||Region III, PA.; Towanda, Pennsylvania facility
|VPP Site Approval Date:
||1994 – Merit
approval; 1996 – Star approval; 2004 – Star recertification.
||Other wood products
(NAICS Code 321999, SIC Code 2499)
Producer of: CraftMaster Door
Designs®, MiraTEC®, and Extira®
Success with VPP: Management Leadership and Employee Involvement
VPP sites must demonstrate a high degree of management support and employee
involvement before being approved as a VPP Star participant. But these elements
must be continuously improved if the site is to be recertified as a Star
participant, which occurs every three to five years. At CraftMaster
Manufacturing, Inc. (CMI), management and employees take this responsibility
seriously, and their actions are an example of how an exemplary safety and
health management system operates. Employee input and feedback is encouraged
through empowerment, so safety and health deficiencies are identified and
corrected as they arise. Employees are involved in safety and health teams and
inspections. New equipment and processes are analyzed in an effort to avoid
injuries and illnesses. The result of this empowerment and involvement is that
employees, along with management, are successful in their efforts to
continuously improve the safety and health environment. Also, this involvement
increases feelings of ownership of and commitment to the overall safety process
at the facility.
CMI Vice President and Mill Manager Robert Andzulis states, "Our employees
continue their efforts on a daily basis to maintain a safe working environment
at the mill while producing quality products. It takes a lot of commitment to
achieve this endeavor."
In part because of employee involvement in safety and health, the site has
maintained a three-year (2001- 03) total recordable case incidence rate (TCIR)
of 1.3 and a days away, restricted or transferred rate (DART) of 0.7. These
rates are respectively 85 and 83 percent below the corresponding national
average rates for SIC Code 2499. During October 2004, the facility surpassed 9
million hours without a lost workday injury.
"As a result of VPP participation, our site has a comprehensive safety and
health management system that has consistently improved over the years with
emphasis on the total involvement of both management and our employees. Through
the efforts of all employees, the facility has continued to experience injury
and illness rates well below the industry average," said Safety Advisor Joe
Some examples of CMI’s employee involvement include:
The Behavior Observation Program
After using a checklist approach for employee safety observations for many
years, in 2002 a new behavior-based observation program was initiated to improve
the existing program. Under the new program, observations are conducted during
upset conditions, equipment startups and shutdowns, and scheduled maintenance
downtime. These are the times when accidents are more likely to happen. A new
safe behavior audit form was developed. The audit includes 10 safety-related
behaviors for observation and requires a written description of the feedback
provided to the employee being observed. Subsequently, the feedback descriptions
are used at safety meetings to discuss at-risk behaviors. During 2002-03, 232
employees were trained in this new program, and by the end of 2004, all
operating employees had participated in the new program. The program has been
well received and is providing quality feedback compared with the old checklist
The Hazard Reporting System
At CMI, employees have many avenues available to them for reporting safety and
health items, including the Safety Work Order System, the Near Miss Reporting
Program, the Suggestion Form Program and direct notification of any member of a
safety and health team or CMI management. This system was implemented to
encourage employee input and feedback, and to identify and correct safety and
health deficiencies as they arise.
Under the Safety Work Order System, any employee can submit a work order request
if an unsafe condition is identified. The request is forwarded to the
maintenance department and tracked until the unsafe condition is eliminated.
During 2003, 168 safety work orders were submitted with only two carried over
into January 2004.
The Near Miss Program allows employees to report unsafe conditions or acts
without reprisal. The near miss forms are forwarded to the department advisor
for immediate action and then go to the Safety Department for tracking. During
2003, 21 near misses were reported, investigated, and addressed. This program
was developed after feedback from employees indicated that an anonymous
reporting system would improve the safety and health environment.
To evaluate new equipment and processes to address potential safety and health
hazards prior to installation, a Capital Investment Proposal (CIP) process is
used. After the project CIP is prepared and approved by engineering and facility
managers, safety and health teams such as Safety, Health and Industrial Hygiene;
Safety Compliance; and MSDS Review and Ergonomics conduct an analysis of
potential hazards. Employees are involved in these safety and health teams.
Behavior Job Analyses are developed and reviewed with operating personnel.
During 2004, the pre-use analysis was utilized to evaluate a new coating line
prior to its installation.
Source and Date: Joseph Ritsko, Safety Advisor, CraftMaster Manufacturing, Inc.