NORTHAMPTON, MA / ACCESSWIRE / November 11, 2022 / After a challenging start in the first quarter of fiscal 2021 at our Cloquet Mill, the next three quarters demonstrated sustained improvement in safety at Cloquet and rock-solid performance across the other sites. In fact, Sappi North America completed the fourth quarter with no lost-time injuries, and, for the year, four out of our five manufacturing sites experienced their best-ever lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) performance.
In response to the challenges of COVID-19 and the uneven start at the Cloquet Mill, the SNA Safety Platform launched new strategies to keep our teams focused during the upcoming year. Each site sets targets for proactive safety activities that invest in the prevention of injuries, rather than reactively looking at the latest injury and then applying the corrections needed. These targets are now a regular part of our daily safety life, and we track and report them across Sappi.
In addition, we invested in safety leadership training at our Somerset and Cloquet mills with the intent of extending the training to other sites in fiscal 2022.
"When I reflect on what it means to me to be OneSappi, I first think about the safety of all of my coworkers," says Mike Schultz, Vice President of Manufacturing for SNA. "Have we established a culture where we are truly looking out for each other? By the numbers, SNA achieved a safe year with many milestones and records achieved. But to get to that next level, all of us need to be engaged in safety every day."
As we reviewed the types of injuries and their root causes, we found that our investigation procedures lacked the ability to identify cultural factors that affected the rate and severity of the injuries our workers were experiencing. We therefore modified our procedure to include root causes, such as peer pressure, production pressure, and other factors not previously available to the investigation team. We now collect new root-cause data on cultural factors and are better able to respond where appropriate.
Another area of advancement is the use of statistical techniques that help signal a change in the incident rate at our facilities. We now use these techniques to formally trigger a site-level review of safety trends and activities much earlier than we have in the past.
Application of these and our previously successful policies and procedures, such as continued engagement with employees, labor unions, contractors, and joint Safety Leadership Councils, produced an excellent finish to fiscal 2021. We continue to look forward to using our leading safety indicators to drive our performance, and we have some excellent results to show for our efforts to date.
The Matane Mill remains free of lost-time injuries since joining Sappi, our Allentown sheeting facility is well over five years with no LTIs, the Westbrook Mill is at 11 months and counting since its last LTI, and the Cloquet Mill is back on track with no LTIs in six months. The Somerset Mill achieved more than 1.5 million work hours with no lost-time injuries and surpassed a full year with no LTIs for the period from December 23, 2020, through all of December 2021.
While we have plenty to celebrate and build upon, we are again reminded that the threat from COVID-19 is still in our midst, and we can never let our guard down. A keen focus on the tasks that prevent injuries, as well as taking a safety pause before any task we undertake, will guide us on our journey to achieving zero injuries to all who work at Sappi.
Spokesperson: Sappi North America
SOURCE: Sappi North America
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