Gloucester Engineering Co., Inc. recently surpassed 1000 days of accident-free operation at its headquarters in Gloucester, Mass.This safety milestone is especially significant at it represents the first time the company has gone this length of time accident-free.
In 2011, GEC was acquired by Blue Wolf Capital Partners. The ownership and management change implemented many initiatives, and focused first and foremost on employee safety. Prior to Blue Wolf’s involvement, the company was noted for having bi-weekly incidents that ranged in severity. Today, this isn’t the case.
“This length of safety performance has never happened at Gloucester Engineering,” says Laurent Cros, VP of aftermarket and service operations. “This achievement talks to the professionalism of the union and the relationship between Blue Wolf and Gloucester’s management.”
Nearly all of Gloucester’s union works have been with the company for over ten years, which speaks to their experience and understanding of the shop floor. Lloyd Rothaus, VP of operations, says, “Our workers have done this for a long time. It just goes to show the experience level here and that the commitment of the workforce is geared toward safety objectives.”
Measures have been taken at Gloucester Engineering to ensure employee safety. Every procedure and change goes through a safety analysis. For starters, safety shoes and safety glasses are provided to all employees and visitors who enter the manufacturing floor, should they not already have them. Furthermore, workers are constantly preventing potential hazards by living 5S (a lean method to organize and maintain the workplace) and keeping their work areas and floor neat and tidy.
In the last two years, safety has been a primary focus. The management team at Gloucester encourages workers to actively engage in safe practices. “Every meeting starts with the safety record,” commented Cros.
Weekly audits and safety walk-through keep everyone involved, helping prevent incidents. “Topical cuts are a big deal to us so we wanted to focus our management on stopping that. We have weekly management safety meetings and monthly meetings to discuss safety with our workers,” explains Bill Maki, Shop Floor Superintendent. At Gloucester Engineering, employee well being is a top priority.
“I could not be more pleased or impressed with the achievements and performance of our colleagues and workers regarding safety,” says Carl Johnson, president. “This is a complex manufacturing environment with machines, tools, heavy equipment, and moving parts, all of which present myriad safety challenges. This is truly a remarkable achievement, a world-class performance.”
“And none of this would be possible if it wasn’t for the engagement and efforts of everyone,” he says. “We’re a team here at GEC and we do our best to make sure we’re safe.”
As Johnson pointed out, Gloucester Engineering is a manufacturing company that specializes in making machines for the blown film and plastics industries. Safety is not a given at GEC as it’s not uncommon to have the assembly team manipulating machines weighing over 50-tons during the various stages of assembly on the floor or having the machinists position multi-ton pieces into and out of the machining centers all day long. Every company faces challenges in trying to balance safety vs. productivity and Gloucester Engineering continues to strive for excellence in employee safety. The company’s next goal, three years without a lost time accident, is only 85 days away!
Gloucester Engineering Co.