Can Increasing Safety Reduce Costs?

May 23, 2011
Water Heater Innovations lowers overhead costs by reducing recordable case and DART rates.

Water Heater Innovations, a division of Rheem, has the data to prove that it does. The manufacturer of Marathon Water Heater has reduced its total recordable case rates from an all-time high of 21% in 2006 to 3.9% in 2010.

The company was also able to reduce its DART rate, (the employee days away from work, restricted duty, or transferred) from 18% in 2006 to 1.9% in 2010.

The results were a direct benefit of a decision to become certified in the Minnesota Safety and Health and Achievement Recognition Program. The objective was to improve productivity, quality and safety.

"It doesn't pay to go fast and make a quality product if you dont have a safe operation. The way that you come into work is the way you go home -- that's in one piece," explains WHI general manager Jeff Scholten.

The new safety plan, focused on a number of elements including how the company would conduct safety training, write job safety analysis, monitor and measure goals, perform inspections and conduct drills.In addition, WHI developed a health and wellness fair for employees, along with coordinating hearing tests and flu shots.

"Our safety program accomplishments have led the way in lowering overhead costs and, as a results, we have maintained our leadership position in the marketplace, Schoolten said.

Recently the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry recognized the company for its achievements.

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