Even in the Midst of a Pandemic, We Are Safe and Sound

The end of August signaled the end of Safe and Sound week for the PRINTING United Alliance membership. Officially, Safe and Sound Week is a campaign held each August by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to recognize the successes of workplace health and safety programs. It is a nationwide voluntary event that includes more than 3,000 businesses and organizations. 

During Safe and Sound Week, we asked companies to participate in our very own form of OSHA’s 3 in 30 Program. This voluntary program had companies undertake three safety-related actions in 30 days. These actions included holding safety meetings, attending webinars, posting safety posters and other warning signs, as well as conducting safety audits. Those companies that completed the program were provided with a certificate and virtual badge that they can post on their website, share through social media, and hang in a very conspicuous location in their facility.

Our program asked participants to focus on four topic areas: lockout/tag-out and machine guarding, emergency action plans, personal protective equipment and safe dress practices, and first aid programs. We provided resources for the participants to use for their program. And — most impressively — even while working through the pandemic, our member companies took up the safety banner!

For example, Graphics Output in Fort Wayne, Ind., implemented many of the suggestions  provided by PRINTING United Alliance. Posters on lockout/tag-out were hung, labels for safe use of equipment were created and placed, and employee amputation prevention handbooks were distributed. Upon reading the employer's guide to the amputation workbook, the company's production manager said, “I learned that no matter how safe and proactive we as a business think we are, there is always much more that we need to do for the safety of our employees.”  

Mariah Lewis, Graphics Output's safety committee head, also shared, "The guides and provided materials from PRINTING United Alliance really helped us to focus management in on actually completing safety tasks, rather than going back and forth on which issues we were going to address. Their weekly suggestions streamlined the entire process, and we accomplished many more than the three objectives during Safe and Sound week alone, not to mention the remaining action items we completed during the rest of the 3 in 30 time period. Our employees have mentioned to management that Safe and Sound week really got our safety momentum going, and we agree — nor do we plan to stop improving anytime soon!" 

Another successful recipient, Signcraft Screenprint in Galenia, Ill., stepped up with implementation of its programs for bloodborne pathogens, accident reporting and prevention, hearing conservation program training, as well as lockout/tag-out program training for all employees. Safety posters provided by PRINTING United Alliance can also now be seen in this facility.

Tapecon in Buffalo, N.Y., initiated a new program in its facility called “Find it and Fix it.”  This included training for both its safety team as well as a company-wide training program. The company also started to hold supervisor safety meetings.

Image Options in Foothill Ranch, Calif., conducted several safety trainings on electrical guarding safety, and continued to hold toolbox training sessions on prevention of pushing and pulling injuries. And, it held a practice fire drill to reinforce emergency evacuations (which I'm hoping occurred on a nice day!). Key to the company's successful program is the ability to highlight and identify and readily correct issues. That is a commitment to safety.

The first to be awarded its Safe and Sound Week certificate, Bind Tech LLC in Nashville, Tenn., worked to hold safety meetings. It also posted the Alliance’s posters on safe dress in the workplace in addition to other safety posters provided by the association. 
Congratulations to all of these companies who, in the midst of working to establish a “new normal,” kept a strong focus on safety in the workplace.  

To learn more about PRINTING United's Alliance's safety and health programs and competitions, visit sgia.org or contact govtaffairs@printing.org.

Marci Kinter is the VP – government and regulatory affairs for PRINTING United Alliance. She oversees the development of management resources for the association and represents the printing industry, as well as its associated supplier base, before federal and state regulatory agencies and the U.S. Congress on environmental, safety, and other government issues directly impacting the industry