Expert Interview – Safety & Savings Through Chemical Management

CMS Dispensers New LabelsFor this month’s interview, I tapped into one of the many experienced professionals here at Dade Paper. Lynn Miller, Miami Branch Chemical Manager, has worked in the janitorial industry for over 30 years including 14 years with Dade Paper.

LC: Tell me about your role? What does a Chemical Manager do?

LM: I love my job as Chemical Manager. I work alongside our sales consultants, assisting them in developing solutions for their customers. For example, in one of our grocery chain accounts we created customized cleaning programs for each department. We trained their staff on proper procedures helping them maintain a clean, safe and appealing store. In addition to the hands-on training we also provided written manuals and tools to ensure that the programs were consistent across all store locations. I enjoy the interaction with both management and employees when they grasp the concepts of the training. We are helping them be more successful and that is really rewarding.

LM: I also love to solve problems. A cleaning contractor called me just the other day to just tell me how much time and money he saved on a very large job after installing the chemical management system that I had recommended.

LC: What is a chemical management system?

LM: It is the best thing since sliced bread! A chemical management system, or CMS, is an automated dispensing system that controls the precise amount of chemical concentrate mixed with water in reusable spray bottles. The system can be set up with multiple products depending on the cleaning needs of the customer.

LC: What are some of the benefits of this type of system?

LM: Safety is a big one. Because the mixing is done automatically, there is no “glugging” of chemicals from one bottle to the next which can pose risks in improper dilution ratios as well as spills. Some people think that if some is good, more is better. That is not true! Using too much concentrate can make the product less effective, damage surfaces and can create health risks. Everything in a quality CMS should be color-coded with corresponding product numbers and names. The system should also include instructional wall charts and manuals making it very easy to use.

LM: Cost is another important factor. The CMS chemicals are super-concentrates, reducing the expensive shipping of water and excess packaging.

LC: That sounds like a more sustainable program as well. Reduced packaging and transportation, both of which have a big impact on the environment.

LM: That is correct! Also, the cost-in-use is much less compared to a pre-mixed, ready-to-use chemical. For example, a quart of ready-to-use product may be $3 compared to a quart of CMS product as low as $.035. And, because the dispensing is controlled there is no waste or overuse. These systems also help prevent theft of ready-to-use products.

LC: What types of businesses use these systems?

LM: All businesses that use cleaning chemicals can benefit from a CMS.  We partner with healthcare facilities, grocery stores, schools, restaurants, food processing plants, office buildings, building contractors, hotels, the list goes on and on.

LC: What factors should be considered when selecting a CMS?

LM: The major considerations when selecting a CMS provider are, first, a knowledgeable consultant to recommend the correct products for each surface and provide training for the cleaning crew. The second is safe, reliable equipment and technical service.  The service technicians need to maintain the equipment on a regular basis and be available 24/7 to respond to any emergency repair needs. And lastly, high quality chemicals that are compliant with all regulations and perhaps even third-party environmental certifications.

LC: I see why you are so enthusiastic about CMS programs! Thanks, Lynn!

LM: Thanks for the opportunity to share the info.

If you are interested in learning more about chemical management systems, Lynn Miller is gladly available to answer your questions and can be reached at lmiller@dadepaper.com.

 

 

 

 

 

Expert Interview – Data Visualization & Infographics

For this month’s Expert Interview I spoke with Randy Krum, President of InfoNewt, author of Cool Infographics, speaker, and recognized expert in the field of data visualization and infographics.

LC: How and when did you get started in the field of infographics?

RK: In 2004, I was working for a consumer products company and used data visualization to present analytical information to leadership. I began collecting what I thought were great examples of infographics for inspiration. That collection became the content for my blog, Cool Infographics, which launched in 2007. It was so popular that I realized there was not only a great deal of interest in infographics but a need for design support and consulting. Two years later I started InfoNewt where we assist our clients through the entire process of creating infographics to tell their story.

LC:  Can you explain the difference between data visualization and infographics?

RK: Great question. Data visualization is displaying information in a graphical way such as a chart, diagram, icon, image, etc. An infographic tells a story by using those data viz elements combined with text, illustrations, and an overall layout.

LC: What are the advantages of using infographics over text alone?

RK: Today, more than ever, people have short attention spans. Research suggests you have 5 to 10 seconds to capture the attention of your audience. Infographics make it easy for people to scan and get the point of your message quickly. The human brain processes images in 13 milliseconds. Also, people remember visual information 65% more than they remember text so retention of the material will be greatly enhanced.

LC: That is amazing! No wonder infographics have become so popular. What are the current trends in this type of communication?

RK: Infographics have been an important element in the content marketer’s tool kit for several years now. Companies are experimenting with infographics in every aspect of their sales and marketing communication strategy from sharing company history, industry trends, press releases, and frequently asked questions.

Here is an example of Dade Paper’s company overview infographic:

Infographic Cover

Today, animated infographics are becoming more popular as are infographics designed for small screens. In the future, we’ll see augmented reality infographics with 360 images, real-time data, and virtual reality capabilities.

LC: What advice can you give to someone who wants to incorporate infographics into their communication plan?

RK: Start with some simple data statistics about your company. Focus on your one key message or your call to action. Keep it simple with minimal text and highlight the data that leads the audience to the desired insight or conclusion. Also, make sure that your data viz is accurate mathematically and graphically. Work up to more complicated infographics that tell more complete stories. Then share those stories on blogs and other social media channels.

LC: Is this something people can really do on their own?

RK: It depends on what in-house capabilities are available. If you have a good data analyst or graphic designer, try them first. Data visualization and infographic design is a very specialized style of design. It takes someone who understands both statistics and design. If that is a skill set that is not available, then you may want to partner with a design firm that specializes in infographics.

LC: Are there any simple software tools available for someone who’d like to give it a try?

RK: This is the question I get most often, and it’s a complicated question. A data visualization or infographics designer will have their own favorite vector graphics application where they put the whole design together. It could be Adobe Illustrator, OmniGraffle, Inkscape, or even PowerPoint. Separately, they will create good data visualization elements and then import those into the project in the vector graphics application. Most designers keep a toolbox of many different tools for charts, icons, maps, word clouds, and more. I maintain a large list of tools at www.coolinfographics.com/tools that people can check out.

Dade Paper Infographic 11×17 April 2017For more information and great examples of infographics, visit Randy’s blog at www.coolinfographics.com and his website www.InfoNewt.com.

Expert Interview – Greening the Gridiron

This month’s interview is with Marcelo Essabba, Director of Housekeeping Operations at Hard Rock Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins. Marcelo gave me a tour of the facility which is going through some amazing upgrades. Along the way he explained their sustainability initiatives which are impressive to say the least. (Photo courtesy of the Miami Dolphins)

College Football Semi-Final at the Orange Bowl

LC:   What is your role with the Miami Dolphins and how long have you been part of the organization?

ME:  I have had a few roles in the past ten years with the organization but the majority of the years have been in the Housekeeping Sector as Director of Housekeeping Operations. My team covers parking lots, the main facility, concessions and kitchens, pest control, window cleaning, all waste removal, full laundry service and sustainability as well as covering more than 11 million square feet.

LC:   When did you begin your sustainability program and what was the inspiration?

ME:  We picked our sustainability program up again once we went back to in-house housekeeping service in July 2014. We assumed operations and went from a 6% to 58% diversion rate the first year. From there we saw that we can enhance it and finished last year around 77%. We are looking forward to continuing to improve on our sustainability plan and efforts.

LC:   Who is involved on the sustainability team?

ME: We have a team of eight people involved. The group is composed of upper management, Hard Rock Stadium’s hospitality provider, Centerplate, and all of the housekeeping team.

LC:  What were your initial goals and initiatives and how were they prioritized?

ME: The initial goal was to start with simple and basic changes that could be made immediately. The initiative we had available was the single stream/comingle recycling option. We then prioritized by baling cardboard and collecting all bottles, cans and cups. This proved to be a simple and non-complicated beginning that made sense operationally.

LC:  What is one of most innovative sustainability projects you have been able to accomplish?

ME:  We did research and not having many options for composting in our area, we decided to try an organic food composter/digester. We installed two of them in October 2016 and have been able to divert tons of post and prep food to landfills and reduce our waste weight from going to the landfill as well as our cost of waste dumped per event and non-event days.

LC: It was interesting to see that equipment in action. Food waste is such a big issue today, even in small restaurants let alone massive stadiums. Has sustainability become a major focus in the sports arena community?

ME:  It is a priority for the Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium as we feel we are making a great impact on our community. We have thousands of fans that attend events. We care about being part of a clean and sustainable environment locally. The organization continues to receive inquiries about our programs from many sports complexes.

LC:  What are your plans going forward?

ME:  We are focused on establishing a tangible vision and growing our sustainability plan. We are trying to implement our sustainability plan for all events in and out of the stadium to maximize diversion from landfills. We continue working with vendors, such as Dade Paper, to use items coming in and out of the facility to fit into our sustainability plan. This ensures operationally that the plan makes more sense for all and facilitates the process of sorting the waste streams.

LC:  What advice do you have for other facility managers embarking on a sustainability program?

ME:  Start small with the simple things that won’t really change much of your operations. It will evolve to a sustainable program that you will be happy with. Do lots of research in your area, some cities offer more sustainable options than others while some offer composting and some only offer single stream. We’ve able to use different vendors for items that our hauler can’t sort for us. We have been able to implement many parts of our everyday business to increase our sustainability and divert more and more from landfills and still be on budget and/or below for some of the events. Get as much help as you can from others and research. In the process you’ll learn plenty that you can apply to your particular venue. At the end of the day, you have to make it work for your operation in your facility.

To learn more about Hard Rock Stadium visit www.hardrockstadium.com and check out this video https://vimeo.com/178241412.   

Expert Interview – The Power of Association

For this month’s Expert Interview I spoke with Dan Murphy, Vice President of Membership and Corporate Relations for the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association. Dan is a 25-year veteran of the hospitality industry.

LC: What is your role with the FRLA and how long have you been part of the organization?

DM: I have been with the FRLA for over 20 years. It is my responsibility to oversee the membership department. We have a team of 13 individuals who handle the marketing, sales, retention, sponsors, partners and events for the association. Part of my role is to assist independent and chain operators, both restaurateurs and hoteliers, to ensure that the industry stays protected.

LC: Tell me about how the FRLA supports the hospitality industry?

DM: FRLA is Florida’s premier non-profit hospitality industry trade association representing more than 10,000 members. Our mission is to ‘Protect, Educate and Promote’ Florida’s $82 billion hospitality industry which represents 23% of Florida’s economy. With more than 1.1 million employees it is the state’s number one industry.

We offer regulatory compliance and food safety training needs such as RCS and SafeStaff®. We provide industry developed career-building high school programs through the FRLA Education Foundation. The FRLA safeguards the needs of the hospitality industry by providing legislative advocacy. And, we sponsor the only event in Florida exclusively serving the restaurant and foodservice industry, the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show held each fall.

LC: Wow! That is a lot of support! As a supplier to this industry, we sure appreciate what you do.

What are 2 big industry changes you have seen within last few years?

DM: Technological innovation. It’s no surprise that technology continues to be an on-going subject in the hospitality industry. Hotels now have mobile check-in, valet communication, and meetings and events request service. Robotics has started to make its mark as well. Tablet kiosks have either replaced or supplemented servers in restaurants and geo-location has significantly helped restaurant’s royalty and discount programs with their marketing plan.

Everything is moving, even more so than before, into a digital platform and millennials, in the particular, as looking for free Wi-Fi, social media platforms to provide quick feedback, immediate responses to on-site requests.

Then there are emerging platforms such as AirBnB, Uber, and food delivery services. These cost-saving, quick response and on-line opportunities are appealing to travelers, but they are affecting the hospitality industry.

LC: What is the biggest challenge that restaurants and hotels are having today?

DM: I know that one of the biggest challenges that everyone in the industry is having is hiring staff. Connecting with suitable candidates, choosing the right candidate, and keeping those superior employees.

LC: How can they approach that?

DM: Now that much of the workforce is the millennial generation and younger, managers and owners may need to focus some of their efforts in hiring and retaining practices based on their needs, reactions, thoughts or wants. I am not saying that we need to cater to this generation, but a few tweaks in the employee handbook or the orientation may make a difference.

LC: I agree with you. We’re educating our managers on Millennials and how they differ from the Boomers and Gen-Xers. In a few years, that age group will make up 50% of the US workforce. It’s critical to attract and retain those younger adults.

What is an emerging opportunity or trend that restaurants and/or hotels should be aware of?

DM: Disruption! The idea that the “old” rules don’t apply. Time to shake things up and make some changes. For example, guests are much more mobile. They want grab ‘n’ go options as well as health and wellness options. Guests no longer want to work in the hotel rooms, but have a space in the lobby to connect to WI-FI in an open and inviting environment.

LC: What other advice can you offer?

DM: We have had several members that have mentioned that community relations and charitable connections have made a huge difference in their business models and brands. Tijuana Flats and Firehouse of America both have charities that they incorporate into their marketing brand. They have ties to their communities that their patrons appreciate and it shows!

LC: What is the best way for people to contact the FRLA?

DM: FRLA is open 5 days a week from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM. Any of our staff can we reached by calling 850-224-2250. For additional information, visit www.FRLA.org. Stay in touch through our various social media channels on Twitter or Instagram @FRLANews, Facebook or YouTube.

 

Expert Interview – The True Value of Clean

This month I had the opportunity to interview Dan Wagner, Director of Facility Service Programs at ISSA and a 17-year veteran of the cleaning industry. ISSA is the preeminent association for the cleaning industry and Dade Paper has been a member for 35 years.

LC: You have been part of the ISSA team for many years. What roles have you held?

DW: I actually started my career as in-house counsel. I assisted members with their legal and regulatory compliance concerns in the areas of hazardous chemical handling and transportation, product registration and licensing and overall safety. When ISSA made the decision to become an all-industry association in 2005, they needed someone to head up our newly created department that is responsible for developing and managing programs for facility service provider members. Since then my responsibility has expanded to include all education, training, standards and certification programs which allows me to work with all segments of the industry, including manufacturers, distributors, building service contractors, in-house cleaning providers and facility managers. I now serve on ISSA’s senior executive team and it is my privilege to work with members and represent the industry throughout the world.

LC: Tell me about how ISSA supports the cleaning industry?

DW: ISSA recognizes that as the “Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association”, it our responsibility to represent the industry and develop tools and resources to help our members succeed. Many still immediately think of ISSA as a trade show company given the success of the ISSA/INTERCLEAN brand of shows. But the truth is that we are so much more and are extremely proud of the other benefits we provide members. Those range from education, training and certification programs to industry leading communication and media to industry benchmarking studies and tools that help our members promote the true value of the industry. And everything is based on our brand promise – to “change the way the world views cleaning.” Those of us who are in the industry understand that cleaning is properly viewed as an investment rather than a cost to be minimized but we need to deliver the message to those who make the decisions regarding setting specifications and cleaning budgets. After all, we are talking about an activity that has the potential to have a positive impact on human health, occupant productivity, sustainability, safety and facility asset preservation.

LC: What are the biggest industry changes you have seen in last 5-10 years?

DW: Well, in the supplier space, it all starts with dramatic changes in the makeup of the marketplace. We are witnessing a tremendous shrinkage of traditional “jan/san” suppliers while at the same time learning to deal with the introduction of new players, the so called disruptors. And these distruptors are forcing manufacturers and distributors to take a hard look at how they operate and the services they provide. It is simply no longer enough to try and offer the best price. Suppliers have to be prepared to serve their customers as true business partners, willing and capable of helping them on their core business. With regards to the service side of the industry, the pressure to do more with less continues to grow. Efficiency is the word of the day and service providers need to help customers understand the role they play in facility management excellence.

LC: What is the biggest challenge BSCs (Building Service Contractors) are having today?

DW: BSCs really need to explore ways to deliver a clean and healthy indoor environment while doing so at the lowest possible cost. While the number of customers who understand and appreciate that cleaning truly is an investment is growing thanks to the “true value of clean” message, the numbers of end users who will completely ignore cost is very limited. This is especially troublesome given that the industry is still littered with companies that do not operate as professionally as one would like and who may be willing to underbid accounts. So how do effectively managed companies who are capable of delivering a clean and healthy indoor environment in a cost effective manner set themselves apart in a crowded marketplace? How can they prove that they can be counted on when everyone says they are professional, including those who may not be?

LC: How can the BSCs approach that challenge?

DW: It certainly starts with the true value of clean message and helping customers understand the importance of making sure they receive a quality cleaning service. And then, once the customers “get it,” BSCs need to make sure they have the tools to demonstrate that they are a company that can deliver on their promises. Fortunately, there are programs that can help. BSCs can look for standards and third-party certification programs that enable them to prove that they are professional, customer-focused and committed to true excellence. For example, ISSA offers the Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) and CIMS-Green Building program which sets forth management and operational best practices in six areas – quality systems, service delivery, human resources, health and safety, management commitment and green cleaning – and offers third party validation of excellence. BSCs should also partner with an experienced, reputable distributor who can help with product and equipment selection as well as provide training and additional support.

LC: What other advice can you offer?

DW: The entire industry truly needs to come together to spread the “value of clean” message.  We all need to be committed to professionalism and to making sure cleaning is viewed in the proper light – as a key, strategic component of facility operations and the most crucial piece of the healthy indoor environment puzzle. Cleaning has been viewed as a cost to be minimized and little more than a line item on a budget for far too long and it is up to us to change the perception to better meet reality. But we must also be prepared to live up to our promises and hold ourselves to the highest standards.

LC: What is the best way for people to contact you or ISSA?

DW: Give us a call or send us an e-mail. Why, we even still have a working fax machine! The bottom line is that we are here to help the industry and ready to provide assistance to our members. After all, it is our responsibility as the association that represents the cleaning industry. I can personally be reached at 800-225-4772 or daniel@issa.com and my ISSA teammates are ready to help as well.

For those in Florida, I’ll be at Dade Paper’s Innovations Expo on September 9th in Orlando. ISSA’s booth number is 246. We’ll be joining your staff, supplier partners and customers for what is sure to be a productive and enjoyable day!

LC: That’s right! For anyone interested in attending, visit http://www.dadepaper.com for more details and online registration.

DW: Of course, everyone is also strongly encouraged to visit with ISSA at the annual ISSA/INTERCLEAN show which will be held this October 25-28 in Chicago. ISSA/INTERCLEAN is the undeniable can’t miss event of the year, featuring more than 60 education and training sessions, more than 700 exhibitors showcasing the latest innovations and unbeatable networking opportunities. Please visit http://www.issa.com/show to register! Trust me…you want to be there for all the show has to offer as well as to hopefully help cheer on the Cubs as they attempt to end their 108 year World Series championship drought!

LC: As a fellow Cubs fan, we can only hope that this year will put an end to the Curse of the Billy Goat! Thank you, Dan!

 

 

 

Expert Interview – Take-out Tips to Increase Restaurant Sales

Increased demand for meal delivery means big business for those restaurants that do it right! One often overlooked but critical aspect of a successful restaurant delivery or take-out program is the packaging. For this month’s Expert Interview I teamed up with Dade Paper Marketing Assistant, Kayley Holloway.  We spoke with Lynn Sosnowski, an Inside Sales Consultant with specialization in foodservice packaging. With almost 20 years of experience in helping customers source packaging for their restaurants and grocery stores, Lynn has a passion for finding the perfect solution every time. Lynn joined Dade Paper in early 2015 and currently serves customers in the Tri-State region.

LC: How big is the delivery and take-out market in the US?

LS: It is over $70 billion a year! And that number is expected to grow fueled by our “on-demand” culture. This includes food that is picked up by the customer, delivered by a restaurant employee and those orders that are placed via an online service and delivered by that same service.

KH: Delivery is really popular with Millennials, especially the online ordering services.

LS: That is correct. According to the National Restaurant Association, 80% of Millennials have meals delivered on a regular basis compared to 60% of other adult age groups.

LC: Why is packaging such an important element of a restaurant’s delivery and take-out program?

LS: Customers expect a restaurant-quality experience even if they are eating their meals at home or at their office. Operators will be much more successful in this competitive segment by investing in quality packaging and developing the right assembly process which protects the taste, temperature and appearance of their food. It only takes one bad experience for a customer to take their business elsewhere.

KH: What advice do you have for a restaurant manager that wants to improve their customers’ delivery or take-out experience?

LS:  This is what I recommend to my customers:

  • Separate hot and cold foods into their own containers to keep items at their proper temperature.
  • Choose your packaging based on your specific menu items. Use containers with various compartments to keep sides from mixing with entrées. Make sure your containers have a tight lid-fit to protect against leaking. Vented containers allow for steam to escape and help prevent food from becoming soggy. Microwavable containers are handy for customers who wish to reheat food.
  • Use the correct size container for each application. One size does not fit all! If the container is too large, the food will shift and could break apart. If the container is too small, the food will be crowded and will be prone to leak.
  • Choose the right ancillary items. Bags must allow for containers to stack neatly inside which will prevent tipping. The bags should also be the right weight and have sturdy handles that ensure safe carrying. Wrapped cutlery kits keep the cutlery and napkins sanitary. The correct soufflé cups will keep condiments, dressings and toppings intact.
  • Brand your packaging. By adding your logo to containers, bags, cups and napkins you reinforce your brand. Also include your phone number, website and social media information so customers can connect with you.

LC: Are there any other trends that should be considered?

LS:  Yes, consider environmentally-preferable packaging and supplies. Many customers are interested in sustainability and patronize like-minded establishments. However, there is a lot of confusion about what types of packaging items are truly more sustainable.

LC: Absolutely. One issue I often see is the use of compostable packaging where no composting facilities exist. If the packaging ends up in a landfill that “compostable” attribute is no longer advantageous.  Hopefully there will be more commercial composting facilities available in the future which would allow those items to be diverted from the landfill.

LS:  That is why I recommend choosing containers made from PETE, Resin ID Code 1.  That type of plastic is the most commonly recycled in both residential and commercial recycling programs. There are also containers made from recycled resin or recycled pulp material.

LS: In summary, an experienced supplier partner will be able to design a packaging program around a restaurant’s menu, brand image, budget and any other specific business requirements. That is what we do and why I enjoy my job so much. I have always felt pride and gratification in knowing that a customer’s needs have been satisfied and that they are happy with the end result.  I do not rest until that is accomplished.

Lynn is available to consult with restaurateurs about their take-out packaging program. She can be reached at lsosnowski@dadepaper.com.

 

Expert Interview – Creating a Safety Culture

Safety matters! No matter the company size or industry, from hotels to office buildings, employers who show they care about the safety of their employees see improved morale, increased productivity, lower costs and, most importantly, fewer injuries. For this month’s Expert Interview I spoke to Ken Morris, Dade Paper’s Corporate Director of Safety. Ken has 30 years’ experience in workplace safety including positions as driver trainer, fleet manager and workplace safety consultant. In 2008 Ken joined Dade Paper and oversees all aspects of the company’s comprehensive safety program.

LC: Why is a formal safety program important for all businesses?

KM: Formal safety programs lay the ground work and set the basic directions for the workplace. Without them, there are no markers for the path. People often say that the OSHA standards or the Federal Motor Carrier regulations are all a company needs…after all they are the laws of the land, but they are only the bare minimum. In today’s workplace, we require more robust frameworks for a continually evolving work environment. Formal safety practices give stability to address changing needs of the workplace.

LC: What has changed over the last few years as far as safety programs?

KM: There has been huge shift in the philosophical view of safety in the workplace. In the past, safety has been perceived as a separate facet of the operation with different goals and agenda. Now safety is viewed as an integral part of the everyday process. Simply put, safety must be incorporated and managed just like any other part of our business.

LC: What changes do you see coming in the next few years?

KM: Technology, technology and more technology is an ongoing trend. Ninety-three percent of all accidents involve human error. The developing safety technologies work with humans to help identify hazards and prevent “mistakes” from happening and help mitigate the effects when an accident cannot be avoided. A good example of this is our current project with the company’s commercial motor vehicles. We are currently installing two high-tech devices in all of our trucks. The first device, called Mobileye, is basically an early-warning system that alerts our drivers to potentially dangerous traffic conditions, giving them time to avoid accidents. The second device, SmartDrive, is a video event recorder that is triggered by actions such as harsh braking, lane departures, following too closely and impacts. It records both the scene in front of the truck and the driver simultaneously. These recorded events are reviewed and used, if needed, to coach the driver much like a pro sport team reviewing game films. These two devices work together to protect our drivers and the public on the roadway. The ultimate goal is using technology to make a safer driver.

LC: What advice can you give a company that is creating a safety program for the first time?

KM: It is easy to put a safety program into writing, but much harder to make it work in the real world. You must have commitment from ALL levels to make it successful. Personal responsibility and accountability is hugely important and you must be consistent in the message you are sending your employees. Many workplace accidents occur when people are trying to get a job done quickly, or feel like there is pressure to produce, and they short-cut safety procedures. If this happens, the message was not understood or taken seriously. Safety is a basic function of all work and an integral part of everyday processes.

LC: What advice can you give a company that wants to improve their existing safety program?

KM: Safety in the workplace is daunting proposition. The risks are always evolving, so the safety program must be vigilant. Never assume that doing the same thing in regard to safety over the last 5, 10, or 15 years is enough. Always access the situations and be open to new ways of controlling risks.

LC: Any other thoughts on workplace safety?

KM: Safety is always a challenge. By definition, accidents are undesirable or unfortunate happenings that occurs unintentionally and usually result in harm, injury, damage, or loss. Our safety programs must try to anticipate the unintentional, control the undesirable and mitigate the unfortunate in a dynamic fast-paced and ever-changing work environment. We must create and nurture a SAFETY CULTURE. To do this, every person must practice safety as a routine function that takes precedence over every other task in the workplace. Every person, at every level, CANNOT accept anything less than safe work practices from every other person. That is what defines a safety culture. A safety culture in the workplace promotes personal responsibility for safety, and fosters, by its very nature a safe environment for everyone.

For helpful safety resources visit the National Safety Council’s website www.nsc.org.