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America's Safest Companies: Honda of South Carolina Mfg. Inc.

Nov. 11, 2013
“When the associates actually but into the [EHS] program, they realize that they are the program. It’s what they do that makes things work. They are the quality of the unit. They are the respect of the unit. They are the reputation of the company. They are safety.” – Eric Evans, safety coordinator

At Honda of South Carolina (HSC), associate engagement drives the operation's safety success. HSC, which makes all-terrain vehicles, achieved a lost-time-injury rate of 0.3 in its fiscal year 2012 and a rate of 0 in fiscal 2011. Employees maintain the momentum by participating in daily safety audits, safety committees, ergonomics teams and other activities. 

"When the associates actually buy into the program, they recognize that they are the program – that they are safety," says Eric Evans, safety coordinator. "It's what they do that makes things work." 

Throughout the facility, associates lead their respective departments in daily stretching exercises to help stave off repetitive-stress injuries. As part of HSC's focus on ergonomics, associates have been enthusiastic participants in the Institute of Industrial Engineers' Ergo Cup competition, winning the 2013 Ergo Cup in the Team-Driven Workplace Solutions category. 

HSC requires associates to conduct daily pre-shift audits of their departments to identify and fix safety issues. HSC also asks employees to participate in bimonthly safety-audit reviews, in which they can learn about safety findings from other departments and share lessons learned from their own. 

Among other opportunities for participation are bimonthly safety roundtable discussions, in which 15 randomly selected employees meet with senior management to discuss safety-related issues of interest or concern. 

Since HSC began production in 1998, the site has been making steady strides in safety and health by empowering its associates – and by emphasizing that what happens on the job always hits close to home. 

"We come to work for one reason: to provide for our family," says EHS Manager Wendell Hughes. "And if you get hurt, you're not going to be able to provide for your family. By making it personal, [associates are] buy into it and believe it more, and they apply that to their day-to-day routine."

Honda of South Carolina Mfg. Inc.
Timmonsville, S.C.
933 employees/1 site/3 EHS professionals
(1 onsite certified occupational nurse)

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