ISHN Magazine Interview with UPI’s Mike Villa

We’re proud of how our leadership and employees have worked to build a world-class safety culture. Mike Villa, safety manager at UPI, spoke with Industrial Safety and Health News (ISHN) Magazine recently about how our team consistently meets and exceeds our safety goals. Here is an excerpt from the interview:

UPI employees are held to the highest safety standard. What does this mean? How are workers held accountable for their safety performance?

We truly don’t believe in punishment. We will use discipline when needed, but employees are held accountable by peers, the culture, their foremen. The culture is driven down by leaders. Employees are held accountable by leaders and peers.

How does UPI get employees to buy into the Commitment to Zero injuries in the field, since employees know luck and unforeseen circumstances make zero incidents almost impossible?

You need buy-in, plus the Commitment to Zero is believed in and supported by leadership. We really have had only one non-preventable incident; on a Sunday a tornado that ripped through a worksite. No one was injured The buy-in for zero is simply part of our culture.

Describe the UPI “Think Three” campaign – why is focus on hand injuries, lifting, and slips, trips and falls?

“Think Three” was developed in 2017 after reviewing cases from 2004 to 2016. Hand injuries, slips, and unsafe material handling accounted for 80 percent of recordables. Hand injuries took the top spot. History will repeat itself unless you do something. This is an awareness campaign in part, a poster campaign with posters and stickers. It is incorporated into the Safety Opportunity program, which includes a focus on hand injuries, slips, trips and falls, and material handling. We also emphasize fire prevention and mitigation, environmental containment under equipment, spill kits and so on. Employees mitigate 90-95 percent of all hazards. The hazards are addressed right then and there by the employee in the field, not the field safety officer or the foreman or supervisor.

Click below to check out the full article and interview!