Employees Take “Time Out” for Safety

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Juan Ceballos shared his story as part of the Distribution Business Unit’s “Time Out for Safety” video.


Three key questions for safety

Adam Tucker, the Distribution Business Unit’s Health, Safety and Environmental Director said the “Time Out for Safety” initiative gathered critical insights into important safety projects for the Distribution Business Unit in 2012.

Distribution employees in their meetings after the video discussed three key questions:

  • What hazards are most likely to be involved in an accident?
  • What can the organization do to improve safety?
  • What can individuals do to improve safety?

Juan Ceballos still remembers the moment nine years ago when he saw his wife walk into his hospital room after he suffered a crippling hand injury when something broke in an engine brought in for repair.

With his middle finger barely attached to his right hand and his other fingers broken, Ceballos knew his life had changed forever in the split second it took to reach for the manual engine shut off in a recreational vehicle.

“My wife came in and she was talking to me and I remember telling her, ‘This is going to be different, this is going to be big,’ ” said Ceballos, who is today the service manager at Cummins Rocky Mountain in El Paso, Texas.  “I was really scared about it.”

Seven surgeries, more pain than he cares to think about, and a broken marriage later, Ceballos shared his story last fall, joining five other employees who had experienced on-the-job injuries in a video for the Distribution Business Unit’s “Time Out for Safety” initiative.

About 11,000 employees across the world took time away from their usual routine to watch the video featuring Ceballos and the other employees (Watch part of the interview with Juan Ceballos). After the video, employees talked about ways their workplaces could be safer.

Ceballos, who says he built a shelf over his washer and dryer with one hand as he recuperated because he couldn’t sleep and was driving his wife crazy, said a serious injury can have many repercussions.

“Financially, you are going to start losing. It takes a toll on your kids. It takes a toll on your marriage. It’s just one thing after another,” he said.

At Cummins, workplace safety is considered a key aspect of sustainability. It’s an especially critical issue in the Distribution Business Unit, which sells and distributes Cummins products and services through more than 200 locations around the world.

“Keeping our DBU employees safe is particularly challenging,” said Adam Tucker, the Distribution Business Unit’s Health, Safety and Environmental Director. “Our technicians face immense variability in the hazards they encounter while serving equipment both in branches and out in the field. Working safely around these hazards requires a personal commitment to safety from each DBU employee.”

Ceballos says he uses his own story to promote safety among the employees he supervises today.

“It’s taken me nine years to get to where I’m OK with what happened,” Ceballos said. “I tell my employees, you don’t want to go through what I went through.”


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