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Interview with Haws Safety Supervisor


We took a moment to speak with our own Safety Supervisor, Melanie Mayer, to get some insight as to where she has seen Haws grow in the last year, where Haws is going in the future, plus we got to learn a bit about Melanie herself!

How did you begin working at Haws and how long have you worked there?

I started in July 2014 and have been at Haws for over a year and a half.

What have you seen Haws go through in the last year in regards to safety improvements?

I was really lucky when I started at Haws in that there was already a lot of awareness about safety.  I guess that’s par for the course when you work for a company that makes emergency equipment!  A lot of our improvements in the past year have been strengthening programs that were already in place either through training’s or improved communications (written policies, toolbox talks, etc.).  One of the most exciting improvements was starting our Safety Alert Notice system.  This functions as a “lessons learned” program, where we identify an injury, mishap, or near miss and describe corrective actions to prevent a similar incident from recurring.  This information is then passed along to relevant employees via toolbox talks and also posted on company bulletin boards.  Reporting and tracking incident information and trends is invaluable to assess safety performance but to prevent future incidents, that information must be communicated to employees.  Our Safety Alert Notice is the vehicle we use for this communication.

What are some of the safety initiative that have been implemented since you began working at Haws?

We’ve greatly improved our safety training by offering more courses and also doing more hands-on and employee participation exercises.  This really helps raise awareness and get employees thinking more about safety in their day-to-day operations.  Also, we added multiple ways for employees to take a more active role in their safety program, including a safety drop-box on the production floor and a button for reporting safety concerns on the company intranet site.  I’m seeing much more employee participation in the safety process (employees reporting hazards, suggesting training courses, etc.), which is really exciting.  Front line employees are the eyes and ears of any good safety program, so their buy-in is crucial. I couldn’t do it without them!

As Safety Supervisor, what are you most excited about for Haws in 2016/2017?

Continuing to reduce our incident rate.  At the end of the day, my job is all about employees going home the same way they came to work in the morning.  I’m also really excited about some of the emergency equipment products that Haws is developing.  As a safety professional, it’s pretty neat to get a sneak peek at some of the new technologies before anybody else in my field.

What is your favorite extra-curricular activity and why?

I have a six month old, so I haven’t had much time for extracurricular activities lately!  When I do get time, I love to do anything outside.  Gardening and hiking are two of my favorites.  Reno is a great place to live if you like doing outdoor activities, and I try to take advantage of that as much as possible.

What is your favorite food and why?

Meatloaf and mashed potatoes.  It’s a sentimental favorite.  Mine never quite tastes as good as my mom’s though!