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RIMEX Rises to Safety Challenges

RIMEX Rises to Safety Challenges

Posted by John Driver

On December 17, 2015, RIMEX Supply Ltd. reached an important milestone in the advancement and improvement of their industrial health and safety standards, when they were awarded the Occupational Safety Standard of Excellence (OSSE) certification. The OSSE award is sponsored by the Food Industry Occupational Safety Association – Manufacturing Industry Occupational Safety Alliance (FIOSA-MIOSA), who provide a comprehensive and rigorous program to promote health and safety management in BC’s food and manufacturing industries. The program is endorses a best practices approach cooperation with WorkSafeBC. FIOSA-MIOSA provided in-depth guidance to set the highest possible standards for company-wide health and safety.

RIMEX is also proud to announce that their Agassiz manufacturing facility is the winner of the WorkSafeBC’s 2014 Innovations Contest. The Agassiz manufacturing team worked together on an ergonomics/safety project to reduce manual lifting and noise levels. The company used a participatory approach, consulting with their workers to improve the processing of half and full lock rings for wheel rims. Formerly, workers were lifting and lowering the rings (which weigh up to 50 kg.) as many as eleven separate times in the manufacturing cycle. Now, a streamlined process has been implemented in which each ring is lifted only twice. Workers actively developed, tested, and improved the solutions throughout the process.

We were very honored to be considered for this award. We try to involve our employees in all decisions which affect them and their working conditions. This was truly an example of the kind of success you can achieve with a participatory approach,” said James Read, RIMEX’s Agassiz Manufacturing Operations Manager.

Additional ergonomic improvements at Agassiz have involved reducing noise levels by introducing a rubber damper between steel plates in the stamping process. Plans are also in the works for further improvement, including adding a rotating table to turn the hefty lock rings and employing a hoist to eliminate manual lifting.

In parallel with its OSSE and WorkSafeBC successes, RIMEX is adopting the proven principles of “Lean Production”, which is a systematic method for eliminating waste within a manufacturing system. The Lean concept focuses on enhancing production processes that add value, and reducing those that don’t. The principles of Lean manufacturing can be traced back to Henry Ford’s automobile revolution, but perhaps the most well-known contemporary proponent of the Lean system is Toyota, a company whose steady growth has focused attention on the benefits of Lean practices. The Lean system offers administrative tools and recommends procedural techniques that enable manufacturers to optimize production and increase value for customers. RIMEX is capitalizing on the Lean formula by eliminating less efficient practices and exceling at the essential ones.

James Read acknowledges, “As we’ve started our journey down the Lean Manufacturing road, we’ve been carefully and correctly guided into the participatory method. The rewards are obvious, especially for the positive morale that derives from true teamwork, calculated empowerment and education.”

As RIMEX Supply Ltd. flourishes and grows, it strives to improve productivity… but always puts safety first. It embraces and enforces that responsibility in protecting it employees, conducting its work and contributing to the community.

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