The largest mill for a major paper manufacturer was experiencing an unacceptable increase in the rate of hand laceration injuries, causing a spike in lost workdays and worker compensation costs.
Team Engagement Strategy
Assemble a team of cross-shift union employees led by the plant safety manager and supported by a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt (for data analysis) to attack the problem using Rapid Action, a team engagement toolkit for accelerating results.
Rapid Action Project Charter
How can we reduce the occurrence of hand lacerations (employees being injured from cutting accidents) across all shifts in order to improve the total case injury rate reported for the mill while reducing days lost to injury.
Sample of Solutions Implemented
- Presented a Black Belt briefing on existing data related to laceration injuries (including frequency, location and potential cause) to the team.
- Developed a simple questionnaire and surveyed employees on perceived causes of laceration injuries.
- Conducted a best practices review of laceration-prevention methods through internet research and surveys of other mills.
- Developed standard work procedures for handling cutting tools, removed worn cutting tools, and replenished inventory with cut-resistant gloves.
- Developed and conducted a special safety briefing for all employees on safe use of cutting tools and laceration injury prevention.