YKK Stories

2017-06-19 Issue 3 Fundamental Behavior 2 – Be Vigilant About Safety

February 19, 2019
Author: YKK
No tags

My father worked in a cotton mill until the day that he died from a heart attack at 55. In summers and during Christmas when I was in high school, I worked in the cotton mill, filling in on second and third shift. One day after a bad accident, my father asked me, “How do you tell a loom fixer who has been working on these machines for 40 years not to put his hands into gears that are turning?”

No matter how much we talk about safety and stress the importance of safety, we have to make sure that everyone — even people who have worked safely for 40 years or longer — brings his/her best safety mindset to work every hour of every day.

Make decisions and take actions that safeguard your well-being. Please be your own safety champion by being well-informed and clear on what hazards may exist around you.

Have the best interest of others at heart, too. Speak up if you see something unsafe. That’s why we use the word “vigilant” in this Behavior. Vigilant means “keeping careful watch.” Be observant willing to inform someone of a potential hazard.

These reminders do not only apply to our manufacturing operations. We ask that the same attentiveness be employed by anyone engaged in any type of work-related activity…driving a car, occasional lifting supplies and materials, etc.

Here are some questions to ask yourself and your colleagues:

  • Do people feel comfortable speaking up?
  • What examples do leaders set?
  • Do employees feel a sense of personal responsibility for managing risks in the business?
  • Do performance management or bonus metrics make them more prone to risky behavior?

Remember, we care about you!! NOTHING is more important than your personal safety…not speed, not cost, not production…nothing.


Alex Gregory

Chairman and CEO
YKK Corporation of America