Culture of Safety
A Letter from Geoff Gilmore, Chief Operating Officer
June is an important month for us here at Worthington Industries. It’s our Company’s birthday (66 years strong!) and the start of our fiscal year. And, it’s National Safety Month! As we close out the month, I want to share with you how we make safety a priority every day.
Safety is one of the key pillars of what we believe in. It’s right there in Our Philosophy: We are dedicated to the belief that our people are our most important asset. We want our employees to feel safe and comfortable when they come to work, which is why over the course of our safety evolution, the goal has always been the same – Zero injuries. This year, we got even closer to that.
I am immensely proud to report that in our fiscal year 2021, we achieved a recordable injury rate of 1.45. The team continues to drive this number down, and I am beyond proud of the efforts our employees made, especially in the face of the additional health and safety protocols amid the pandemic. In an industry that benchmarks a recordable rate of approximately 5 or 6, we are excelling.
Like any form of work that requires heavy machinery, there can be some level of risk on the job, but the culture of safety we have fostered makes the difference. At Worthington, our incident rates have steadily improved because of buy-in at all levels of the Company, from the top leadership to the newest person on the shop floor. From a leadership perspective, it’s a willingness to invest in the time, training and equipment necessary to give our employees the best tools to succeed. On the production side, it’s a commitment to the procedures we implement, and a collective drive to make each other better every day.
That shared mission has resulted in a culture of trust. Our people are encouraged from day one to report not only incidents, but also the near misses and opportunities for improvement. We constantly analyze what is happening in our facilities so that we can proactively address potential issues before they become real problems. It’s about getting to the root causes, and training people to recognize when a situation might lead to risk before a problem occurs. And whether it’s a facility that has been in the Worthington family for 30 years, or a newly acquired team, the focus on continuous improvement is the same.
As we look to the future, our goal is to hit zero and stay there. We know that this will require continuous improvement, including investing in new technology and finding even better ways to train our people on the floor. At the end of the day, we will always put employee safety first. Please join me in congratulating our Worthington family on an excellent year of safety.
Chief Operating Officer