Every company wants to have — at least I sure hope they want to have — a long safety record for its employees.
So when custom injection molder D&M Plastics LLC of Burlington, Ill., hit a streak of 1,000 consecutive days without a lost-time accident, that was something worth celebrating. Hitting 1,500 days was remarkable.
Now it is marking 2,000 consecutive days, which seems impossible to top, if it weren't for the fact that D&M is in the process of topping that with every new day.
"We're very proud of each of our team members who focus on safe outcomes every single day, and have helped us reach this milestone," CEO and President Chip Owen said in a news release. "Safety is critically important at D&M. It helps us provide a great work environment for our employees, and the best possible quality and products for our customers."
For those of you trying to figure out how far back that 2,000 days takes D&M, the streak began about five-and-a-half years ago.
In 2017 when Editor Don Loepp visited the company, Owens talked about how the safety message was built into D&M's structure. Every shift begins with a team meeting where workers first talk about safety, then share ideas for process improvements that can save time and money.
Upgrading safety helmets
An Oregon company that has already found success with developing a new energy absorber for bicycle helmets is about to launch safety helmets with the same material.
While there have been many improvements to bike helmets over the years, they traditionally have relied on some type of foam inner layer between the outer hard plastic and a cyclist's head.
WaveCel, a Wilson, Ore.-based company, instead uses a flexible plastic honeycomb grid that collapses and moves to take the impact and spread it out and away from the head. The company hasn't said exactly what the material is, but told Fast Company that it was 15 years in the making and is produced in the U.S.
WaveCel's material has been used in helmets made by the bike company Trek since 2019 and hard hats with it begin shipping in May.