We work hard at Ben Machine. Sure, there’s some physical labor involved with running a CNC machine or cleaning a machined part before it ships, but it’s more than that. The level of focus and attention to detail that our entire team has to demonstrate takes its own physical toll. That’s why we put a lot of attention into taking care of our people.
It didn’t take a pandemic to teach us that healthy employees are more productive or that employees missing work due to illness creates problems with our tight production schedule. With that in mind, we have always tried to go above and beyond employee wellness requirements.
Wellness During a Crisis
Speaking of the pandemic, Ben Machine was designated a necessary business due to our work with the defence industry. The shop floor was immediately re-arranged to provide appropriate distancing, including distancing in the operation of our CNC machines. We installed a large bank of individual wash stations overnight so employees could wash up while remaining socially distanced. We even hired an outside company to attend to our facility to disinfect all machining, manufacturing, and desktop surfaces.
Shop Floor Safety for CNC Machinists
The shop floor presents obvious issues. Machine operators do a lot of lifting, bending, and standing through the course of a day. We take steps to make sure their work environment is as safe and supportive as possible. The shop is equipped with a large number of lifting tools, all the way up to forklifts and gantry cranes. Everyone on the shop floor is taught what to lift, how to lift it, and what not to lift. Anti-fatigue mats provide comfort for operators who have to oversee milling machines all day. A variety of carts and transport equipment makes it easy to move parts around the shop as needed. We also have clearly demarked aisles and take steps to make sure trip hazards are cleared.
Keeping the Air Clear
The latest CNC machines run at higher spindle speeds to produce parts faster. One side-effect of that is the coolant fluids becoming aerosolized by the spinning bits. CNC machines are enclosed, of course, but they are typically open at the top. Our CNC machines are all fitted with exhaust fans and filters. These filters catch the coolant as well as any microscopic metal shavings that get thrown up by the bit. The air that comes out of our CNC machines is well-cleaned before our CNC employees encounter it. We also have over a dozen very large air filtration units running overhead in the shop. These air-cleaning units draw out and clean any gases given off by welding or other activities that happen outside of the CNC machines. When you walk through the shop at Ben Machine, you don’t see a pall in the air or feel soot on surfaces. The facility is clean.
Physical Exercise is Important Too
Everyone at Ben Machine is provided a gym membership to promote healthy lifestyles. We’ve found this results in fewer sick days or chronic health concerns, and it allows employees to get together offsite to network and get to know each other. The company benefits program also provides for employees to tend to their mental health. Mental health is as important as physical health and Ben Machine acknowledges its impact.
We are truly a team at Ben Machine. We all rely on each other to do our jobs to the best of our abilities, whether that be CNC machining, complex inspection, or shipping product. Things like our quarterly employee lunches when we bring in food trucks help foster that camaraderie. Our people are what makes this place, and what allows us to put out the finest CNC-machined goods in the nation.
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