Miliken for its world-class safety practice and to be

Miliken &
Company (Miliken) is a company that produces chemical products for floor
coverings, protective fabrics and textiles. Being in the industry for more than
a century with a total number employee of about 7,000 people in more than 39
facilities around the world, Miliken must have practiced the right health and
safety culture to be recognized for its world-class safety practice and to be
consistently ranked as the “most ethical company” for 15 years and running.

The secret to
Miliken’s success is in its involvement-based
employee engagement program. This program is exemplary of several key
attributes towards implementing successful safety, health and risk management
in an organization. The program demonstrates how Miliken’s management plays
critical role in safety, how Miliken is committed towards meeting the OSHA
standards and how safety culture is instilled among the employees through
empowerment and involvement in safety program.

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Safety is a
culture that should start from the top. Miliken’s management demonstrates its
seriousness in creating a safe workplace by having a clear safety guideline
that is cascaded from the federal and state level. This process is then
translated through weekly meetings into specific metrics to be achieved by
plant’s subcommittees.

Safety audit is
critical to ensure the safety practice complies to the requirement thereby
making it effective to minimize accidents. Through this program, Miliken create
safety committees that performs weekly audit to evaluate safety adequacy,
conduct and monitor safety audits and suggest ways to improve safety at the
workplace.  

Miliken has all
the right ingredients to render the company as one of the safest company in
which to work with its extraordinary low work-place illness and injury. In fact,
central to the company’s success lies in the employees’ empowerment and
involvement in the safety program. Miliken’s employees are the ones that staff
the steering and safety subcommittee system. Having employees’ participation in
the safety committee and safety process can significantly reduce unsafe acts.
Often time, the company can do so much to provide a safe working place through
policy and practices but human misbehavior can potentially short circuit even
the best safety efforts. Through this program, the employees will feel more
‘responsible’ towards their own safety as they make safety as their culture.

Finally,
Miliken practices positive reinforcement to win the engagement of the
employees. This is demonstrated via the safety program that quantifies the
employees’ involvement in every aspect of safety.  in fact, Miliken’s practice in a
non-traditional incentive, such as giving recognition via the constructive
feedback or appreciative feedback and not some monetary rewards ensure that it
does not dissuade workers from reporting the actual safety problem.  Miliken also does it right by having
‘cheerleaders’ that provides safety cheers as engineer enters the plant as
means of celebrating the employees’ safety effort throughout the year.