Through its interaction with the GaMEP, recently Yamaha has:
- Implemented an OHSAS 18001 management system
- Integrated OHSAS 18001 into existing , ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 management systems
- Increased employee safety committees with addition of 5 new teams
- Increased the number of implemented improvement projects (that include a safety component) presented to their executive team to more than 50 percent
- Presented to 100 people at the National Safety Council conference, highlighting a lean and safe project that reduced safety hazards, increased production capacity, and improved labor utilization, resulting in 292 seconds of time savings per cycle, a 61 percent risk reduction, and a total cost savings of $87,000 per year
In 1988, Yamaha Motor Manufacturing Corporation (YMMC) opened a manufacturing plant in Newnan, Ga. Almost thirty years later, YMMC continues to manufacture recreational vehicles such as golf cars, water vehicles, ATV’s and recreational off-road vehicles (ROV). They produce and ship these products worldwide and employ more than 1,700 people in Newnan, GA, which is located in Coweta County, 35 miles to the Southwest of Atlanta.
The Newnan YMMC plant has been working with the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP) at Georgia Tech since the late 1990s. So when Jodie Jackowiec, Corporate Planning and Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, and Tina Tinch, Safety Unit Manager, decided to implement OHSAS 18001, a health and safety management system, in the YMMC facilities, they reached out to Larry Alford, the South Metro Atlanta region manager at the GaMEP. Alford brought in Sandra Enciso and Damon Nix, project managers at the GaMEP.
At the time, Enciso had already been conducting yearly internal compliance audits for their environmental management system. YMMC began tapping into the expertise of Enciso and Nix’s experience with implementing and auditing OHSAS 18001. Since YMMC already had an integrated quality and environmental management system, YMMC wanted to integrate safety into the existing system, ensuring one set of documentation and one reporting structure. Paul Schlumper, also with Georgia Tech, continues to support YMMC with yearly internal OSHA compliance auditing and training.
As YMMC implemented the safety and health system, Tinch began improving awareness within the workforce and increasing employee involvement in the YMMC safety programs. She took a small safety committee and started 5 additional teams. Additionally, she led these teams to have a vested interest in YMMC’s safety programs and safety systems. The teams began taking ownership, problem solving, and developing solutions out on the plant floor working closely with the YMMC Continuous Improvement (CI) Department and CI Manager, Ken Bellora. Twice a year, internal small group employee teams present improvement projects to YMMC Executives. The number of projects highlighting a safety component have now grown to more than 50 percent.
Nix also taught a class at YMMC on integrating lean and safety efforts to more than 20 people from multiple companies. The class and Nix left an impression on YMMC and recently Nix and Tinch teamed up to present on the topic of “Value Added Safety” at the National Safety Council conference in Atlanta in September 2015. With approximately 100 people in their session, Nix talked about the concept and how to integrate process improvement and safety within a plant. Tinch followed the Nix’s presentation with real-world examples from YMMC in areas such as reducing motion loss and labor costs and decreasing job hazards by looking at ergonomics in the plant.