During shift changes this week, plant management is staging an old-fashioned, outdoor ice cream social to deliver an important safety message to all workers. "We're encouraging our associates one scoop at a time to take a break for safety," said Safety Manager Jason Niemiller.
According to Niemiller, there is usually an increase in on-the-job accidents in July and August. Heat, pending vacations and other summer-related distractions can add up to a higher risk for mistakes to happen. Goodyear's goal is to buck the trend.
"We want everyone to cool down and get fired up about safety," said Niemiller.
Scheduled events throughout the year encourage workers to take ownership of the plant's safety record, he said.
The safety efforts are paying off, said Niemiller. "We've reduced our accident rate by 45 percent, compared to this time last year," he said.
Plant Manager Mark Miller admits that while he is proud of the plant's progress, he knows there's still room for improvement.
"Our goal is zero OSHA recordables," said Miller. "Since Marysville is a conveyor belt plant, we've adopted a slogan Convey the Message: No One Gets Hurt."
He hopes that every spoonful of ice cream reminds associates that they are expected to return home safely at the end of each workday and take the safety mindset with them to practice with their families.
Miller said the facility's 300 employees have worked very hard to break down any in-plant communication barriers that could have created finger pointing for safety responsibility in the past.
"Individual choices are made every moment on and off the job that affect the safety of ourselves and others," he said. "So, we'll keep dishing out the message that we need to watch out for each other and take personal responsibility for safety."