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Sentry Seeks to ‘Ignite Fire’ in Plant, Product Safety Programs

by Kristi Ruggles

If there was a silver lining to the quiet days of the pandemic, it may have been that folks checked off a few things that had been lingering on their to-do lists for years: reorganizing warehouse space, repaving the parking lot, creating a comprehensive, floor-to-ceiling safety toolkit for your manufacturing operation.

If the quiet days did not last long enough for you to create that safety document, we have good news. Sentry Insurance got it done.

The company has just released a 171-page safety toolkit and made it available to members of this Association regardless of your status as a policyholder at Sentry. While it is not intended to be an all-inclusive guide (each company will of course have to address issues specific to their business), it is a launch point that has no equal.

“I know of no other insurance carrier that offers anything close to this,” said John Tye, chairman of the Association’s Risk Management Committee. “To call it comprehensive is an understatement. The substance of the document shows Sentry’s extraordinary expertise in the shortline industry. The company’s willingness to share the work with our members shows that it cares about the safety of the people who make and use our products.”

Sentry Insurance

The document is the result of an ongoing conversation between the Risk Management Committee and Sentry Insurance. It is the newest and most expansive version of a resource that began in 2007 and was last updated in 2012.

“The content is designed to provide more than just lists of what manufacturers need to do,” said Bryant Hintz, Sentry safety consultant. “It is designed to give manufacturers examples and resources to help build their safety programs. It is a one-stop shop for everything related to workplace safety and product safety.”

The kit includes the latest ASABE, ANSI and ISO standards for farm equipment manufacturers. It also covers:

  • Loss control (accident investigation report, general inspection checklist, equipment safety checklist, new employee safety orientation, and more)
  • Product safety (hazard analysis, quality assurance, machine guarding, safety messages and labels, operator’s manuals, and again, much more)
  • Document management (document retention, electronic documents, etc.)
  • Incident and claim reporting, and
  • About a dozen common exposures such as hazardous materials, mechanical material-handling, fire hazards, and emergency preparedness.

Even for companies with established safety programs, the litigation landscape may make this the right time for a review.

“During recent years, there have been changes in the concept of liability, what constitutes negligence, and the size of verdicts,” the company says. “It’s important to take these changes into consideration when you review existing or proposed product safety processes.”

Hintz said Sentry seeks to “ignite that fire in our customers” to keep safety at the center of plant operations. “We also want relationships with our customers, so they know they are not alone. We are here to help.”

Hintz will visit Sentry policyholder facilities for safety consultations. The visits are not intended to be punitive. Consultations are not tied to rate increases except when egregious risks persist for repeated visits.

“We see it as favorable that companies want to bring us onsite,” he said. “If we do an in-depth mock OSHA inspection, for example, and see something, we will address it, but will we raise their rates? No. If we go in the next year and see that none of our recommendations have been addressed, it might raise a red flag.”

To see the safety toolkit, go to The document is password-protected.

Members who are policyholders and want a safety consultation should contact Hintz at (715) 412-1640 or