‘Look-Out Fred’

Soliciting Suggestions and Giving Guidance

‘Look-Out Fred’ is a 4-foot high, cardboard cutout robot (custom designed through that has taken on a life of his own at Berry Plastics in Dunkirk, NY.  Fred encourages interaction with his dynamic nature.  He is moved around on the shop floor to where the most recent near miss or safety incident has occurred.  His chest plate communicates safety information, reminders, or warnings.  Fred also, not-so-subtly, perpetually holds out his suggestion box requesting participation from those around him.  Hidden on his back, he totes blank suggestion cards for easy accessibility.

It Works!

Al Gross, the Plant Manager at Berry Plastics in Dunkirk, says that Fred is a “unique way to communicate to people that’s kind of fun. (He) promotes employee engagement.” In the last year, the suggestion box has yielded over 100 safety suggestions!

Follow-Up is Key to On-Going Benefits

Once Fred receives a suggestion, Berry’s Environmental, Health and Safety (EH&S) Manager provides the suggesting employee a Tim Horton’s Gift Card as a thank you for participating.

Suggestions are reviewed at the next Safety Meeting. If the idea is worthy of follow-up and, according to Al, “most of them are,” the idea is assigned to an individual.  It’s then tracked on a Safety Task List until it’s complete. These results have had a great impact on on-going participation and, of course, on safety performance improvement.

Going Forward

While the idea for Fred originated from Berry Plastics’ EH&S Corporate Team, the Dunkirk group will continue to use him because “he works.” They are even considering expanding Fred‘s influence by including submissions for First Aid and Near Miss Incidents.

About Berry Plastics

Berry Plastics Group, Inc., headquartered in Evansville, Indiana, is a leading provider of value-added plastic consumer packaging and engineered materials delivering high-quality customized solutions to their customers. Annual net sales were $5.0 billion in fiscal 2014.  For more information, visit





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