Collaboration Shows Commitment to Safe Workplaces, Communities, Products
WASHINGTON – Lead battery manufacturers, recyclers and industry suppliers have partnered with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to help celebrate Safe + Sound Week, August 13 – 19. More than 200 organizations and businesses nationwide have united to promote OSHA’s second annual event that emphasizes the importance of workplace safety and health programs.
Kevin Moran, executive vice president of Battery Council International (BCI), says his industry is happy to join OSHA’s efforts and further highlight the importance of safety within the lead battery industry every day.
“The lead battery industry has more than 20,000 employees across North America. We want to ensure that everyone leaves the work day safe and healthy,” Moran said. “At BCI, we’ve seen an enthusiastic response to Safe plus Sound Week among our member companies who are creating engaging employee activities that emphasize safety.”
Reinforcing An Impressive Safety Record
The lead battery industry is already one of the most highly regulated industries in the U.S. and is subject to strict air and water release limits to protect human health. Innovation in manufacturing is also revolutionizing efficiency and worker safety, which extends to safety in the community and the environment. For example, lead batteries are recycled at the highest recycling rate of all consumer products – 99.3 percent. From design through recycling and re-use, the circular economy of lead batteries greatly reduces their environmental footprint.
Examples from Participating Companies
Among the companies that will participate in Safe + Sound Week are Exide Technologies, The Doe Run Company, East Penn Manufacturing and Club Assist.
Dan Nicholls is director of Environmental, Health & Safety (EHS) for Georgia-based Exide Technologies. He says that close to 3,000 employees across the company’s 24 North America locations, including corporate headquarters, will use the week to get employees involved, show that leadership is committed, and identify potential hazards.
“This year we’re concentrating on internal participation and communication for Safe + Sound Week. But we’re looking forward to future opportunities to host a community event or partner with other manufacturers in the area.”
Doe Run owns and operates Buick Resource Recycling facility in Boss, Mo. Anthony Staley, the facility’s general manager, will host a “Lunch with the GM” with select employees to more deeply discuss the safety committee’s efforts and recent achievements. The committee will also roll out a safety competition titled, “Safe & Sound September SLAM,” (Stop, Look, Analyze and Manage) to encourage employees to spot potential hazards, determine the best way to address them, and manage potential hazards to eliminate or minimize them.
At East Penn Manufacturing, the Berks County, Penn., facilities will recognize employees who exhibit safe work practices and suggest ways to enhance processes and promote daily safe work practices. Those employees selected by each of the company’s safety committees will have their photos displayed on the video boards in each lunchroom, along with the recognized practice. In addition to the employee, the safety committee member or health and safety employee who recommended that employee will be recognized.
Club Assist North America is known for its mobile automotive services in battery supply and replacement and glass repair and replacement. It has found an innovative approach to make safety programs more interactive and accessible to its 200-plus geographically dispersed workforce. Earlier this year, the company’s safety manager launched a podcast that employees can download and listen to when and where convenient. Company statistics show employees are listening to the entire podcast.
Educational Blog Posts, Too
Throughout Safe + Sound Week 2018, BCI, through its Essential Energy Everyday initiative, will also feature a series of blog posts related to raising event awareness. The posts share stories of how companies are participating, with the hope to inspire all industries to make safety their top priority.
Battery Council International is the North American trade association representing lead based-battery manufacturers, suppliers, recyclers, and distribution companies – a total of approximately 250 companies and 20,000 employees. For more information on the association, visit batterycouncil.org.
Essential Energy Everyday exists to increase awareness of the critical importance of lead batteries in powering our daily lives. It encourages continued investment in sustainable lead battery technology to store and provide energy on demand. Its initiative is supported by the two global trade associations that represent the lead battery and lead industries, Battery Council International and the International Lead Association.
Safe + Sound Week, August 13-19, 2018, is a nation-wide event to raise awareness and understanding of the value of safety and health programs that include management leadership, worker participation, and a systematic approach to finding and fixing hazards.