Hysco hits milestone

Published 4:27 pm Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Justin Hanson has been wearing a smile for three weeks.

As site safety manager at Hyundai Hysco America, he is just part of a larger team that has worked to reach a milestone within the company.

As of August of this year, Hysco has gone one year without having a recordable injury.

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OSHA, or Occupational Safety and Healthy Administration, classifies certain types of injuries as recordable.

“What an OSHA recordable is the Department of Labor classifies injuries such as somebody having a broken bone, getting stitches, receiving a certain amount of medical attention, such as say, you go and you have a pulled muscle and they give you a painkiller,” Hanson said.

Meeting this one-year mark has not been a common occurrence for the company.

Back in 2009, the company was seeing as many as 28 recordable injuries a year.

“In 2010, we saw a slight drop off with 10 recordables,” Hanson said. “In 2011, we had five, and this year from August 2011-12 we had zero, which in industry, not only for our industry in automotive, but any industry, is a major achievement especially with where we are coming from a few short years ago.”

Since June of 2010, Hysco implemented an incentive program for team members to help accomplish this one-year mark.

“Every three months employees go without having an injury, they get paid for it,” Hanson said. “It’s progressive. It starts off small at $25. That was our first milestone, and that’s going three months without a recordable injury. Once we got to that point, I saw a lot of enthusiasm of people saying, ‘Hey when is our next milestone?’”

Six months into having no recordable injuries, team members were rewarded with a cookout and a $50 present.

“Obviously, we’re literally paying our employees to be safe,” Hanson said. “We just maxed out on the program. It was $200 that they just received Friday for going that year without a recordable. We’re trying to show our employees that it literally pays to be safe.”

However, Hanson said it is not just the incentive program that has helped with cutting down on the injuries.

Hysco has seen several improvements from a safety standpoint in machinery and resources.

“I’m not just saying the safety incentives are the only thing that has contributed to this,” Hanson said. “There is a lot of hard work and a lot of time from senior management from President Lee on down to the individual employees on the plant floor. People are changing their work habits, utilizing the tools that we’re giving them and we’ve beefed up training.”

Along with having no recordable injuries for one year, the company has almost gone two years without a “lost working day,” which is where an employee is injured so badly that he or she is forced to miss work.

“I feel like we have reached several major milestones, and we have a lot of momentum behind our program,” Hanson said. “It has been energizing, and employees are excited.”