Industrial Safety

How Minnesota companies are putting safety first

By Dee DePass for the Minneapolis StarTribune

Feb 06, 2017

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Don’t even think of texting inside Uponor’s pipe plant in Apple Valley.

Every factory floor mat has the words “Personal Electronic Devices” crossed out with a big red line. The warnings plus daily safety meetings hammer the message: No phones!

The company, which has one of the lowest accident rates in the nation, has added a safety zone for use of electronic devices. No one is allowed to respond to their messages anywhere near the plant’s 400-degree extruders, hundreds of tall spinning reels and darting forklifts.

“We just had to have a zero-tolerance policy on this. I liken it to distracted ­driving,” said Dan Hughes, the director of security and environmental health and safety for the maker of plastic, flexible pipes.

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