Boehmer Box’s last lost-time accident took place on Aug. 16, 2007, and this spring the firm surpassed 1 million hours worked without such incidences. Company executives say this milestone is especially significant considering Boehmer Box operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“Safety is not an option in today’s workplace,” says Boehmer Box President and Chief Operating Officer Mark Caines. “Employees are our most valuable asset and the workplace must be structured in a manner that allows them to work safely and effectively. Our goal is to create an environment where continuous improvement is not just a manufacturing slogan but a way of life with respect to our processes, working conditions and overall plant safety.”
According to Ray Redmond, Boehmer Box’s safety coordinator and Health and Safety Committee employee co-chair, this success didn’t happen overnight, but over time by employees and management continually looking at ways to make the company’s safety system better.
“A lot of companies will say safety is first, but the difference here is that it truly is,” Redmond says. “Management doesn’t just give workplace safety lip service â€” they back our safety committee 100 percent. While no company is perfect, good companies investigate their mistakes and develop solutions to prevent further occurrences, and Boehmer Box is one of those companies.”
Chief among the initiatives the company implemented to improve its record is a ticketing program where safety committee representatives cite employees, supervisors and executives when they’ve committed a safety violation of any sort. “This is a way to educate everybody about improving workplace safety and to encourage them to take ownership of it,” Redmond says. “A safety ticket results in training, policy and procedural changes, and/or discipline, depending on the circumstances.”
However, Boehmer Box’s workplace safety initiatives are not the extent of its endeavors to improve the well being of its employees. The company’s efforts to promote physical activity, tobacco-free living, healthy eating, sun protection, immunization, road safety, stress reduction, work-life balance and other topics were recently lauded by the Region of Waterloo Public Health, which bestowed Boehmer Box with a Healthy Workplace Silver Award.
Amanda Kroger, manager of Project Health for the Region of Waterloo Public Health, says the intent of the program is to recognize workplaces that demonstrate a strong commitment to improving the health of their employees. “Workplaces that have comprehensive wellness programs find their employees’ morale improves, energy increases, stress and injuries are reduced, and health is improved overall,” she says. “Employers also report reduced absenteeism and turnover, increased productivity and improved corporate image.”
Boehmer Box LP specializes in offset printing of sustainable and structurally innovative paperboard packaging for a wide range of leading food, beverage and consumer packaged goods â€” including frozen foods. Founded in 1874 and based in Kitchener, Ontario, the company boasts more than 270 employees and counts among its clients some of the most recognizable national and private-label brands in North America.