Alcoa Aluminum: a study in safety

Alcoa Aluminum is one of the safest companies in America. It is also one of the most dangerous companies, its employee regularly deal with machines that can tear workers apart, crush them, or severely burn them with molten aluminum. In 1987, Alcoa appointed a new CEO who trumpeted a new plan, worker safety. Paul O’Neill transformed heavy manufacturing by turning Alcoa, a relic from the industrial revolution, into a profitable and safe corporation. This post will go over the changes at Alcoa and how it improved safety.

When O’Neill took over, Alcoa suffered 1.86 lost work days due to injury for every 100 workers. By the time he left in 2000, that number had dropped to 0.2. His lessons continued to resonate, and in 2012, the rate dropped further to 0.125.

The changes O’Neill instituted consisted of introducing new habits into the corporation. The idea was that a change in one habit could reverberate throughout the corporation. He designed a series of changes that executives were to focus on safety over everything else. Workers should feel safe to bring ideas to their supervisors and no executive was above taking calls from any worker. The change was remarkable; the entire corporation became nimble, more efficient, and safe. In 2000, Alcoa’s total income was five times higher than when he took over.

In short, worker safety is a winning strategy for profits, and it saves lives.

If you suffered a workplace injury, you might want to contact a lawyer for assistance. An attorney can walk you through the worker’s compensation process to minimize the likelihood that your claim will be denied. Furthermore, if your claim is denied, a lawyer can represent you during your appeal. Don’t risk your right to compensation by trying to tackle the workers’ compensation board alone. An attorney can help you get the money you need to stabilize your finances and cover your medical bills.

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