|NIBCO awarded top safety honor
STUARTS DRAFT – NIBCO, Inc. in Stuarts Draft received the highest level of safety recognition after more than eight years of working towards the goal through totally transforming its facilities.
The facility was approved as a Star work site under Virginia's Occupational Safety and Health Voluntary Protection Program last week.
NIBCO is a metal forging and fabrication site that produces brass fasteners for pipes. It is the only plant of its kind in Virginia that has been named as a Star work site part of Voluntary Protection Program, or VPP, and is one of three other Star VPP sites in the country for the company.
The Stuarts Draft facility was awarded with the VPP for its distribution center and plant, which employees almost 400 people.
NIBCO officials and Virginia Department of Labor representatives celebrated the award Wednesday morning.
The safety achievement was originally planned to take only a year, but ended up taking more than eight, said Mark Frazier, the plant manager.
"This is a big investment, so we added resources and switched our teams around and really starting diving into it about four years ago," Frazier said. "Even the way you measure yourself, in any facility, you measure how many hours, days without anybody getting hurt. That's a great number, but that's not the most important number."
The numbers include if everyone finishes training or signing up for safety measures and being accountable for them. Now, the plant measures if safety training or safety inspections are done on time.
The businesses that are named part of the Star VPP improve the safety and health protections for employees to reduce injuries, illnesses and fatal accidents, a release said.
Frazier said everything is documented more clearly and more frequent, down to someone signing off on checking the equipment.
"The trust factor is so much different," Frazier said. "Now, we have to rely on where our teams are constructing, there's so much that needs to be done day in and day out, there's a large number of trust distributed throughout the group."
Frazier said the new implementations put in place help with new employees who are starting to work at the plant.
"What you'll see is when a new employee comes in they get up to speed way faster than in the past, it's more in detail," he said. "All the training is upfront. Even visitors or coworkers, if they see someone doing something unsafe, it will be pointed out."
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