Multiple Years of Safety Awards for Dyplast: Why/How?
Dyplast Products is now folded into Kingspan Insulation North America (an affiliate of Kingspan Global) after the recent acquisition, and we are happy to now announce Dyplast's ninth consecutive Safety Excellence Award from the National Insulation Association (NIA) - - this time a Platinum - - the highest honor. The Safety Excellence Award is the only national award for outstanding safety performance in the mechanical/industrial insulation industry. While we have learned from others, we trust there are some that can learn from us.
Background of the Safety Program
Over a decade ago, Dyplast decided to significantly expand its already compliant Safety Program by hiring an independent consultant to execute a comprehensive safety audit, incorporating best-in-class practices from the insulation, energy, and industrial process facilities. Dyplast examined the recommendations, adopted the essence of most, and has since customized the safety practices to respond to our particular environment and context. For instance, we have:
- a multi-lingual workforce
- propensity for hurricanes, high winds, and rain
- high heat and humidity that can affect worker productivity and safety
- considerable moving equipment
- a national trucking program, and a rail spur
- chemical hazards and potential for spills
- multiple contractors/visitors coming in and out the gate each day
- and, then of course there was Covid.
It's impossible to address all elements of our safety program, yet a few elements include:
- Employee involvement- Every employee is involved, with safety leadership coming from Vincent Fuster (General Manager), Ramon Betancourt (Maintenance & Safety Manager), Yamilet Ramirez (Human Resources Director), and Michael Boyco (Director of Technology) - - among many others.
- On-boarding processes for new employees and temporary employees, including training in hazards recognition
- Employee health, including exposure monitoring, medical surveillance, works practices, and control measures
- Employee drug screening and training
- Trip and fall hazard identification
- Maintaining and upgrading machine guarding
- Working at height protections as well as confined space protocols
- Heat exposure avoidance and identification
- Comprehensive safety signage, including shop floor walkways, boundaries, pipe color-coding identification, hearing protection, etc.
- Fire safety programs, including, but not limited to, fire extinguishers, fire suppression systems and flammable materials storage, and fire emergency response
- Emergency Action Planning for likely scenarios such as hurricanes, flooding, high winds
- Vehicle and driver safety programs
- The Safety Committee meets monthly (HR, safety manager/leader, plant manager, director of technology, supervisors, equipment operators, and all who volunteer their time)
a. Members are rotated intermittently into the committee
- Job Safety Analysis for all positions
- At the beginning of every shift, the supervisors remind the operations team about specific and general safety reminders - - "Be safe, Stay Safe."
- Each employee is empowered with stop work authority if unsafe conditions are apparent. First, an immediate investigation is started, then the problem is rectified, and then this is followed by lessons-learned from each incident.
- Enticing visitors with various applicable perspectives to do a plant walk-through, recording their observations - - which are then constructively reviewed by the Safety Committee that includes representation from each employee/managerial perspective
- Training to take the safety philosophy beyond the plant and into the employees' homes - - such as advice on fire extinguishers, emergency planning, fall protection, electricity awareness, eye and hearing protection, equipment guarding, and so on.
- Following and encouraging employees to also follow CDC Covid protocols
What Safety Means to Dyplast
The Safety Program is at the heart of our efforts since it involves every single employee and instills unity of effort and concern for all. The Quality Programs (plus honesty, trust, and concern) build off the Safety Program, not vice versa.
Dyplast (historically a rather small player in the polyisocyanurate and polystyrene insulation market prior to the acquisition by Kingspan) has successfully competed against multi-billion-dollar competitors for almost 2 decades. Why? The simple answer is Attention and Focus on the Important Details:
- Concern for the safety of employees, clients, and contractors
- Product quality (of course)
- Honest, full disclosure of facts
- Trusted client relationships
- Concern for the environment.