“Our team members are our greatest assets and it is our duty as leaders to protect those assets to the greatest extent possible. This is one reason why a strong safety culture is an extremely value added component to any company. There are no shortages of workplace hazards in the global food supply chain; whether it be anhydrous ammonia, food safety, or operating material handling equipment, there are plenty of opportunity to expose our employees and customers to risk. The good news is with the proper processes, tools, checks and balances, we can mitigate these hazards.
In an effort to provide the most value added services to the GCCA’s member organizations, the GCCA Safety and Compliance Committee sent out a Workplace Safety Survey during the first quarter of 2020 to identify what our employees feel we’re all doing well and more importantly what we can do to improve our safety culture. The GCCA Safety and Compliance Committee is committed to taking the survey results and work together as a team to identify and share best practices so that we can all have world class safety performance. Please do not hesitate to reach out to the committee for any support. After all, when it comes to safety, we’re all on the same team!” – Dominic DiCarlo, Lineage Logistics VP, Safety and Compliance/GCCA Safety and Compliance Committee Chair
The environment or culture of a workplace directly effects employee morale, operational costs, and productivity. Because of this influence it is critical for employers and leaders to understand and in turn actively shape and influence their workplace environments. Data from this survey can be a first step to help understand the current perceptions of employees, specifically on safety and to facilitate constructive conversation about safety practices. Additionally, this information will help to inform the priorities and resource development of GCCA programs to continue to provide valuable safety resources for the cold chain industry. This survey is meant to capture data on employee perspective of the safety culture in the industry, not safety compliance or regulation data. The majority of respondents self-identified as managers or supervisors so the results are mainly from that perspective.
Overall, survey respondents had a very positive perception of the safety of their workplace environments and current safety training. Related to the overall environment and culture of safety, over 95% of all respondent agreed or strongly agreed with the following statements:
- Safety training applies to my work
- The working conditions support safety, productivity, and quality
- I am proud of our safe working environment
- My management understands safety issues at my company
When asked about specific hazards, over 95% also agree or strongly agree with the following:
- If an accident occurs, the underlying cause is usually found.
- Once the cause of an accident is found, corrective action to reduce or eliminate future accidents is put in place.
Routine or targeted safety communication and training on relevant operational activities is being received by employees in the refrigerated warehouse industry. Across 12 specific areas, an average of 94% of all respondents confirmed they received training or specific information within the last year.
While overall safety is a top priority across the industry and training and routine communication is readily used, there are a number of areas for possible improvement. Those areas specifically are how supervisors react to unsafe acts and provide feedback, training on workplace violence, teammates