EHS Transformation at Metform's Extrusion Science Facility

Safety is our number one goal at Metform. Nothing comes before it. Metform has a family atmosphere which drives everyone to do whatever they can to assure that everyone is safe.

Safety exists with buy-in from everyone and starts with employees working on the floor in an atmosphere where everyone is empowered to initiate improvements. 

In 2016, Metform’s Extrusion Science (ES) facility started a new ERT and Safety Team. We noticed a gap between the two groups so we combined them. Then, we took the first step toward the goal of “Mission Zero” and moved from reacting to accidents to preventing them.

The Safety Team was concerned about dealing with accidents, and our company nurse curbed this concern. She emphasized that more people needed to know CPR and needed to be able to deal with blood. We needed people to help direct emergency responders to the proper area. Our nurse started a monthly emergency training program for the team, which consists of how-to instructions and skill-training.

The team set up monthly drills for practice in case of fire, tornado/severe weather, and code blue/man down situations. These drills simulate real-life events and are set up and led by team members. For example, during fire drills, we block exits. During code blue drills, we set up CPR on a dummy, simulate cuts, trap the dummy in a machine, or have it fall into harmful or unknown chemicals. By going through these drills, the team has established new standards. 

On the prevention side, the group has done 45-50 projects including: fixing electrical covers and drop cords, making ergonomically-friendly chip rakes, and setting up strobe lights to indicate when people are present at blind corners, and more. The team is leading monthly plant-wide Safety Talks. The team picks the topics, leads the training, and researches training material. We hold a weekly Safety Team meeting—we get together NO MATTER WHAT.

We have begun to use the EHS Risk Assessment Matrix to better understand our hazards. We are starting to better understand that many of the projects are containment actions, which require the PDCA process to identify the real cause and ensure that the risk is eliminated.

When all is said and done, the real change is in the ES culture. The team has taken the lead in safety. The safety culture is spreading and the whole plant is buying-in. We have started to bring in non-safety team members to work on PDCAs in their areas. The team is moving full steam ahead.



© Maclean-Fogg, All Rights Reserved.