By Mike Hagenbarth
Vice President of Safety and Health, WestRock Company
As part of our 2015 safety strategy, WestRock Company produced the Safety First, Safety Always! video for all our employees. The video focuses on creating a workplace where employees are accountable, care, plan, and willing to take action in safety – in short, engaged employees.
Our Safety First, Safety Always! video contains an introduction plus three separate modules that are designed to be shown over the course of the year.
The first module, Speak Up for Safety, encourages all employees to speak up to make things better when they see an unsafe condition or behavior.
The second module, Plan for Safety, covers how employees can identify potential hazards associated with their work before they undertake a job, and ensure those hazards have been properly controlled. The module also discusses how quickly things can change and discusses the Stop, Think, Evaluate and Plan (STEP) tool, which helps to evaluate unplanned hazards.
The third and final module is called Engaged for Safety. At WestRock, we highly value diversity and input from all employees because we need everyone to be fully engaged in safety. Engagement not only benefits each employee, but also the families who depend on us coming home in the same condition as we left. In this module, teammates across the company share what engagement in safety means to them.
The Safety First, Safety Always! video has been an efficient way for us to get our key safety messages out to all employees. If implemented properly, the concepts covered in the modules will lead to improved safety performance, including higher employee safety engagement, improved safety culture, improved morale, fewer injuries and reduced costs.
A strong safety culture provides the foundation for healthy employees and stable communities. WestRock’s Safety First, Safety Always! video not only helps to promote both social and economic responsibility, it is also a fun way for all our employees to work toward a common goal.
WestRock Company received the 2016 AF&PA Leadership in Sustainability Award for Safety for its Safety First, Safety Always! video project.