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Sandusky Team Achieves Milestone 365 Consecutive Safe Days!

The Sandusky, Ohio Hauling Division experienced an incredible turnaround in in 2021. The division finished 2020 in 202nd place in the Company with a Safety Frequency of 6.83. One year later, at the end 2021, the division maintained a ZERO Frequency!  Can’t get any better than ZERO!

Additionally, the division celebrated 365 consecutive Safe Days on August 18, 2021, and is currently standing strong at 548 safe days with zero claims for 2022!  “This is a fantastic accomplishment, especially considering the fact the Sandusky division is sizable with 72 employees and operating 41 routes and a transfer station,” said Mike S., Area Safety Manager – Great Lakes.

Here’s more from Mike on safety and what it takes to get to ZERO!

What does the Sandusky team do that makes them so successful when it comes to safety?

Mike: Operations Manager Heather B. started at the division in November 2020 and immediately started to develop a “Culture of Caring.” In our recent Area Operations Summit, Heather expressed her desire to cultivate a family like atmosphere where everyone looks out for everyone.  With this mindset in place, the division has established a high level of engagement, personal ownership and peer-to-peer accountability. As a result, driver turnover dropped to 13% (3% coming from tenured employees who retired in 2021), and there was an improvement in YOY Engagement scores from 79 (66% participation) to 82 with 100% participation!

Can you give some examples of the hazards the Sandusky team encounters every day?

Mike: Some unique aspects of the Sandusky area which create additional challenges are that it is located along Lake Erie which produces a healthy dose of lake effect snow, ice, and high winds in the winter.  When summer comes the area welcomes over 3.6 million visitors, primarily to one of our largest customers, amusement park Cedar Point. Another challenging customer is the island of Middle Bass, where our truck is ferried to provide service to the businesses and residents. Then, when the ferry shuts down for the winter, we station a truck on the island and our driver is flown in to service the year-round residents!  Talk about Customer ZEAL!

Can you talk about any specific big wins for the Sandusky team this past year?

Mike: The team celebrated their first local ROAD-EO in 2021, with the highest participation to date.  The event brought employees together and gave their families an opportunity to cheer them on as they competed and celebrated together. On the 365th Safe Day celebration, the leadership team conducted a Safety Lane to welcome and shake hands of the drivers and helpers. The Team members that had completed their work for the day stayed on their own time to share in the celebration and welcome the whole team in to celebrate.

What would you recommend to others who want a safety record like Sandusky’s?

Mike: First, care about your employees as if they were your own family and then express it every day!

“Congratulations to the Sandusky team on their tremendous accomplishment. The success Team Sandusky achieved with Zero incidents was not due to being lucky or fortunate. It was done with targeted safety messages and setting expectations from the Leadership team led by Heather Brown, and everyone on the frontline team committing to the using the Safety training they received. It feels great to visit the whole Sandusky team and absorb the family atmosphere and fantastic vibe. Thank You for letting me be a part of something great.” – Rick B., General Manager, Toledo and Sandusky Markets