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Composites Manufacturing Magazine Interviews MFG Safety Experts Lawson and Bennett

  • L to R: Perry Bennett, corporate health/safety/environmental director and Chuck Lawson, MFG CSC’s health/safety/environmental manager.

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In the November issue of Composites Manufacturing, an article titled “Taking Care of Business,” dives deep on the subject of safety strategies and practices among top composite manufacturing companies. Chuck Lawson, health/safety/environmental manager at MFG CSC, was interviewed to explain MFG’s approach. The ACMA newsletter also published another interview with Lawson and Perry Bennett, MFG’s corporate health/safety/environmental director.

Here are some excerpts from the interview:

What constitutes a successful safety program?
Lawson: There are three components to a successful safety program: upper management commitment, policies and procedures, and teammate engagement. Many companies have robust management systems that are compliant and well communicated, but their recordable incident rate struggles because they are not effective. Safety must be valued by each and every individual. This isn’t a sign on the wall or a monthly talk: It’s a living part of the workplace culture.

How does MFG instill safety into the company culture?
Lawson: There are a few important tools or techniques that every safety manager needs to have in their toolbox to positively influence culture. The first is education. It’s important to know the difference between training and education. In order to train someone, they need to understand the fundamentals. MFG does in-depth safety education sessions during all shifts using presentations and lectures, followed by on-the-floor training and the use of site-specific toolbox talks.

What else contributes to a safe working environment?
Bennett: As part of our corporate policies and procedures, each MFG entity must have a safety committee. How they staff it and organize it is flexible. We recommend the committees include teammates from the floor and some managers.
Lawson: Many companies have safety committees that aren’t effective. I use the six members on CSC’s safety team as an extra set of eyes on the floor to bring issues to light. They walk around the plant floor and get feedback that maybe people don’t want to share with management. Safety team members are empowered to remind people of safety procedures, like wearing safety glasses. One of my goals for 2014 is to formalize their duties and get more salaried employees on the safety team.

The article is available on the magazine website, (pages 16–17). Thanks to Chuck, Perry and the entire CSC team for a job well done!