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Superior Linen Service (AR) Four Years Safe

On June 14, Superior Linen Service’s Eastern Division, Springdale, AR, plant staff celebrated their fourth year without a lost-time accident. This facility, which is also an OSHA SHARP plant, has successfully run a near-model safety management program for several years. However, even the greatest program in the industry is only as good as the people who manage it. Since it takes people to make the program a success, we asked the employees of this location their thoughts about the program and this special day.

“I believe that safety must be front and center and top priority. There is a time and investment commitment on our end that is well worth keeping our employees safe so they can go home to their loved ones. I believe we here at the Eastern Division are successful because we have changed the culture to think "Safe" no matter what we do. If you ask any employee, they possess the awareness of the safety program, Behavior-Based Safety (BBS), Trinity walks, etc. ... Keeping our employees engaged throughout the safety program and having them involved is a definite way to become and stay safe at what we do! Obviously, our employees look at our leadership, and I have a great staff that truly believes in practicing safe work habits, and the employees follow that method.”

Jarrad Shields, Division Vice President

“The safety program is only as good as it is because the employees believe in it and work as a team to watch out each for each other. You can have a successful safety program with just managers leading the employees, but you won't have a superior safety team until you give your safety program to the employees and help them understand that their input and help is what makes the program work. That is what we have done here at the Eastern Division.

We make sure our employees know and are fully trained on how to keep each other safe, what to do and what not to do. We allow the employees to correct unsafe behavior regardless of their position, using the Behavior Based Safety (BBS) program. We have made safety not just about the employees or the company but about their families as well, helping them to understand that if someone gets hurt, it's not only going to affect the life of the injured employee, but of that employee's family that is depending on them to bring home a paycheck. 

And while our employees do a great job and help run the program, our program is only as good as it is because we have managers who fully believe in the safety program we have in place and work diligently to make sure every employee goes home as they came in every day. They teach, coach, discipline when necessary, constantly worry and watch over the employees to make sure everyone is working safely. 

Our safety program is a team effort from the vice president to every single employee in our division, and with that effort, our program will only get stronger and better.”

Kristina Allen, HR/Safety Manager

“It’s about the teamwork. Without having the hard-working team that we have, we would not have been able to accomplish this success. It is not an easy task. With our Behavior-Based Safety (BBS) program, we have been able to establish a safe work environment. The training that we go through with our management staff for safety awareness is wonderful. We are teaching people that it's not about getting into trouble; it's about making sure everyone goes home safe to their families at the end of every day. Without our team giving the efforts they have, we would not be where we are today.”

Nathan Vondran, Route Supervisor

“I think it is good we’ve gone this long without a lost-time accident. It reminds everyone every day to stay safe; the BBS program helps us watch out for each other.”

Jenny Nakhiengchanh, Garments Department

“It makes me happy because if I am safe and the people around me are safe, I can go home to my family who needs me.”

Manuela Vega, Flatwork Ironer

 “We start employees from day one that safety is our goal. We must also make sure that our employees with many years on the job stay focused. They may tend to get relaxed and try to take short cuts. As a director, supervisors and I must be able to make the tough decisions to stop someone if we feel it may put them in danger, even if it makes the employee who thinks they are fine upset.

I am very proud of our team for making it to four years; of course, to have an accomplishment such as this over this long amount of time, there has been some close calls. We know we need to recognize those close calls and act immediately to prevent them from happening in the future.”

Ronny Luthi, Director, Plant Operations

There were many more statements from employees, each having a common theme: Teamwork, actively caring for each other’s safety, and total commitment from top to bottom. Congratulations Superior Linen Service’s Eastern Division for a job well done.