees.”

For businesses that want to take advantage of the grant money provided by Utah’s Workplace Safety Account, applications need to be submitted no later than April 25. The types of businesses eligible to participate are educational organizations, nonprofits, community-based and other businesses.

About Nichole Gunn