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Making safety and health at work a priority for the benefits of all

The wide reaching benefits of SCORE Training Safety & Health at Work explained in a successful case study in Viet Nam..

Article | 01 May 2019

Enterprise Profile

SME: TienHung Ltd.
Location: Binh Duong, Vietnam
Staff: over 1,000
Established: 2006
Products: Pine and oak wooden home and office furniture.
Destination: Vietnam, Europe, Australia
SCORE Training modules to date:
- Workplace cooperation: a foundation for business success
- Safety and health at work: a platform for productivity
- Quality - Managing continuous improvement

"After implementing SCORE Training methodology, our workshops became safer and cleaner and therefore accidents were reduced significantly." 
Mr. Nguyen Phi Hung, Director Tien Hung
If a workplace is safe and healthy, everyone can get on with their work effectively and efficiently. In contrast, if a workplace is disorganised and full of hazards, breakdowns, and sickness absences, this results in a loss of earnings for workers, and reduced productivity for enterprises. SCORE Training aims to highlights the vital issue of safety, health and working conditions in SMEs, in particular through its training module "Safety and Health at work: A platform for productivity". 

SCORE teamed up with BIFA, representing the wood processing industry in Binh Duong province, the centre of the wood industry in Vietnam. It supports members with market development, products, raw materials and technology. It also works with the government, and with the Vietnam Timber and Forest Association (VIFORES), Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of Ho Chi Minh City (HAWA), Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of Dong Nai Province (DOWOOHA), Binh Dinh Timber and Forest Association – FPD Binh Dinh.

TienHung Ltd., was the pioneer company to cooperate with BIFA to implement SCORE Training in 2015. They have seen productivity increases (10-50%), defect rate reduction (63%) and annual cost reductions of 55,000 USD. Here we focus on the impact of the SCORE Training module  "Safety and Health at work: A platform for productivity".  

Setting the foundations

The TienHung team learnt about 5S during the first module training: Workplace Cooperation. The Kaizen 5S improvement circle sets out “housekeeping rules” which all begin with the letter S: sort, set in order, sweep, standardise and self-discipline. It is one of the pillars of workplace cooperation because it relies on teamwork.

Integrating 5S on the factory floor not only lead to less frustration of staff looking for tools or parts, and reduced time wasted, it also eliminated a safety hazard. With all tools and work in progress kept tidy and organised, it was much easier to clean and reduced accident risk significantly.
Some clear improvements were made following the Workplace Cooperation module, some examples highlighted here in before and after photos:

1. BEFORE frames and molds were not organised in any way, only piled together. AFTER SCORE Training assisted in the organisation of those same frames and molds.

2. BEFORE cupboards of tools and hardware were piled up, and unorganised. AFTER SCORE Training, everything has its place.

3. BEFORE wood chip containers were made from empty metal drums with dangerous edges and required heavy lifting.. AFTER SCORE Training, proper containers were made for recycling off-cuts from the manufacturing process with wheels for easy mobility.

4. BEFORE parts and materials were simply stacked without organisation or system. AFTER SCORE Training, parts and materials were better organised with a proper visual management system in place.

Following the next module undertaken "Safety and health at work: a platform for productivity" further improvements were made to create a safer working environment. Examples follow here...

1. BEFORE there was no clear safety signs or instructions for operating machinery. AFTER SCORE Training, signage is in clear sight for all employees.

2. BEFORE rotating belts were left uncovered. AFTER SCORE Training any machinery with a safety risk were properly protected to avoid accidents.

The same was true for the saws:

3. BEFORE electrical boards and cables were exposed. AFTER SCORE Training, electrics were properly encased to prevent accidents.

4. BEFORE painting was done manualy on the floor. AFTER SCORE Training a new paint gun was used improving posture of workers and process productivity.

Many seemingly small changes improved the daily lives of many workers in the factory, from reduced lifting and carrying to improved working posture and ergonomics. The production flow was better and costs were saved leading to important productivity gains for the company.

"SCORE Training helped us to motivate supervisors and workers to provide more initiative for productivity improvement. The implementation reduced excess processing, inventories, workshop space and waiting time. Our workshop is now more organized, workers can find the tools much quicker. OSH conditions are significantly improved." 
Mr. Nguyen Viet Xuan, Workshop Manager, Tien Hung
"I feel a much closer relationship with our team and our supervisor through the better communication and effective work instruction. Our workshop is much cleaner now. There have been many improvements to reduce the heavy work for us while improving the productivity." 
Ms. Le Thi Thuy Kieu , Raw Processing Workshop Worker, Tien Hung
Following SCORE Training, enterprises see a reduction in workplace accidents and reduced absenteeism. Are you ready to see these results in your enterprise?