2008 Award Recipients
Innovation Award: Medium-sized Company
Founded in 1902 in Terre Haute, Indiana, Gartland Foundry produces gray iron castings. Today, the foundry continues its operation as a family-owned small business under the direction of the founder’s grandsons. Beginning in the late 90’s, Gartland Foundry began a quest to provide the safest and most efficient small-job shop in the country. Specific goals were to reduce the manual lifting and shoveling commonly found in foundries, clean the air, and reduce heat stress all while exceeding customer requirements for both quality and economical castings. One job duty required employees to carry 80 to 100 pound bags of sand and bond up a flight of stairs to an open top muller, causing much physical strain and stress on foundry workers. This process was evaluated and today, sand and bond arrive in tanker trucks and is blown into the respective silos sand automatically feeds into the muller. The stresses of lifting as well as countless man hours were eliminated. In September 2007, Gartland Foundry became Indiana’s first foundry to be inducted into the Indiana Department of Labor’s Indiana Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (INSHARP).
Innovation Award: Large-sized Company
Located in the heart of Southwestern Indiana (Princeton), Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana, Inc. is an automotive manufacturing business that employs nearly 4,700 employees. With the recent launch of the larger Toyota Tundra and Sequoia in 2007, an increase in upper extremity injuries in the plant’s Body Weld Conveyance Shop began to occur. In an effort to reduce the risk and burden of the risk and burden of this activity, the company assembled a task force to investigate this rising trend and provide solutions to correct the problem. Interim support in the form of additional team members was provided to assist in parts unloading. Toyota’s investigation pushed the team to review the body weld delivery system which was used throughout all Toyota plants in North America. Ultimately the company implemented an Automated Minomi delivery system for body weld conveyance to eliminate these awkward postures and high push forces. The new system was fully implemented in November 2007. The new system reduced body weld conveyance recordable injuries by 85 percent.
Education & Outreach Award
Employing nearly 800 employees in Goshen, Indiana, HomeCrest Cabinetry renewed its focus on worker safety and health in 2004. Since the company’s renewed focus, safety is now a core business value at HomeCrest. Programs are innovative and the company believes that injuries are predictable, preventable and unacceptable. The company operates a safety incentive program that rewards fewer work-related injuries and illnesses. From 2005 to 2007, ergonomic related recordable injuries have been reduced by 76 percent and recordable injuries alone have been reduced by 60%. Another accomplishment has been in the reduction of Lost Workday Cases by 90% and the number of Lost Work Days has been reduced from 245 days in 2005 to 13 in 2007. Top management and employees are committed to this value and feel that the program is proactive, as safety and health is always in the forefront. As a result of the commitment from top-level management and employee involvement in the program, Workers’ Compensation costs have been reduced from $0.88 per hour worked in early 2005 to $0.14 per hour worked through the end of 2007. With a reduction of 52 percent of the recordable incident rate, an economical benefit to the company of $1,067,000 has been realized. The company also has recognized an improvement in employee morale, as the results from an employee survey indicated that employees ranked safety as one of the Top five attributes they liked best about HomeCrest.
With more than 1,300 employees involved in operations in 1999 that included the operation of a power plant, airport, police, fire, construction, printing services, custodial services, grounds keeping, transportation, parking and maintenance operation, Purdue University’s Physical Facilities recognized many challenges that they need to overcome. Recordable injury frequency rate was approximately 20 per 100 workers, there was very little employee involvement in worker safety and health and the overall safety culture was compliance-based only. In 2000, Physical Facilities was responsible for more than half of Purdue University’s Workers’ Compensation Injury Claims. In 2003, Purdue Physical Facilities along with Liberty Mutual introduced Performance Leadership to its departmental safety committees. Performance Leadership involves the identification of incident-causing gaps in existing engineering, training and safety performance programs. As a result of the implementation of this partnership and program, Purdue Physical Facilities has experienced a reduction in injury rates by half of that rate recorded in 1999. Workers’ Compensation injury claims were also reduced from 53 percent in 2000 to 26 percent in 2007.
Overall Safety Award: Small-sized Company
Bloomington, Indiana based BioConvergence LLC has received the 2008 Governor’s Workplace Safety Award for in the category of Small Company Safety. Founded in 2004, BioConvergence LLC is a woman-owned business that provides contract services to the pharmaceutical industry. The company has seen rapid growth since taking root in 2004, but has always kept the safety and health of its employees in the forefront. Immediate implementation of the company’s safety and health management program paid off, as the company had no recordable injuries during the 2006 calendar year. In September 2007, BioConvergence LLC became the youngest company in Indiana and the first company in Monroe County to achieve status in the Department of Labor’s Indiana Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (INSHARP).
Overall Safety Award: Construction
Founded in 1945, Steinberger Construction, Inc. is a family-owned general contractor to industrial and manufacturing facilities in Northern Indiana. The company employs 74. From safety committees and expanded employee orientation to Super Safety Training Day and the company’s wellness Program, safety proves to be a priority at Steinberger Construction. For the past two years, the company has coupled health and safety with overall satisfaction in life. Steinberger Construction, Inc. has incorporated a bona fide wellness program and partnered it with annual screenings, lunch and learn training programs, smoking cessation classes and ongoing education programs to remind and assist employees with the importance of good health. The company’s Lost Work Day Incidence Rates are the evidence to back this up, as in 2005 the corresponding rate was zero, 2006’s rate was 1.3 and in 2007 the company recorded yet again a Lost Work Day Incident Rate of zero.
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