Safety at Great Northern

At Great Northern, we’re committed to protecting our team members’ health, safety, and working environment.

We have a robust assessment process that moves well beyond basic regulatory compliance, evaluating site leadership and other factors to improve workplace safety, culture, and performance. Continuous investment is made in the newest equipment to increase productivity and safety in our operations.


“A key element of our shared future at Great Northern is to provide a work environment that is safe. We achieve our safety goal when every employee, contractor and visitor arrives home safely each day.”

– Jeff Michels, CEO of Great Northern

Key Elements of our Safety Approach


Leadership Support

Our plant leadership meets regularly with employees to discuss safety performance, recent incidents and key safety initiatives. Our leaders are involved in our safety committees, machine assessments, incident investigations, safety training, and more.


Supervisor Engagement

Our supervisors take a hands-on approach to safety. They get involved in safety training, inspections, safety projects, and more. All supervisors must earn a 36-hour safety certification to ensure they are well equipped to identify and address safety issues.



Regular communication with employees is one of the most important parts of a good safety program. Great Northern facilities hold regular meetings with employees to discuss plant and corporate incidents, safety performance, and current safety initiatives.


Program Evaluation

At Great Northern, we continually evaluate our safety program. This includes monthly machine center audits, housekeeping audits and annual safety program assessments to prevent hazards and ensure compliance with policies and procedures.


Effective Safety Committee

Every Great Northern facility has a safety committee made up of both leadership and employees. These committees meet monthly to identify areas for improvement and discuss the progress of current safety projects and initiatives.



Our facilities have a robust training curriculum that includes both classroom and on-the-job training. This training starts on day one with onboarding for new and temporary employees. Classroom and hands-on training on core safety topics are covered throughout the year and employees are given job specific safety training as they move around and cross train.


Incident Reporting

At Great Northern, we thoroughly investigate all injuries, property damage, and near misses. We work to identify the root cause and take corrective actions to prevent future incidents.


Active Employee Participation

Our employees are given opportunities to participate in our safety program through safety committee participation, behavior observations, audit and risk assessments, on-the-job training and safety projects.


Regulatory Compliance

Our facilities consistently work toward improving safety, awareness and regulatory compliance through regular audits, Job Safety Analysis, Hazard Assessments, and detailed and up-to-date safety procedures available to all employees. These procedures and assessment are reviewed regularly to ensure they are accurate and current.


Safe by Design

We plan safety into every project. Our facilities conduct a formal risk assessment before starting any new or modified machine to ensure the equipment is safe and has the procedures in place to operate it safely. Our plants also stay in front of industry trends and invest in equipment that go above basic regulatory compliance requirements.



We reward employees for working safely and offering ideas for improvement. We also celebrate together when we meet goals or reach milestones.


Facilities and Grounds

At Great Northern, we take pride in the condition of our facilities. Our work environments are clean and organized, our equipment is kept up-to-date and modern, and our restrooms and break areas are clean and comfortable.


Occupational Health

Most Great Northern facilities have on-site occupational health nurses available for employees. These nurses are actively engaged in wellness initiatives, preventative care, and occupational injury management. Each facility works closely with a local occupational medicine clinic for issues that cannot be resolved on-site.

Great Expectations

Great Expectations is more than a tagline, it is an attitude. At Great Northern, customer challenges are met by an undying spirit to doing what others can’t or won’t. It’s in our DNA. And it is what our customers have come to expect with Great Northern.

How can we exceed your expectations?