Home / News / Calumet CalPak Facility Marks Two Years of Outstanding Safety

Safety is our top priority – and for the last two years, CalPak has shown that we don’t just say it, we live it. CalPak recently celebrated two years without a recordable or lost time accident. The milestone was achieved at both the Calpak Distribution Center and the Calpak HWY 1 facility.

“We have an interactive safety meeting every day,” explains Tom LaFortune, Distribution Center Director. “We use what’s happening in the company as a learning opportunity for what we do.”

To improve safety performance, CalPak revamped its safety committee to make safety an employee engagement activity and proactive rather than reactive. The committee has become more structured to follow the principles of ISO 45001 and provides input for HSE initiatives, the structure and the goals for the facilities, and acts as a consultation group for leadership.

Leadership welcomes the opportunity to work with the committee. “Team members want to work safely. When leadership listens and is responsive team members appreciate and recognize that,” says Lou Derose, CalPak HSE Manager.

Derose also discussed how he approaches safety at the facilities. When he is on the floor, he isn’t actively trying to find things wrong. Instead, he uses the opportunities to coach team members and work with them to make sure all tasks are being done as safely as possible.

“We started a ‘Find & Fix it Program’ that encourages team members to find something, fix it, or call it out to be fixed,” explained Derose. “We give out a ‘priceless safety award’ to team members as recognition.”

This work didn’t just suddenly happen overnight, it took a change in culture to achieve. While the facilities have reached one year without a recordable in the past, this is the first time they’ve made it to two, and they are confident that they will be celebrating three next year.

“It’s important to everyone that we all go home the way we came in,” says Adrien Lewis, Cal Pack Plant Manager. “We’ve focused on the culture and made safety a big deal.”

The final piece of the puzzle is to make sure team members don’t fall into complacency. They recognize its human nature to fall into a routine and have their focus become dull. They try to continually change, revive focus and follow the ‘plan, do, check, adjust’ method to keep everyone safe at all times.

Congratulations to all team members at CalPak DC and HWY 1 on this wonderful achievement!