My appointment was at 10am, but I arrived early. The reception was spotless and faintly smelled like vanilla instead of the bleak cement-and-chemical smell I was used to. The functional but inviting furniture betrayed the hand of an interior decorator. It was a welcome relief from most manufacturers I’d visited. The receptionist was polite and well-dressed, likely a college student. Before I even sat down in the waiting room, the owner came out and shook my hand.
“My name’s Otto,” he said. His handshake nearly crushed me. He was in his late sixties, but had the energy and manner of a 30-year-old. He reminded me of my grandfather.
“I’m Jeff,” I replied, trying to flex life back into my hand without drawing attention.
“You want the tour?” Without waiting for an answer, he led me to the factory floor. He handed me a hard hat, safety goggles and ear protection. “Stay close,” he said, his voice muffled through my ear protection.
The forty-thousand square foot space gaped before us like a mechanical cavern, filled with all manner of conveyors, scaffolding, specialized machinery, and workers standing in rows, packing product into boxes and sending it down the line. The whole operation seemed remarkably tidy and efficient.
We walked down the well-marked lane between the machines. I noticed a large scissor lift, blocking a large portion of the path, uncharacteristic of the otherwise uncluttered factory. At the top, a worker seemed to be intently staring at the ceiling.
“What’s he doing up there?” I asked, as we skirted the lift.
“Ten years ago,” Otto shouted over the noise of the factory, “a roof tile came loose and fell on a worker. Since then, we perform these inspections on an annual basis.”
“But that was a freak accident,” I said, “you couldn’t have done anything to stop that from happening.”
Otto’s hand shot out and stopped me in my tracks, as if I were about step on a land mine.
“Young man, if that’s your attitude, you can turn around and walk right out that door.” He was serious, and I was surprised. He was actually upset.
“There is nothing we wouldn’t do to make sure our employees have a safe place to work. That’s why we’ve only had one comp claim in the last thirty years.”
Years later, I still remember Otto’s philosophy. He put the safety of the employee first. As I’ve grown older and consulted with many other companies, I’ve realized how truly refreshing his point of view was. That’s why my company emphasizes worker’s comp plans that include safety training and assessment. No matter what kind of work environment you have, no matter how much safety training your employees have had, you can do more.
PEO Select is not a safety company. We are a comprehensive worker’s comp solution that includes safety training and much, much more. These steps ultimately reduce your XMOD. We save our clients tens of thousands of dollars every year. If this kind of thinking aligns with your company’s culture, give us a call.
We’re the kind of company you want to work with.