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Playing it safe

Refreshers for all in Madison, WI

Christian Kriesel, the Madison, WI, acting station manager, hands Rural Carrier Mitchell Blue Jr. studded footware to avoid slips.

The Madison, WI, Post Office doesn’t just talk a good safety game. It springs into action.

The office has been running a safety “kaizen” project since October.

Kaizen, an Asian term meaning “continuous improvement,” is a business philosophy that involves all workers in an organization, from the humblest to the highest. No one is exempt.

In Madison, this involves safety teams visiting stations for three days at a time, giving demonstrations on proper protocol and, importantly, getting feedback from workers.

“We want to hear their stories,” Acting Postmaster Diana Nygaard said. “We want to learn of hazards on the route that management can help with.”

Todd Rideout, a rural carrier, found the visit to his station helpful.

“We need reminders,” said Rideout, who was recognized for 18 years of safe driving. “The job can get monotonous” and the reminders help refocus attention on safety, he added.

Fostering a culture of safety is one of the Postal Service’s priorities and a tenet of Delivering for America, the organization’s new 10-year plan.

In Madison, managers and employees alike said they’re glad to do their part.

“We’re getting employees to interact and be aware both in and out of the office,” said Christian Kriesel, the acting station manager. “We’re making the learning fun so that safety becomes a habit.”