Several companies in Minnesota have been striving for maximum possible safety in the workplace, and one has gone above and beyond, starting with no injuries requiring hospitalization for the past five years. Uponor is a thriving industrial business that offers radiant heating, piping, and plumbing services throughout the Minneapolis area and manufactures their own pipes. Seven years ago, they started a big push toward a much safer workplace and simply never stopped improving. They, along with other Minnesota companies, have been working together with the support of anti-injury programs to reduce the state-wide annual injury count from over 100K in 2005 to 75K in 2015 according to the Star Tribune.
One of the keys to Uponor’s success was their overwhelming push for safety awareness. They have taken on warning signage, labeling, and clear job instructions as a new central themeper of their procedures. Of particular importance on their factory floor is that workers not use personal devices like phones or tablets. Most of the floor mats read “personal electronic devices” with a slash through them just to be absolutely clear. They “liken it to distracted driving”, bcause operating a machine while distract, or even being inattentive near factory machinery, can seriously increase the risk of accidents.
Lower Workers Compensation Premiums
The increased safety measures were put in to boost efficiency and keep everyone safe, but there is a definite bonus for the company as well as their uninjured crew. Having no major injuries in the past five years, Uponor’s workers compensation premiums have also dipped appreciably, something all businesses hope to achieve but often struggle with. This leaves them free to use some of the savings from the lowered premiums to reinvest into eben more safety measures with the ultimate goal to achieve zero annual injuries of any size. The company’s safety manager stated that they consider this a win-win scenario for the workers and the company.
A Sparkling OHSA Record
When they began their increased safety efforts back in 2010, Uponor tested for four OSHA violations. Unsatisfied with anything but perfection, they cut the number in half by 2012. This was still insufficient and Uponor refocused their efforts to create an absolutely safe environment and by their 2013 inspection achieved a grand and beautiful zero OSHA violations. For the past four years, they have had a sparklingly clean OSHA record and the results are showing up everywhere. The Star Tribune reports that for its industry, Uponor has seen less than a fourth of the national average “despite growing from 500 to 700 workers in 18 months”.
Governor’s Safety Award
OSHA is not the only group that has noticed Uponor’s stellar safety performance. Every year, the Minnesota Safety Council rewards companies that have shown exceptional results for effective safety measures. The pinnacle of this process is the Governor’s Safety Awards. For the past two years, Uponor has been among the proud winners and is working hard to make sure they win again at this year’s annual safety and health conference in May.
Uponor is one of many companies in Minnesota that have taken the new push toward safety very seriously. As they all simultaneously lower the number of yearly injuries and their own workers compensation premiums, the overall Minnesota injury rate continues to drop. As long as the safety trend holds out, and we have every reason to believe that it will, Minnesota could become the safest state in the country. Currently sitting at number 4 according to WalletHub, we just need to beat Arizona, Virginia, and Utah so there’s not far to go. For information, news, or legal advice concerning workers compensation in Minnesota, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.