The Rockline Industries plant in Springdale has attained 11 million safe work hours without a lost time accident, and only a handful of companies have achieved the milestone, according to a news release.
The Sheboygan, Wis.-based manufacturer of coffee filters and wet wipes announced Thursday (Sept. 26) the Arkansas Department of Labor recognized the plant with a safety award.
“Our associates go that extra mile every day to prevent safety incidents,” said Mark Fougerousse, environmental health and safety manager of Rockline Industries — Northwest Arkansas. “Their commitment to workplace safety is the reason we have been able to reach this milestone, and we truly appreciate the dedication of every individual to make our work environment as safe as possible.”
Rockline employees receive training to prevent possible safety risks and look out for potential safety hazards, the news release shows. Employees who find possible safety risks report them to ensure they are corrected.
“We have an incredible group of dedicated employees who believe that reaching the goal of zero injuries is possible,” said Joel Slank, general manager for the Springdale plant. “Receiving this safety award is very nice, but what is most satisfying is the knowledge that our employees strive to ensure that our company is a safe place to work.”
The Safe Work Program started in 1976 and is part of the Arkansas Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Division education effort to encourage workplace safety by honoring companies whose employees have accumulated a significant number of work hours without a lost day away from work as a result of a work-related injury or illness.
Rockline has more than 2,500 employees worldwide and manufacturing plants in Wisconsin, Arkansas, New Jersey, Tennessee, England and South China.
The number of fatal work injuries in the private manufacturing industry declined 28% to 303 in 2017, from 420 in 2003, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Between 2003 and 2017, industry workers had a total of 5,480 fatal injuries. The highest number of the injuries was 463 in 2004.
Since then, the number and rate of the injuries have decreased.
Transportation incidents and contact with objects and equipment led to the largest number of fatal work injuries in manufacturing in 2017, with 79 fatal injuries in each category, according to the BLS. The two categories accounted for about half of the 303 workplace fatalities in the manufacturing industry in 2017.