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Let’s Box & Roll

A Paperboard and Packaging Blog
by PaperWorks

What it Means to Care

June 2024 – By Dr. B. Webb

safety first image

According to Occupational Safety and Health Magazine,1 OSHA disclosed partial figures from over 850,000 instances of injuries and illness submitted to the OSHA injury tracker for 2023. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that in 2021,2 there were over twenty-five million emergency room visits for unintentional injuries. This report includes workplace injuries and injuries that occur at home. 

If you are in the Environmental Safety and Health occupation, I am sure you have often heard that most injuries are preventable. How many times have you witnessed someone using a chair as a ladder, or using a knife as a screwdriver, only to witness that person becoming injured? One can look on the internet and find a plethora of stories just like these and the witness admits they should have spoken up. “Gosh, I could have prevented this from happening if I had just spoken up!” 

This is also true with any company one works in their career. Does that company care enough to ensure your safety? At what level do they care? Safety starts from the top and the culture is produced from the actions of the executive team. 

For instance, PaperWorks has a Purpose, Vision, and Values that are part of our journey to become a Great Place to Work. The purpose is “With your trust, we deliver positive experiences and innovative solutions.” The vision is “To be the brand for brands.” The values are the most important to one’s safety and state those values as “Safety, transparency, and community.”

Safety is the most important aspect of ensuring each person goes home from work the same way they entered. What does that mean? Each person has a right to shut down a machine or process when there is a safety issue observed. Encourage team members to speak up when they see an unsafe act or condition, without repercussions. The goal is to correct unsafe acts and conditions before they become injuries, not to use the information as a vehicle for discipline.  It is a team focus. 

You won’t find employees at PaperWorks locations. Here, we don’t see people as just numbers or employees. They are team members, and those team members are moms, dads, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, and partners who deserve to leave just as they entered. If being safe means a task takes a bit longer, so be it. Take the time to do it right and go home safe. Just think of how many people are counting on you to return home safely. When you notice an unsafe act, speak up – others have families counting on them too.


1OSHA Releases 2024 Workplace Injury, Illness Data

2 CDC National Center for Health Statistics

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