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United Scrap.jpg United Scrap Metal

America's Safest Companies 2019: United Scrap Metal

Every meeting at United Scrap Metal, no matter what the topic or who is involved in it, begins with a safety message.

United Scrap Metal Inc.
Cicero, IL
Scrap metal recycling
459 employees | 6 sites | 1 EHS professional

Read profiles on all the other 2019 America's Safest Companies!

The mission statement for United Scrap Metals (USM), a scrap metal recycler, neatly summarizes the company’s safety culture: Making a positive impact in the lives of others. “Our goal is to provide the tools necessary to be successful inside and outside the gates of USM,” explains Adam Wilk, the company’s national compliance manager. “This makes safety the top priority at USM.”

The company’s United in Safety program touches on safety topics specific to the job or task of every employee, with the understanding that “there is nothing more important than leaving work in the same condition in which our team members arrive,” Wilk notes. To that end, every meeting, no matter what the topic or who is involved in it, begins with a safety message.

“At USM, safety is not what we do. It’s how we do it,” Wilk states. Safety has the highest levels of support within the organization, he emphasizes, adding that there is no aspect of the company that leadership holds in a higher regard than safety.

USM has instituted a daily inspection audit that touches on all aspects of the facility as well as the employees. Each team supervisor is responsible for conducting a safety inspection at the beginning of their shift and documenting all opportunities—both positive and negative. These documents are then brought to an operations meeting that morning, where they are reviewed by the site general manager and all corrective actions are addressed by top management at the facility.

USM’s “See Something—Say Something” program empowers team members from all areas to report both positive aspects and areas of improvement. “Our operators have witnessed great improvements in several areas,” Wilk notes, “including pedestrian traffic, mobile equipment awareness, truck logistics in the yard, winter weather action plans, summer heat stress plans, and emergency action plans.”

The company also recognizes one employee per quarter with its Safety Award for Excellence (SAFE), part of a peer-driven program where USM team members from all areas of the company are celebrated as safety leaders.

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