In an era where rapid industrial growth is the norm, safety standards in the manufacturing sector have never been more essential. At Toolcraft, safety is not an afterthought—it is vital to our business.
June is National Safety Month, an annual reminder of how important safety is in the workplace for both existing and new employees. We see this as a chance to show why we focus on year-round safety and how it reflects our commitment to our employees and clients.
Safety Is Critical To Any Manufacturing Operation
As an ITAR-compliant CNC machining shop, we believe that manufacturing safety is essential to any company in our industry. It prevents workplace injury, illness, and death which leads to:
- a loss of morale and efficiency
- increased operational costs
- poorer relationships with our clients
Toolcraft’s Commitment to Manufacturing Safety
Prioritizing safety pays huge dividends and has allowed us to maintain our customer commitments.
2020 was a year of significant safety accomplishments. Toolcraft Machining did not have a single OSHA reportable incident or lost time accident and did not lose a single day due to COVID-19.
One of the most important ways to ensure safety on the floor is to understand all aspects of safety within our processes. As a CNC precision machining shop, we:
- prevent incidents by creating high standards in our operating procedures
- keep our employee training and safety materials updated whenever we receive new information
We also recognize that we need to improve our processes to successfully maintain a safe environment. We conduct safety audits biweekly and review standard operating procedures so that we can address potential issues.
We hosted a manufacturer of forged products, and they were impressed with our commitment to safety. After their visit, they sent this letter to Dan Brueggemann, our Quality Manager, and Amy Buchholz, our Account Manager:
“Thank you again for hosting [our] team yesterday as we reviewed the final stages of the Komatsu rod machining processes. I appreciated your candor as we looked through the routing and inspection of the forgings. As I mentioned to you and Amy just before I left, I was impressed with the cleanliness and organization of the shop. It was very evident that you (and your team) take pride in the way the shop presents. Of particular note, the lifting straps were all in good condition (no rips, tears, knots, or excessively soaked with oil), tools were organized and placed in designated locations, and I did not see any tripping hazards. I think that it would also be worthy to note that you stopped us well in advance of a scissor lift (the operator had his back to us working on a jib crane) so that you could advise the operator of our position and intentions avoiding a potential safety incident. I’m sure with a little more time I could have found additional evidence that TCM values their employees as well as all that visit your facility. On a final note, as a long-term Quality professional, attention to details such as the ones I mentioned above translate into the way you treat Quality and your other critical processes. I am looking forward to my next visit.”
Manufacturing Safety: It’s Our Culture & Responsibility
Not only do we care about our employees, they care about each other, too!
Our safety department works to ensure the safety of our employees, and our employees watch out for each other’s safety, which benefits everyone.
When employers and employees care about each other’s well-being, a culture of solidarity and community is a natural byproduct.
Putting safety first ensures that we:
- create rewarding careers
- increase efficiency through reducing lost time, incidents, and tightening up operating procedures
- provide the high-quality work our clients expect within the turnaround times we promise (essential to maintaining the reputation of a CNC machining business)
Adam D., our safety department lead, said:
“Safety is not a one-man job – it’s the job of the whole shop. Awareness is a huge part of safety; you have to see an accident before it happens. The employees in the shop do a great job of keeping themselves and each other safe and everyone puts their best foot forward when it comes to safety. Nobody wants to get hurt, and our employees help keep injuries to a minimum.”
Creating a safe environment for employees is not just our culture, but our responsibility.
Under OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Act), we have several responsibilities to create a safe work environment.
- Offer a workplace without known hazards and comply with all OSHA regulations that apply to our business.
- Ensure employees have access to, use and maintain all necessary manufacturing safety equipment for their role in precision machining.
- Create and update safety SOPs and inform all employees to ensure compliance.
- Routinely review our facility to keep up with all applicable standards.
- Provide visible signage (posters, labels, color codes) to ensure that potential hazards are seen.
There’s an inherent set of safety concerns with any manufacturing facility and role. To address these risks, we must consider two pieces:
- Identifying Hazards. Ideally, this is done during equipment design but could be done during equipment installation or when production begins. Potential risks include slips, repetitive motion, lifting, exposed moving pieces, sharp corners or edges, heat, electricity, and falls.
- Addressing Hazards. Any time we identify a hazard, it must be treated with appropriate measures. Ensuring the safety of our employees could mean:
- training or retraining to ensure all employees understand their role in manufacturing safety
- providing personal protective equipment (PPE)
- performing audits
- adding additional signage and indicators
- incorporating CNC machining and precision machining design that makes performing a task in an unsafe way difficult
- creating a floorplan that makes navigating the manufacturing floor more likely
- making a potentially dangerous task completely mechanical
- removing the need for potentially dangerous tasks entirely
Safety in CNC Machining and Precision Machining Benefits Clients, Too
The benefits of creating a safe work environment are not one-sided. Our clients gain from our high standards, as well as our employees and our business.
With Toolcraft’s employee-first approach to manufacturing safety, our clients can count on:
- increased productivity and efficiency
- high quality in the products we create
- lower absentee rates
- increased morale and engagement from our employees in the precision manufacturing process
- receiving their orders in a timely fashion since increased safety means less lost time due to preventable accidents
When manufacturers lead with employee safety first, everyone wins.
Employees win because the likelihood of injuries, illness, and death is reduced as much as possible. They can enjoy a workplace that cares about their well-being.
Employers maintain OSHA compliance, as well as employee and client trust. They can also count on improved attendance, efficiency, and productivity.
Lastly, clients benefit when worker safety yields better turnaround times and quality in the final products we create.
Toolcraft Manufacturing strives to create a world-class workplace culture. We’re an equal opportunity employer (EEO) that welcomes all qualified applications.
Click here for a list of employee benefits, more details on our work environment, and our currently available positions.