Stone, Sand and Gravel Review - November/December 2010 - (Page 13)

Industry Safety Improvements Gained by Joseph Casper NSSGA Vice President of Safety Services Through Alliances, Safety Culture management of safety issues; 86 percent of respondents reported that their companies conduct self-assessment of safety and health performance; and more than 80 percent reported that their operations use third-party audits to determine effectiveness of health and safety training. And a vast majority reported that their companies hold effective meetings of all employees on issues relating to worker health and safety. One Leader’s Development of Safety Culture But what is a safety culture? It’s a commitment to safe and healthy production in all facets of an aggregate producer’s work. This commitment was described by Kevin Davis, safety manager for Miles Sand & Gravel, when he accepted NSSGA’s James M. Christie Safety and Health Professional of the Year award in 2009. After his assumption of safety responsibilities, Davis employed various communications vehicles to creatively convey the primary importance of safety. This included instructing employees that they’re not expected to take short-cuts or get hurt; in fact, employees are reprimanded for taking short-cuts when it comes to safety. Davis also worked to foster teamwork and develop a safety culture throughout the operation. This included changing the culture’s focus from “getting it done” to “getting it done safely.” Davis stressed that not one rock produced or delivered is worth any injury. Additionally, Davis collaborated with MSHA representatives who introduced the agency’s “SLAM” program, standing for: Stop - stop and consider the work involved Look - look for and identify the hazards Analyze - analyze what needs to be done Manage - manage safety by developing and implementing controls. 13 I n the past few years, we have seen a big reduction in the injury and fatality rates for the aggregates industry – and the rates have continued to decline. In fact, if current trends hold, 2010 will go down as the safest year yet in terms of injuries in our industry. (After the first half of the year, the injury incidence rate stands at 2.37 injuries per 200,000 hours worked, marking a 4 percent reduction from the 2009 level.) There are a number of factors tied to this trend, but in a word, we can most certainly point to a growing “culture” of safety within aggregate operations as the main reason that injury and fatality numbers are down. Growth of a Safety Culture In February 2003, the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration and NSSGA embarked on a groundbreaking Alliance Agreement that pledged them to work together to reduce injuries in aggregates operations. Its first initiative was to develop a management commitment “Safety Pledge” to be signed by NSSGA members. This step was actually in response to a number of member companies within the industry whose CEO or owner had made a similar commitment to achieve a reduction in injuries. Approximately 70 percent of the NSSGA producer member company operations are led by an executive who signed the Safety Pledge, which commits signers to working to reduce the industry’s injury incidence rate by 10 percent each year. Industry statistics from MSHA show that from 2002 to 2007, the total injury rate did decline – from 3.58 in 2002 to 2.46 in 2009. An NSSGA survey conducted this spring of members of the association’s Safety and Health Committee showed that a majority of respondents have aggressively worked to establish and cultivate a culture that targets injury and illness reductions. For instance, almost two-thirds of respondents say that their companies hold high expectations for effective Stone, Sand & Gravel Review, November/December 2010 >

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Stone, Sand and Gravel Review - November/December 2010

Stone, Sand and Gravel Review - November/December 2010
Events Calendar
Legislative & Regulatory Calendar
Industry Safety Improvements Gained Through Alliances, Safety Culture
Notes from the Chair of the Health & Safety Committee
Safety Risk Management and Techniques Are Being Applied Worldwide
Achieving Wellness in the Workplace: An Occupational Health Program Is an Important Part of Any Company’s Health and Safety Practices
Once Again, The Future is Now
It’s Not Too Early to Consider Exhibiting Everything Aggregates Under One Roof
Don’t Gamble on the Future
The 2010/2011 SME/NSSGA Student Design Competition is Under Way
Rip ‘N Share Safety Handout
Products & Services Guide Listings
Buyers’ Guide

Stone, Sand and Gravel Review - November/December 2010