National Safety Month | Q&A with Linda Karel

National Safety Month | Q&A with Linda Karel

Linda Karel (4)

Did you know that June is National Safety Month? National Safety Month focuses on reducing leading causes of injury and death at work, on the road, and in our homes and communities. At Columbian, this focus is very important to our employees. The integrity of our customers’ products and the well-being of our associates is our first priority. For our customers and their products, and for our employees, there is no success without a deep commitment to building a culture of safety into everyday operations. To prove it, Columbian Logistics Network was awarded SHARP Certification, one of only 13 companies in the state of Michigan and the only logistics company to earn the designation.

Linda Karel, safety & compliance manager, answers questions about all things safety at Columbian.

  • What are your responsibilities as Safety & Compliance Manager?

“To ensure safety & regulatory compliance with governing agencies such as MIOSHA & DOT. I investigate injuries & accidents to find ways to eliminate them from happening again.  I work with the safety committees in the facilities around the network.  Also, I perform audits to ensure adherence to CLN policies & procedures is kept.   (This is a short list of items)”

  • How long have you been working at Columbian?

“24 years”

  • What does Columbian do to promote safety in the workplace? What types of programs are there? 

“Supervisors have shift meetings to discuss safety along with other topics. Weekly safety topics are sent out via email and on the communication screens to keep employees thinking about safety constantly.  We encourage our employees to join the safety committees to bring their input in how to make our facilities safer. ”

  • What is the longest amount of time a Columbian facility has gone without a single injury?

“The Grand Rapids Distribution Center is at 1244 days (almost 3.5 years)”

  • Why is safety at the workplace important to you?

“I don’t want to see anyone getting hurt (or worse) whether it is at work or at home.  If we can get our employees to think about safety 24/7, then they will apply it to their home life as well as work life.  Our goal is to educate employees on how to be safe.”

  • How did you get started in this field?

“The previous safety manager retired and John Z (Columbian CEO) “asked/assigned” the position to me since he felt safety & maintenance go hand in hand.  I was handling maintenance & DOT compliance plus other things at the time.”

  • What is your favorite part about your job?

“Knowing that our employees have a safe environment to work in and they provide value to our customer’s products – keeping their products safe.”

Do you have any questions about safety? Email Linda at lkarel@columbian.us 

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