America’s Safest Companies: PATS Aircraft Systems PATS Aircraft Systems

America’s Safest Companies: PATS Aircraft Systems

The 16 companies on the 2015 list of America's Safest Companies represent a broad array of industries: construction, manufacturing, utilities, oil and gas and more.

Safety is the first thing every new hire or visitor learns about at PATS Aircraft Systems, which provides aircraft maintenance, parts manufacturing and aircraft interiors completions.

The company's new hire safety orientation starts every employee off on the right foot by focusing on the safety culture and any applicable safety programs (depending on the job tasks of the new hire). Robert Shinholt, the senior safety and environmental compliance manager, makes it a point to know every employee on a personal basis. It's his goal to ensure that each employee feels as if he or she is the most important person in the company when talking with him.

"Safety starts with the individual," says Shinholt. "We focus on what they need to know, need to believe and why. We ensure they understand the importance of safety operations and a hazard-free work environment are as important as the business itself."

That emphasis on safety extends to visitors. The company has a policy that every visitor – "from the governor of Delaware, Secret Service and police, to every customer, food vendor or salesperson" – completes and understands a comprehensive pre-entry safety checklist before entering the company's fenced compound. The checklist addresses evacuation meeting areas, how to request medical assistance, proper footwear, proper eye and hearing protection equipment and many other safety topics.

"The checklist was praised by the Federal Aviation Administration and state officials for its ingenuity and comprehensiveness," says Shinholt. "The checklist sets the tone for the visitor's stay."

Shinholt and PATS Aircraft Systems are so confident in their safety leadership efforts that they have challenged local and state safety regulatory agencies to inspect operations. The inspections – both scheduled and no-notice – "continually confirm the effectiveness of the company's safety programs, policies, operating procedures and recognized best practices, all of which promote and sustain the safest working environment for our employees and visitors alike," says Shinholt.

In fact, those agencies often send their new employees to PATS, "So they can see what a first-class safety program looks like," he adds.

PATS Aircraft Systems
Georgetown, Del.
330 employees/
1 EHS professional
Aircraft maintenance and interiors completion, aircraft
parts manufacturing

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