At Innovize, our vision is not just to create excellent products and provide world-class service, but to prioritize the safety of our associates. Our relentless focus on maintaining a safe working environment has paid off remarkably, earning us a coveted Governors Outstanding Achievement Award for our exceptional occupational safety record.
Over the last three years, we’ve consistently recorded a Recordable Injury Rate (RIR) that falls below the industry average of 2.2. This achievement didn’t happen overnight but is the culmination of focused, continuous efforts to improve safety measures and sustain them.
The criteria for the Governors Outstanding Achievement Award are stringent, requiring continuous improvement or an outstanding record for the last three years. The DART (Days Away, Restrictions, and Transfers) and Incidence Rate must be between 51-90% better than the average for your industry classification. Further, companies must also score between 75 and 90 on the Safety Program Evaluation Scorecard.
In a recent interview, our Warehouse Manager and a pivotal member of our Safety Team, Mike Willett, shared insights on the accomplishment and the journey leading to it.
“Innovize achieved this milestone by consistently staying below the RIR industry average for three consecutive years. This feat is significant given the struggles we had with safety in the past,” Willett said.
Our path to success was marked by significant changes and improvements in our safety procedures. The implementation of one of our customer’s products, for instance, dramatically reduced an ergonomic wrist injury from 29 to 9, marking a 69% injury decrease. This achievement was made possible by purchasing a fabric mallet and increasing the number of sheets of the product produced at a time from 6 to 16.
Similarly, relocating embossing equipment inside one of our clean rooms helped reduce shoulder, elbow, wrist, and hand pain associated with smoothing out a packaging pouch prior to vacuum sealing. This initiative effectively eliminated all hyperextension ergonomic risk.
A pivotal year for Innovize was 2019. Our progress that year was credited to the implementation of an ergonomic program called Humantech and the refocusing of our safety team priorities. We expanded the safety team to include more members across the company. By 2020, we successfully managed to get below the industry average.
Innovize’s journey to improved safety is a collective achievement. Every member of our company, especially our dedicated safety team, played an integral role in reaching this milestone.
Looking to the future, Willett emphasizes the need for continuous vigilance. “Safety is paramount. We aim to remind associates through events, drills, emails, meetings, and flyers about its importance.”
When asked about his favorite part of being on the safety team, Willett highlighted the collaborative spirit of the group.
“None of this is possible without our Safety Team driving these activities amongst associates across all teams,” he said. “I want to extend a huge thank you to Tom Murray, Roxanne Thayer, Kevin Struntz, Krystal Dunn, Kris Gallipo, Tristan Klancke, Michaela Klancke, Chris Helmick, Connie Bernier, Sy Yang, Brady Pardington, Jason Doyle, Ia Yang, Jason Phillips, Kevin Kohnen, and Jim Maloney.”
Innovize’s story of safety improvement is a testament to the power of dedicated teamwork, continuous innovation, and an unwavering commitment to ensuring the well-being of our associates. With this award as a catalyst, we will continue to drive our safety performance forward, aiming always to create a safer, healthier working environment.