Employee Ownership Is 'Where the Rubber Meets the Road' at Koch-Glitsch: A Strong Safety Program Is Just Part of the Equation

By Cable, Josh; Smith, Sandy | Occupational Hazards, November 2006 | Go to article overview

Employee Ownership Is 'Where the Rubber Meets the Road' at Koch-Glitsch: A Strong Safety Program Is Just Part of the Equation


Cable, Josh, Smith, Sandy, Occupational Hazards


Bob DiFulgentiz, president of Wichita, Kan.-based Koch-Glitsch LP, marvels at the heights of safety the company has reached. The most recent pinnacle: Koch-Glitsch's 382 employees worked all of 2005 without a lost-time or recordable injury, which DiFulgentiz calls "amazing."

DiFulgentiz notes that Koch-Glitsch--which makes mass transfer and mist elimination products for the chemical, petrochemical, refining, gas processing, pharmaceutical and specialty industries--always has had a strong safety program.

But DiFulgentiz also believes "a strong safety program does not ensure success."

What has elevated Koch-Glitsch's safety program in recent years, DiFulgentiz says, is employee ownership of safety.

"A good safety program is important," DiFulgentiz says. "But unless the employees on the floor own it, and live it and breathe it and are committed to it, it's not going to work."

From participating in safety committees and job-hazard analyses to writing articles for the company's safety newsletter, it is clear that Koch-Glitsch fosters employee ownership of safety. For example:

* Employees participate in safety audits--of their own job tasks and of other job tasks--as well as in behavior observations. …

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