Safety At Ajax
“One lost time injury is one too many.”
– Brandon Holmes, Ajax Plant Manager
Although we are willing to place safety above the bottom line, we have proved that safety and profitability go hand in hand. Our safety record enables us to attract and retain the skilled workers we need to remain competitive. We provide our customers with on-time deliveries and consistent quality because skilled workers are on the job.
Ajax was the first Minnesota metal stamping company to achieve the OSHA MNSHARP (Minnesota Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program) designation awarded to small employers who operate an exemplary safety and health management system. For more information on our safety culture, visit our Awards and Recognitions page.
Here are some of the key elements of the Ajax safety culture:
- Apprenticeship training includes more than 100 hours of safety training, and 10 hours of on-going safety training is required each year.
- Workers have total authority to shut down any machine or operation at any time if they question its safety.
- The company provides every new hire with safety gear that includes safety glasses—prescription if necessary; a $200 pair of work boots; and ear protection. All safety equipment is replaced as needed, no questions asked. Metal stamping equipment has multiple safety guards. Workers who handle sharp metal pieces wear elbow-length Kevlar gauntlets.
- The safety culture is strictly enforced: One violation in a 12-month period gets a verbal reminder. The second is put in writing. The third results in a one-day paid “decision-making leave,” when the employee is sent home to decide whether he or she can follow safety policies. If not, termination results.
- The enforcement of safety includes random drug testing for all company employees, including owners, management, office staff, and manufacturing workers. Workers who fail the test have the option of leaving the company or one opportunity to go through a company-paid rehabilitation program, with salary covered by short-term disability insurance.
- The company president conducts a continuous improvement meeting every Monday, which is attended by every employee. Safety and safety culture is a topic covered at a weekly meeting attended by every employee.
Employees look after each other. It makes you feel like somebody’s watching your back. We always say, “Professionals don’t get hurt on the job.” —Neng Yang
Worker safety is one of our company’s highest ethical responsibilities. In a company where all employees know one another and many have worked together for decades, the emotional and psychological toll of workplace injury is unacceptable. —Erick Ajax