Mauser Packaging Plants technicial manager Dillop Bhulabai, of Surrey, has seen the plant through 40 years of plastic packaging changes and safety innovations. (Sarah Grochowski photo)

Aldergrove packaging plant gets major safety nod

Mauser Packaging Solutions plant innovates unique job-rotation and stretching programs

Langley’s Mauser Packaging Solutions was recently endorsed with an Occupational Safety Standard of Excellence (OSSE) by B.C.’s Manufacturing Safety Alliance.

On Oct. 2 Langley Township Mayor Jack Froese gathered with plant manager Matthew Ralph, safety coordinator Maureen Johnson, and other long-term employees to celebrate the achievement.

With only 70 other manufacturing plants in the province with the designation – the plant earned a 95 per cent score in its OSSE safety audit, 15 per cent higher than the percentage required to achieve certification.

The small facility, tucked away at 5850 272nd St. in Gloucester, is one of 180 company sites in a multinational company that tops nearly 11,000 employees.

The packaging plant has 160 workers. They produce, package, and transport large plastic buckets for berries, specialty fish containers, ice cream pails, and other items for buyers in Canada, Washington, Oregon, California and Alaska.

The Gloucester facility was built in 2001 to relocate the plant from Annacis Island.

Human resource manager Jane Symington said the plant’s push for safety began six years ago after its first observance of the North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) week.

“That was a pivotal point for us. We started getting people involved in safety, and looking for ideas,” said Symington, who has worked at the plant for 14 years.

Employees now compete in a safety slogan contest during NAOSH week. This year’s chosen tagline was ‘Let’s walk the path of safety together,’ by the molds team.

Ralph, a plant manager at the company for two years, said that his dedication to safety was borne out of a deep desire to see people “leave work the way they came.”

“I’ve been a manager through two major accidents in my career and I think when you’ve been through that you really gain an understanding,” Ralph elaborated, “You never want to see anybody get hurt.”

The biggest safety risk to operators on the floor, Ralph said, is when they snap metal handles onto buckets produced by machinery.

Technical manager Dillop Bhulabhai, from Surrey, has seen the plant through its relocation and 40 years of manufacturing changes.

“Before it was all hand, wrist, and finger force to snap the handle into place,” Bhulabhai explained. Such labour was minimized five years ago when tools were introduced to assist workers with sliding the handle into place.

In April, the plant won a Manufacturing Safety Alliance of BC Safety Innovator Award in the workplace wellness category – as credit to its injury-prevention efforts, which include ergonomics and job-rotation programs.

Safety coordinator Maureen Johnson, whose worked at the plant for 9 years, said the repetitive nature of the job results in aches and sprains for many of its employees.

“It’s the biggest thing that people take time off for and it can happen in an instant. Even if they’re doing something properly it can still happen,” Johnson elaborated.

So, at the beginning of every eight-hour shift – 6:15 a.m, 2:15 p.m, and 10:15 p.m. – managers hold safety huddles to ensure the use of personal protective equipment. Employees are also led in a guided stretch.

The plant’s ergonomics committee broke ground in September on the integration of a job-rotation system. As of now, machine operators rotate stations every one to two hours. Assessments are underway to learn which station might need to be rotated more frequently.

“This will be decided so that we’re not injuring people,” Johnson said. The program is to undergo another eight months of development.

Gaining OSSE certification was a two-year process for the Aldergrove packaging plant, according to Jennifer Wiebe of the Manufacturing Safety Alliance of BC, who agreed that its employees are now at less risk for workplace accidents.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Employees now compete in a safety slogan contest during North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) week. This year’s chosen tagline was ‘Let’s walk the path of safety together,’ by the molds team. (Sarah Grochowski photo)

On Oct. 2 Langley Township Mayor Jack Froese gathered with plant manager Matthew Ralph, safety coordinator Maureen Johnson, and other long-term employees to celebrate the achievement. (Sarah Grochowski photo)

Plant manager Matthew Ralph said that his dedication to safety was borne out of a deep desire to see people “leave work the way they came.” (Sarah Grochowski photo)

Just Posted

VIDEO: Record turnout for third annual Langley car show against cancer

Brogan’s Diner Fight Against Cancer Car Show was turned into a road trip because of COVID-19

Langley artist Lalita Hamill launches new website to showcase art and share instructional videos

A Zoom session on Saturday, July 18, will serve as a free art assessment and critique at 10 a.m.

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Vandals deface Aldergrove elementary school with racist slur, male genitalia

Langley School District confirms it has filed a report with the Langley RCMP

‘Our hands are tied’: Langley Good Times Cruise-In announces cancellation due to COVID-19

People are encouraged to donate to the chosen Langley charities online, said Cruise-In director

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Fraser Valley loses the Keith Wilson Waver as Ron Hupper passes away

Hupper brought smiles to the faces of hundreds of people traveling Chilliwack’s Keith Wilson Road

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

Woman sexually assaulted, robbed near Surrey SkyTrain station: RCMP

Police say the incident happened July 10, just after 11 p.m. near King George SkyTrain station

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Once-in-a-lifetime comet photographed soaring over Abbotsford

Photographer Randy Small captures Comet NEOWISE in early-morning sky

Most Read