(WAUPACA, WI) April 2, 2018 — Waupaca Foundry, Inc., a Hitachi Metals group company, is partnering with the Appleton area office of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and several state-based foundries to better identify risk in the workplace for both employers and workers. Seven Wisconsin foundries and three unions joined with OSHA to sign the Northeast Wisconsin Risk Reduction Partnership on March 28, 2018 on the Campus of Fox Valley Technical College.
"By working collaboratively and sharing best practices, we will ensure all parties are on a road to continual improvement in reducing risk," said Robert Bonack OSHA's area director in Appleton. "Our ultimate goal is for all workers to go home safely every night."
Under the agreement, participating organizations will determine a hierarchy of risk-reduction solutions with an overall goal of preventing work-related fatalities, eliminating serious workplace hazards, and establishing a foundation for the development of an effective health and safety management system. Each participating company will set their individual goals based on the 2017 history of OSHA recordable incidents and share results. Partners will also ensure workers have a process in place to report potential risk and stop work if necessary. OSHA will provide educational opportunities and resources to assist partner organizations in identifying and reducing risk.
"Waupaca Foundry has always had an effective risk management plan and our low rate of injury proves it," said, Jon Loken, Safety Manager. "However we are continually competing for qualified employees in a tight job market and every effort we make to improve worker safety helps us attract great team members."
Participants developed the agreement jointly with a common objective to identify risk related to foundry operations, and implement measures to eliminate and/or reduce the risk rather than reactively reviewing past measures. Lagging indicators such as injury rates, days away from work, or restricted activity measures have been critical in the past to assessing risk in the workplace. Participating organizations focused on sharing combined expertise and knowledge to further promote safety.
The participating organizations include: Alliance Industries, Eck Industries, Mercury Marine-Division of Brunswick Corp., Neenah Foundry Company, Roloff Manufacturing Corporation, Waupaca Foundry, Inc. (Wisconsin locations: Waupaca & Marinette), and Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry Co.
Additional voluntary participants in this partnership agreement are: Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics & Allied Workers (GMP), International Association of Machinist, and United Steelworkers of America.