Safety First: Getting the Point Across to Your Workforce

An operation's most valuable resource is its workers, and keeping them safe is a top priority. In this session at the 2009 IW Best Plants Conference, Ken Vandenberghe from Rea Magnet Wire helps you to understand best practice essential elements in eliminating injuries, claims, and associated workers' compensation costs to make safety a team effort and build awareness to create safer, more productive plants. It also examines risk factors and effective abatement recommendations utilizing practical cost effective solutions without disrupting the integrity of manufacturing's operational processes.

In This Presentation You Will Learn

  • What paper airplanes have to do with safety (in minute 4)

  • Rea Magnet Wire's health and safety philosophy (in minute 8)

  • Performance metrics (in minute 14)

  • How to tell if safety improvement is luck (in minute 20)

  • The importance of mock safety drills (in minute 26)

  • The importance of EHS audits (in minute 42)

  • One of the biggest frustrations in the world of safety (in minute 49)

  • and more


About the Speaker

Ken Vandenberghe, OTR/L, CIPS, CEES, Corporate EHS, Rea Magnet Wire

Ken Vandenberghe, CIPS, OTR/L, CEES, MBA, is a Certified Infrastructure Preparedness Specialist (Department of Homeland Security), Certified Ergonomic Specialist, Occupational Therapist, and the Corporate Health and Safety Manager at Rea Magnet Wire. He is responsible for facilities throughout the United States, Mexico, and China.

Vandenberghe has developed and implemented his measurable, goal orientated injury reduction system in a wide variety of businesses and corporations including Fortune 200 and 500 companies for the last 15 years. He has successfully implemented process improvements, sustaining long term process capabilities that helped businesses reduce the number of workplace injuries and unnecessary operating expenses that may result from poor safety practices. This includes facilitating Lean Six Sigma Projects, OSHA compliance, 5S systems, TAP-Root Analysis, and the development of world-class health and management systems. Vandenberghe has also developed industrial rehabilitation centers for top leading hospitals included in the U.S. World and News Report 100 Top Hospitals.

In the last 5 years under Vandenberghe's guidance, Rea Magnet Wire has reduced their injury rates by 94%, and workers' compensation exposure by over 3.3 million. In 2007, Rea Magnet Wire was awarded one of America's top ten safest companies by Occupational Hazards Magazine. Vandenberghe has also guided Rea Magnet Wire's Las Cruces, N.M. facility to be recognized as one of IW's 2008 Best Plants Finalists.

Vandenberghe is the first therapist nationally to have his own radio talk program focusing on injury prevention, ergonomics, and health promotion. He has been featured in Advance Magazine, Health Week Magazine, OT Week, and Occupational Hazards Magazine. Vandenberghe was a recipient of the 2006 J.J. Keller National Safety Professional of the Year Award. He graduated from Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, completed residency at Princeton University Medical School, Princeton, New Jersey and completed his master's in Executive Business and Administration from Indiana Wesleyan University.

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