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Shoeneck Containers’ Passion for Safety


Company: Shoeneck Containers Inc.

Location: New Berlin, Wisconsin

NAICS Code: 326199, Plastic Product Manufacturing

Employees: 250

Back row  L to R: Rob Jackson, Adan Silva, Scott Mertins, Rob Hilsenbeck; Front row L to R: Cesar Arenas, Arturo Mendoza, Jackeline Celis, Jesus Rivas

Back row L to R: Rob Jackson, Adan Silva, Scott Mertins, Rob Hilsenbeck; Front row L to R: Cesar Arenas, Arturo Mendoza, Jackeline Celis, Jesus Rivas

Company Description:

Schoeneck Containers, Inc. (SCI), supplies plastic containers for diverse consumer and commercial markets throughout the world. Since its inception in 1972, SCI continues to grow as a supplier of containers for food, beverage, personal care, household, and industrial products.

The Situation:

In 2000, SCI knew that a big change was needed to improve safety for its employees and the company as a whole, so its first safety professional was hired, and the company started to implement new safety measures. The safety committee consisted of people who were passionate and active about safety measures in the workplace. Some of the positive changes implemented included the hazard identification programs, engineering controls review processes, and weekly safety talks. SCI made quick and impactful improvements, but the company wanted to take their safety culture to the next level.

The Solution:

In 2003, the safety facilitator contacted the Wisconsin Safety and Health Consultation Program (WisCon) for help improving the company’s work-related safety and health activities. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA), On-site Consultation Program, offers free and confidential safety and occupational health advice to small and medium-sized businesses in all states across the country and in several territories, with priority given to high-hazard worksites. On-site Consultation services are separate from enforcement and do not result in penalties or citations. Consultants from state agencies or universities work with employers to identify workplace hazards, provide advice on compliance with OSHA standards, and assist in establishing injury and illness prevention programs.

Two expert consultants from the state of Wisconsin conducted a walkthrough of the New Berlin facility. They worked with SCI to reduce the noise level through engineering solutions and updated the lockout/tagout program. The consultants also evaluated the managers’ roles and responsibilities in relation to safety practices. They wanted the safety program as a whole to work for the betterment of all SCI’s employees. Knowledge from the consultants, based on years of experience and training, in addition to best practices from countless other companies that the consultants visited were priceless to SCI. The WisCon consultants showed SCI areas for improvements, which gave the company the confidence that it was on the right safety track with the programs and other systems that were implemented.

The Impact:

In 2004, SCI was honored with inclusion into the OSHA Safety and Health Recognition Program (SHARP), and the company has consistently renewed and maintained its participation in this program. SHARP recognizes small business employers who have used OSHA On-site Consultation services and operate an exemplary injury and illness prevention program. SCI and WisCon have had a great partnership. SCI has implemented effective safety measures that were shared with them and that they can share with others.

Through the years of working with the OSHA On-site Consultation Program, SCI has seen their injuries rate drop 90 percent. At the same time, SCI has almost doubled the size of its company. “On-Site Consultation works with small businesses to make them the best businesses whether they are looking to start a safety program, improve an existing program, or simply give a program a new target or goal to achieve SHARP status,” said Shoeneck’s Safety Facilitator, Rob Jackson. SCI strongly encourages other businesses to look into the OSHA On-site Consultation Program.

Additional information about OSHA’s On-site Consultation Program and other small business resources is available at www.osha.gov or 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).

Source: Rob Jackson, Safety Facilitator, Schoeneck Containers Inc.

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