Safety Is Our Number One Priority: Discussion with Joe Mosher
We recently spoke with Joe Mosher, Senior Director of Safety and Compliance, here at 48forty Solutions. Read on to learn more about how 48forty ensures employees and customers stay safe across our organization. Answers have been lightly edited for clarity.Tell us about your experience and current role.
Ive been in the industry for close to 20 years now, and have worked in operations, human resources and safety departments.
At 48forty, as the Senior Director of Safety and Compliance, my responsibility is to ensure all of our employees are safe while they’re at work. We have about 5,500 employees at 48forty. We have 10 safety managers, 9 of whom are regional safety managers, and one who is responsible for health, safety and the environment (HSE).We also have a Director of W/C and OSHA Compliance.
The only way I know I am succeeding in my role is when our employees are able to go to work and to be safe at work. We are always looking out for our employees, making sure that the equipment that we have for them is working correctly. Being able to provide training and making sure that they’re able to go home safe after work is of extreme importance.
Why is safety important?
Safety is critical to the industry and 48forty. One thing that really sticks out to me is the equipment that we operate. We have many parts that move within our plants such as chop saws, band saws, trim track, just to name a few. It’s really about safeguarding our employees from this equipment and making sure that these saws and other equipment we have are protected and guarded so that we don’t have injuries among our employees.
For our customers, safety is incredibly important. If we’re not able to come to work and to perform our job safely, then we can't do what we need to do for our customers.
In other words, if we don’t have our employees at work because they were hurt the previous day, that raises the concern that we’re not going to be able to get their product out. And not only that, our customers want to see us work in a safe manner too, and safety is of huge importance to them.
What is your team responsible for?
The team members that we have in our safety department are responsible for several sites within the company. When it comes to safety, our safety team approaches things in different but productive ways.
The team goes out and does quarterly visits at our plants and interacts with our employees and managers. This allows us to be able to provide a service that’s like none other in the industry as it relates to safety.
Tell us about 48forty’s safety program.
Our safety program at 48forty consists of many elements, one of which is our training library of safety binders and resources. They are all associated with what we do and they also follow OSHA guidelines. They’re all available electronically for manager’s access. We have training for our saw shops and for our forklifts. We also have training for PPE (personal protective equipment), for nail gun training, and more.
Driver safety is a big component of our program, too. Our truck drivers have monthly training sessions to ensure they are safe on the road. Our transportation department is one of our biggest liabilities, so we've got to make sure they have their ducks in a row. Our safety program allows us to do that.
Tell us about the safety initiative See It, Own It, Share It.
Our company’s number one priority is our employees’ well-being, and it is our responsibility to uphold that value. See It, Own It, Share It is 48forty’s platform for creating a safer, more productive workplace.
See It reminds employees that they can bring anything to us and let us know if they spot an issue – that if you see unsafe procedures, practices or work conditions, it’s important to speak up. Own It teaches employees to take personal responsibility for not only their own safety, but for those around them, too. Don’t assume other people will respond or take action if they see a safety concern; go on and own safety by working safely and looking after others’ safety. Share It promotes safety awareness across the organization. It encourages employees to ask who else might benefit from knowing specific safety information, and to share best practices with subcontractors, vendors, partners, and even the entire pallet industry.
All in all, this health and safety initiative assists us in providing additional tools for cultivating the safest and most productive environment.
See It, Own It, Share It has been integrated into our daily routines so both new and tenured employees feel committed to our safety goals.
How has this initiative helped the team come together to understand the importance of safety practices?
With the initiative See It, Own It, Share It, we’re able to bring the team together with a common vision and goal: our employees being safe at 48forty. You should be able to see reduced injuries with this initiative, too.
We care about our employees and we talk to them about not only being safe here at work, but also being safe while they’re away from work. What it comes down to is, we want employees to be able to go home safely to their families and return back to work safely.
How does the safety team benefit 48forty?
Our safety department is a very big piece of our business. It’s up to us to make sure that we keep everyone honest to ensure that we’re following all rules and regulations. Our employees need to be taken care of from top to bottom, and as a company, we know that it's not just about the bottom line. The goal is to have our employees feel that they can come to work and feel safe, but also be able to interact with the team on the job site to discuss solutions and ideas, promote safety, and truly have the positive safety culture that we aim for.
A 48forty we care about our employees and we’re going to do everything we can to make sure that they’re safe at work.
As a safety team, on those occasions when an accident has happened here, we discuss it and see what we can do in order to avoid the same thing from happening not only at the place of incident, but at other sites as well. Safety is very important in the business that we do. If we’re not working safely, then we're not going to be able to perform for our customers.
How does 48forty ensure employees are kept safe?
We need to ensure that we’re keeping our employees safe day in and day out, which in and of itself is a big task with the number of employees that we have and the number of plants that we oversee. There are several different ways to do this.
One has to do with training and making sure that our employees are trained on the equipment that they’re working with.
We also help ensure our employees know to be alert to situations around them, identifying if something needs to be addressed immediately, and then taking care of any issues and reporting them to their manager.
We want our employees to be really engaged and able to use all these safety tools that we provide for them. Any safety ideas or anything that they might want to share with us to improve safety in areas, we take all of those into account.
By listening to our employees we are better equipped to create the safest culture and team environment.
Safety engagement programs can go a long way toward helping employees feel like they’re part of the solution, which translates to happier teams and more positive work environments. Being intentional with our efforts allows 48forty to be part of the solution toward building a global culture of safety and health in the workplace. Stay tuned as we continue to share more about our commitment to safety during National Safety Month this June.
Joe Mosher is the Director of Safety and Compliance at 48forty Solutions. With almost 20 years of experience in the industry, Joe is our resident safety expert.