By Michael Orfitelli, Principal EHS Engineer

One of Rogers’ seven “Cultural Behaviors” is Live Safely and over the past several years the company has made great progress in reducing on-the-job injuries. Attention to safety also extends to home safety, as evidenced by this fun activity for employees led by Rogers’ EHS team.

This autumn our Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS) group encouraged all employees to assemble a team of treasure hunters in their family and complete the EHS Home Safety Treasure Hunt. The goal was to complete the home safety checklist and see how many safety controls were in place, update existing safety items, and encourage families to talk about home safety.

Congratulations and thank you to the 366 Rogers Associates who participated, and to the 13 contest winners at our major sites.

While the treasure hunt started out as an inspection, it evolved into an action plan document, and the comments petreasure_huntople wrote in the margins of their checklist told a great story about home safety improvement. I can attest that there were a few funny moments in our house as we completed our treasure hunt. Here are some of the stories:

When asked if there was a home security system in place, one associate answered that the family dog was the security system. The team decided not to validate this claim on-site, but rumor has it that the Chihuahua in question has a vicious streak a mile wide. I can relate to those who have yet to install a home security system. Growing up, we never locked the door, even when we went on vacation. When my wife insisted that we get a security system, I was initially reluctant, but now I see the benefit. And with all of the tech features and home management tools built into today’s systems, it kind of makes the pain of implementation a bit more bearable.

Responses to emergency flashlight preparedness ran the spectrum from those who have flashlights (and extra batteries) available in every room, to those who would rather fumble around in the dark and stub your toes during a midnight power outage. Most of us have flashlights, but the batteries have been dead since the last time the Cubs were in the World Series. If walkie-talkies and robot dinosaurs all run for cover because you’ve come to harvest their batteries, it may be time to think about stocking up. And if you’ve explained one too many times why the life-size Darth Vader doesn’t talk when you push his buttons, here’s a potential solution. While it was once a tool only marketed to buyers of the waterproof towel (groan), there are solar powered flashlights available now that will actually hold a charge for several hours. This may put an end to those frantic pitch-black battery hunts once and for all.

One colleague wrote that his first aid kit was 27 years old. When I read this, I first imagined Indiana Jones unearthing a rusty old tin box inscribed, “In life, there are only two guarantees: Band-Aids, and smoking on a plane.” Or maybe it was stolen from the medical tent at a Garth Brooks concert? Most likely, this first aid kit is a household institution deserving of a medal of honor, heroically serving the family on many occasions over the last 3 decades. This is a good opportunity to remind everyone that you need to regularly inspect your first aid kits; make sure to replace missing items, check expiration dates, and update the ointments, medicine, and other items when necessary.

As for our house, the kids take emergency preparedness very seriously and they definitely know how to get out of a smoke-filled house. For example, our kitchen smoke detector is more easily set-off than the Chscreen-shot-2016-12-19-at-8-39-33-amihuahua we mentioned earlier. Needless to say, my burnt toast triggers the alarm every Saturday. And at about this same time my son leaps from the kitchen table, hits the dining room floor, and does the military crawl to the front door, heading for the Magnolia tree in the side yard.

Clearly, everyone who participated embraced the spirit of this challenge. One family has 10 smoke detectors in their house (their ears would never survive breakfast at our house), and many reported that multiple family members are trained in First Aid/ CPR.

The Treasure Hunt generated many excellent safety action items: some employees scheduled to have the chimney cleaned, created
evacuation maps, or installed exterior lighting during the contest. One of our colleagues took it upon himself to translate the contest into Portuguese and sent it to relatives in Brazil so they could make their homes safer as well.

These are a few of the many ways Rogers Employees demonstrate their commitment to Living Safely. If we live our daily lives with this mindset, we will continue to strengthen and sustain our workplace safety culture.

Download the Home Safety Treasure Hunt checklist here: treasure-checklist.