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America's Safest Companies: Morton Salt

Nov. 11, 2013
“Morton Salt’s safety program is aimed at providing every employee, outside contractor, family member and friends who are willing to listen with the skill and knowledge to be free of personal injury. The program has also been designed to heighten awareness for those everyday tasks/activities that we perform (driving cars, lifting heavy objects, walking across railroad tracks) that are so regular that we can become complacent and careless. Our ultimate goal is ZERO accidents for the entire Salt Group extended family.” – Michael Resetar, director of health, safety and security

Morton Salt's safety program is aimed at providing the "Morton Salt Extended Family" – every employee, outside contractors, family members and friends – with the skill and knowledge to be free of personal injury. The program has been designed to heighten awareness for those everyday tasks/activities we all perform, such as driving cars, lifting heavy objects, walking across railroad tracks, etc. These tasks have become so routine, says Michael Resetar, director, health, safety and security, that it's easy to become complacent and careless.

"Nothing is more important to Morton Salt than health and safety…
not production, not sales, not profit," says CEO Christian Herrmann.

There are four primary ways in which employees are engaged in Morton's safety process: reporting of near misses, participation in Safety Days, submission of best practices and site participation in OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program.

The near-miss reporting program is designed to allow employees to be proactive in the prevention of accidents by informing a manager or supervisor of a potential hazard before it happens. "We have shown through statistical data that as the number of near misses reported increases, the number of accidents decreases," says Resetar. "Our sites (aggregate) are encouraged to submit at least 750 near misses per quarter."  

Each site is required to participate in an annual Safety Day, in which operations are shut down and employees participate in team building and other activities such as "Safety Jeopardy" and fire extinguisher training. Larger sites often have a guest speaker and at all sites, lunch is served by senior leadership.

Employees are encouraged to submit best practices that may improve operations and safety. The information is shared via the web site and a quarterly email.  Employees receive items such as a baseball cap, Morton coffee mug, etc. for each best practice submitted.  

"Safety is what you do when no one is watching," says Mark Roberts, a member of the Morton Salt board of executive directors. 

Morton Salt
Chicago, Ill.
3,000 employees/
67 EHS professionals

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