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Safety Puts the Wind in the Sales of Monroe Litho

Safety Puts the Wind in the Sales of Monroe Litho

Wind power, recycling, safety: At this Rochester, N.Y., printing company, keeping employees and the environment safe makes good business sense

Monroe Litho Inc. was one of the first commercial printers in the United States to have 100 percent of its electrical needs generated by wind power. While the cost is higher than plugging into the city of Rochester's grid, the immense environmental impact makes the cost worth it, says Stephen Whittaker, vice president, quality management/sustainability initiatives.

“The cost [of wind power] is a premium, but it speaks loud and clear of our commitment to the environment and our sustainability initiatives,” he says.

Monroe Litho reported that utilizing 100 percent windpower for all electricity at its facility was the environmental equivalent of not burning 1.5 million pounds of coal, of planting over 38,000 mature trees or of not driving 3.146 million miles in a typical car, thereby eliminating 2.8 million pounds of CO2 emissions.

The company is no less focused on its safety process, with CEO and President Chris Pape earning the title of “biggest cheerleader for safety” from Whittaker. “We talk one-on-one about safety initiatives in the workplace at least two or three times a week,” Whittaker says. “He has a personal commitment and passion that everyone work safely.”

When Pape realized that back fatigue from turning over and jogging press sheets (that were printed only on one side) was causing press workers to tire easily and lose time due to back injuries, he purchased and installed an automatic pile-turning device that eliminated the problem. When he realized that bindery finishing workers were easily fatigued while taping cartons of finished product, he purchased and installed an automatic box-making and sealing device to reduce fatigue and improve consistency. The results of these efforts speak for themselves: the company has experienced one lost-time injury in 3 years.

“When people work safely, they also are enabled to produce products at the proper level of quality, so safety has an impact on reducing the cost of poor quality as well,” says Whittaker. “All of these affect our economic well- being as well as provide a competitive service for our clients in fulfilling their needs on a timely basis.”

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