HEBER SPRINGS, Ark. ― (February 9, 2015) ― The employees at TIGG, LLC’s Heber Springs, Arkansas manufacturing facility were recognized at a ceremony February 4 for their efforts in completing a full year with no recordable accidents and a zero lost time rate. The 20-person staff engages in heavy manufacturing that includes metal rolling, welding, painting and other potentially dangerous procedures.
As one of his first acts as plant manager, Doug Murray instituted a new safety program in March 2013. “There can always be safety hazards involved with the manufacturing process,” he said. “Our goal is to be 100 percent accident free. If we do that, it means that everyone goes home safely at the end of the work day. Over the course of the last year, the employees made this milestone happen.”
Murray explained that the hazard of flying bits of steel from metal grinders was one of the first issues he addressed. By doubling down on the policy of wearing safety glasses and acquiring improved face shields that better protect the entire head, TIGG employees have worked the grinders incident free since the changes took effect.
TIGG manufactures large, steel tanks and pressure-rated vessels which often weight thousands of pounds. They are moved about the facility by overhead cranes. “It’s just common sense, but we talk about situational awareness every day,” Murray said. “Never walk under suspended loads and always be aware of your surroundings. These are just some of the policies that have eliminated accidents.”
The plant manager partially credits TIGG’s accident-free record to continuously going over safety issues during his morning employee “tool-box meeting.” Early on, it was decided that the yearly cycle would be visually represented by a NASCAR track and weekly progress without incident would see a checkered flag placed in increments around the oval.
A near safety miss would be represented by a caution flag and a red flag would represent a wipeout. This year, TIGG employees crossed the finish line without any flagged accidents. As a reward, they were treated to a steak dinner personally grilled by Murray.
TIGG General Manager Anthony Mazzoni congratulated the workforce and explained why he believes work-place safety is a paramount concern. “Above all, worker safety is the most important metric to measure,” he said. “A safe and healthy workforce translates to well-built equipment and satisfied customers.”
Murray says his stance on safety was formed while working for a previous employer. His former boss talked about an employee who received a large cut on his hand that required stitches. His superior explained that the injured employee would have that scar for life and would think of the company whenever he saw it.
“Safety isn’t just important to our employees, it is important to their families as well,” Murray said .”We recognize that staying safe on the job translates to being happy at home.”