As a leader in the advancement of die casting in North America, RCM Industries recognizes the importance of providing a safe working environment for employees as well as guests.
In recent years, all RCM divisions have been awarded NADCA safety awards as a result of their emphasis on employee safety and well-being. These prestigious awards are presented annually at the NADCA Die Casting Congress & Tabletop Conference.
RCM Industries is proud of its employees and their ongoing efforts towards providing a safe working environment for all. Please see below for more detailed information on our recent efforts and achievements:
DRIVE 4 ZERO – Recognizing National Safety Month
On the safety side, DRIVE 4 ZERO is a behavioral based safety program that focuses on both personal and group safety organized toward the prevention of accidents or incidents before they can occur. The program encourages employees to identify potential issues that are to be corrected before they can become accidents or incidents.
We are all directly responsible for our individual safety as well as the safety of our team. It not a slogan that we just read or place on a banner, it is part of daily efforts and constantly at the forefront of our minds and part of our plants’ culture.
Safety Efforts and Achievements
As part of the lean manufacturing initiative currently underway at RCM Industries, safety gains equal footing with quality and production.
A corporate safety training video was produced to assist with new employee training before entering the production plant. All employees, contractors, and visitors are required to view the video before entering the plant.
During school breaks, Interns are instrumental in assisting with various safety projects. Areas of focus included metal handler safety, new hire orientations, management of safety action items, MSDS administration and emergency action planning.
Personal protective equipment has been upgraded and best practices have been revised and implemented. An example is in metal handling activities. Best practices include the addition of flashing strobe lights to the bull ladles transporting molten aluminum from the furnace area to the die cast machines, in addition to flashing strobe lights being added to the furnace rooms to clearly communicate when activities are occurring.
Blue strobe lights have been installed to forklifts to alert the surrounding environment of an oncoming vehicle, thus preventing the risk of an accident occurring. By increasing the visibility of the forklift, workers can better see approaching traffic. The unit casts a concentrated beam of blue light just a few feet ahead of the load.
Allowing safe access to elevated areas is an important part of a safe operation. Maintenance workers and set-up workers often need access to portions of equipment that are not easily reached with ladders or even aerial lifts. This calls for use of safety harnesses and engineered anchor point. Utilizing state-of-the-art mobile tethers workers can safely attach themselves while performing elevated work.
Specified pedestrian walkways have been established to help maintain a separation between forklift traffic and plant personnel. In the most traffic areas, barriers have been erected to further safeguard pedestrians, especially those entering and exiting offices.
Improved safety has been achieved by installing perimeter machine guarding that restricts access into the moving portion of the Die Cast machine and ancillary equipment. Interlocked gates allow controlled access for routine process checks. Sensors ensure that safety shields are in place before the machine cycles. By configuring the entire operation into a work cell of interrelated components, entry into the machine is limited to designated “safe entry” locations.
Lockout/tagout is a safety procedure used to control hazardous energy. For the protection of employees, red locks and tags are provided with employee names and pictures to identify they are working on hazardous machinery.
Safety Data Sheets, or SDS are located throughout the manufacturing plant for easy access to employees working with hazardous materials. SDS for all chemicals is required on-site prior to the start of work.
For the first 30 days of employment, new hires are required to wear an orange safety vest in the plant. This allows co-workers to easily provide guidance as employees become acquainted with the die casting environment.
Computer-based safety checklists provide assurance that each worker confirms the safe operation of their machine prior to start-up. Operator-specific log in confirms time and date of inspection. Management can easily access screens that identify by shift where non-conformances are occurring.