The Lead Battery Industry Believes “Everyone Deserves to Get Home Safe”
That phrase is a top priority of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). It’s also true for lead battery manufacturing and recycling companies, and they’re eager to share their safety stories during OSHA’s annual Safe + Sound Week, August 15–21.
Among those companies is Crown Battery, a cornerstone of America’s lead battery industry for nearly 100 years. For this year’s Safe + Sound Week, the battery manufacturer developed a unique program that gives every employee a chance to learn about safety and win prizes for doing so.
NOTE: This is the second of three blogs devoted to the safety culture of lead battery manufacturing and recycling facilities, who employ nearly 26,000 people across the U.S. Read the first blog on how Stryten Energy is protecting its “industrial athletes.”
Crown Battery: Keeping Employees Safe is Built into the Culture
Based in Freemont, Ohio, Crown Battery has nearly a century of expertise, innovation, and growth in the global energy storage industry. The privately owned company supplies customers with OEM-quality, Made-in-USA lead batteries throughout the Americas and in over 60 countries around the world.
Jim Anderson, the company’s safety and environmental manager, said safety is central to Crown Battery’s identity.
“Like every reputable manufacturer, worker safety is the top priority at Crown. It’s built into our culture, systems, facilities, and everything we do.” The company emphasizes ongoing safety training throughout the year and is always looking for new opportunities to instill safety related learning.
Bringing Creativity, Fun to Ongoing Training and Safe + Sound Week 2022
Crown Battery has used a creative approach to engaging employees in workplace safety. The company has a “Find & Fix” safety hazard reporting tool, whereby employees can report safety hazards quickly and easily by scanning a QR Code with a smartphone. Employees are also encouraged to identify and report trip and pinch hazards, blind spots, and sharp edges. Employees can report anonymously or leave their information for management to contact them.
For Safe + Sound Week, Anderson explained how Crown Battery is using a lighter approach to getting employees involved. “We want [to keep] learning fun and maybe even be a little competitive.”
The company developed a scavenger hunt trivia game based on safety topics, like fall protection, forklift safety and hazard communication. Around the plant are special Safe + Sound Week posters with QR codes for employees to scan and access trivia questions. Each correct answer automatically enters the employee into a raffle for prizes, including free YMCA memberships, local restaurant gift certificates, gas station gift cards and more.
The more trivia questions an employee gets correct; the more entries earned. Completing multiple quizzes earns additional entries into the prize pool.
“This has further reinforced safety as one of our core values. It’s an organization-wide effort, and we comply fully with, and often surpass, all federal, state, and local government mandates for health and safety.”
Year-Round Training, Personal Responsibility and On-Site Medical Guidance
Here is what safety and environmental protection looks like in practice year-round at Crown Battery.
Extensive, career-long safety training for all employees:
- Initial onboarding and recurring reviews
- Job-specific certifications
- Annual company-wide Safety Training Day
Personal protective equipment and hygiene requirements for manufacturing employees:
- Wearing P-100 negative-pressure respirators to guard against exposure to potential hazards
- Washing hands before and after breaks, and showering before leaving the plant
- Wearing protective eyewear while working
- Wearing company-issued uniforms at work and changing into street clothes before leaving
- Facility hygiene protocols include round-the-clock cleaning and surface sanitizing
Two full-time, onsite registered nurses and wellness guidance:
- Teledoc on-demand remote access to other medical professionals
Consistent evaluation and upgrades of equipment:
- Regular investments to meet or exceed the latest safety standards, including passive and active safety measures
Keeping Employee and Community Well-being at the Forefront
Crown Battery’s focus on safety and health is linked to another of its top priorities: sustainability. It believes in reinvesting all energy rebates and incentives into the company’s energy-saving equipment and programs. These investments further help protect and improve the workplace, community, and environment.
“Without first ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our employees, we cannot protect the environment,” Anderson added. “And, since keeping our communities safe, clean and thriving ranks a close second, we realize every investment made in air and water quality and creating, reshoring and maintaining good paying jobs results in a strong, positive outlook for our corner of the world for years to come.”
The Lead Battery Industry: Safe, Responsible Companies
Safe + Sound Week makes the news one week out of the year. But responsible companies like Crown Battery, and other members of Battery Council International, exemplify the lead battery manufacturing and recycling community’s year-round dedication to getting every employee home safe.