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Walkthroughs, wellness contribute to 1 million-hour safety milestone

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in Employee Benefits Program,Human Resources

Paperboard packaging company Zumbiel Packaging used positive reinforcement and employee education to log more than 1 million hours without a lost-time accident and a quarter million hours without any type of injury.

To celebrate the milestone, execs treated the employees to lunch and handed out prizes and logo T-shirts.

But the 170-year-old organization’s emphasis on safety is ongoing, company officials say. “I know it’s a cliché, but we really try to be proactive instead of reactive,” says Ron Merkle, safety and training manager.

Each shift has a safety team that conducts safety audits and what are known as Gemba walkthroughs—strolls through the shop floor to observe hidden hazards that written reports often don’t reveal. The firm awards teams for meeting safety goals with quarterly bonuses.

Zumbiel officials say the Hebron, Ky., company’s wellness program is related to its safety goals. Employees can get flu and hepatitis shots, biometric screenings, and CPR and first aid training, and may participate in weight-loss contests and educational wellness programs.

Contact: Tom Zumbiel, (513) 531-3600.

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