A Blue Spot for Safety

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“We want you to come to work healthy and go back home healthy, too. This applies for each employee at each site, each and every day.”

GM Executive Vice President & President Europe Karl-Thomas Neumann
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Red stands for love, green stands for jealousy – and blue stands for safety in all Opel plants. This safety feature creates projections that glide out across plant floors in front of forklifts to warn employees of approaching vehicles. “The Blue Spot is great, especially in spots where you can’t see very well,” says Erdinc Bozhüyk, a forklift driver at the plant in Kaiserslautern, Germany. All of the 150 forklifts here are equipped with the so-called ‘Blue Spot,’ as are forklifts at many other locations.


All of the 1,000 forklifts in our European plants boast this feature – a real boon to safety.

 

It all started in 2012 at the plant in Eisenach, Germany – this was the first GM location to use the Blue Spot. “It has since been added to our global list of indispensable safety elements,” says Karsten Wilke, Regional Coordinator GME Acquisition & Strategies Material Handling Equipment.


Blue Spot: The projection warns employees in the plant when other forklifts are approaching.


Workplace safety takes top priority at Opel. The company is addressing this topic with many different initiatives this year, too. Keeping safety in mind is an important part of day-to-day work.

The motto is ‘Take it personal!’

“Forklift traffic in the plants is one of the greatest sources of potential hazards,” says Oliver Huber, Head of Workplace Safety at the Kaiserslautern location. The Blue Spot represents a simple yet effective means of heightening safety. The projection’s blue color was purposely chosen, too. “We made this choice following in-depth studies, which showed that blue is the color that stands out best against all of the surfaces in the halls.” And since the Blue Spot glides out over the floor, it doesn’t irritate or blind employees by flashing directly in their eyes – or distract them from other signs and signals that need to be observed in the hustle and bustle of a manufacturing facility.

Absolutely Top Priority

Opel is emphasizing workplace safety in its business plans and executive goals. Moreover, managers are encouraged to lead so-called ‘Safety Conversation Tours.’ During these tours, employees from various departments meet up to take a fresh look at where hazards might be lurking. The underlying principle is that workplace safety is absolutely top priority. There can’t be any compromises: No business is so important and no deadline is so pressing that it justifies running the risk of an injury.

Last update March 2017