photo courtesy of MasterBrand Cabinets
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America's Safest Companies 2023: MasterBrand Cabinets LLC

Aug. 4, 2023
Good isn't good enough for MasterBrand Cabinets. That motivation has driven the company to improve its own safety record, and it hopes to encourage its industry peers to focus on safety, too.

MasterBrand Cabinets

Kitchen and Bath Cabinet and Countertop Manufacturer

Jasper, IN

13,732 domestic employees | 30 domestic sites | 50 EHS professionals

One way MasterBrand Cabinets makes its workplaces safer is through transparent benchmarking.

As an example, the company uses what it calls daily management to track and verify the efficacy of processes, including safety, at all levels of the organization. Each day, a green or red visual indicates whether an objective was met or not met. Those visuals are placed where everyone can see them—on the plant floor, in meeting areas and conference rooms.  

“Safety is woven into everything we do at Masterbrand,” says EHS Director Jon Hilgeman. "Masterbrand not only leads our industry with respect to TRIR rate, but as the largest kitchen and bath cabinet manufacturer in North America, we are also driving down the overall industry average year-over-year. Hopefully, that challenges not only us, but our industry peers to strive for continued enhanced safety and health protections for their associates."

Masterbrand has created the Critical 15, a program comprised of areas it feels are most important to protecting employees from serious injuries and fatalities. These Critical 15 include fire prevention and hot work, machine safeguarding and powered industrial truck safety.

All locations are required to track and manage key actions to measure sustained improvements in their EHS software, Hilgeman says. Progress against these key metrics are published weekly at the local level and at least quarterly at the executive level. Each year, safety leaders conduct audits to ensure alignment across the entire organization.

The Critical 15 has helped the company eliminate many serious risks over the years. With those under control, the company went back to the data to see what more they could improve. They found the most common causes of employee injuries are strains and sprains, so they have developed early intervention and ergonomics programs.

“Utilizing the data captured from early intervention cases, job demand analyses and ergonomics assessments, the company was able able to prioritize ergonmic risks and strategically modify or enhance workstations, equipment, processes, etc. via Kaizen events and up to large capital expense projects,” Hilgeman says. “This has made all the difference.”

In the past 10 years, Hilgeman says the company has invested time and time again in safety. The company has made a number of safety capital investments, such as combustible dust system upgrades, dock safety systems and pallet stops for racking systems.

“We understand that in addition to it being the right thing to do, we cannot achieve [our goals] without a safe and clean workplace,” Hilgeman says. “That is why safety is not just a priority, but a core value at Masterbrand.”        

About the Author

Nicole Stempak

Nicole Stempak is managing editor of EHS Today and conference content manager of the Safety Leadership Conference.

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