Unboxing Safety Solutions: Employee well-being a core value at Great Little Box Company

The Great Little Box Company’s (GLBC) 250,000 square foot Richmond facility employs over 200 men and women. GLBC designs and manufactures corrugated boxes and displays, folding cartons, labels, and foam protective packaging.

GLBC’s safety team is part of the Continual Improvement Department reporting to Nick Reiach, GLBC’s Vice President of Operations. Nick explains the company’s safety culture:

“At GLBC, employee well-being is a core value. So, when we began to update safety programs, employees were involved every step of the way. Looking back, this was one of several key success factors in moving from a penalty to a discount rate with WorkSafeBC. ”

A major potential risk area at GLBC was the pedestrian crossing points traversing two five-foot wide, 300-foot long roller conveyors, used to transport pallets. At the first conveyor crossover, GLBC removed every second 3” roller across a 3’ section, replacing it with a flat plate for the worker to step on. A button was pushed, thus stopping the conveyor for 15 seconds and allowing the pedestrian to cross the conveyor while safely on the plates. In Nick’s opinion however, an even better solution has been applied at the 2nd conveyor crossover. There, a 5’ section of plastic flat-top conveyor replaces the individual rollers altogether, and is de-activated by a push button.

Elsewhere in the warehouse, a combination of convex mirrors, 360-degree radar, and better walkway definition for pedestrian traffic in raw material storage areas has greatly reduced the potential of hazardous worker/forklift interface. Radar detection alone lacked 100% accuracy, so convex mirrors supply an additional layer of safety.

Other adaptations included blue lights projecting 4-5 metres in front of active forklifts and stop signs at critical intersections. Solutions managing human/machine interactions have resulted in a dramatic reduction in time-loss incidents.