The topics you choose to address at meetings say more about your concerns than any posters ormemos, particularly with major issues like cost consciousness, profitability, quality, and safety.

In fact, says Gordon Lankton, chairman and president of Nypro, a plastic-injection-molding factory in Clinton, Mass., you can begin to make yourmanufacturing operation safer just by making safety and precaution a constant topic for discussion. At every meeting at Nypro, whether amongthe board of directors or the warehouse shipping crew, the first topic is always safety.

The issues range from how to drive a forklift and stack pallets to developing a boot that won't slip on the clean-room floor. When an accident does occur, it'sdiscussed in detail. Even the company's annual banquet begins with a year-to-year comparison of time lost to job-relatedaccidents.

With this emphasis, Nypro's safety performance has been transformed from substandard to award winning. The annual accident rate now hovers between 1and 2 per 100 employees, which was good enough to warrant an award from the National Safety Council. And healthier employees have contributed to ahealthier bottom line; the company's workers' compensation bill fell from a peak of almost $500,000 per year to $100,000.