Individual accountability, dedicated safety steering committees, and a program that integrates safety into all training activities, has helped the A. O. Smith Water Products Company plant in Johnson City, TN, record more than two million hours without a lost-time accident.
Johnson City's latest period of safe work hours began on Nov. 23, 2005, and the 1,200 employees achieved the two million hour mark on Oct. 16, 2006. To date, employees have worked approximately 2.4 million hours without a lost-time incident. The 500,000 sq.ft. facility produces residential water heaters.
Johnson City has had programs in place to maintain the focus on workplace safety for more than 10 years.
"Safety is part of the inter-strength of the organization," says Everson Weekley, safety manager of the Johnson City plant.
"We emphasize accountability for everyone at all levels of the organization."
The plant's safety steering committee is led by Andy Demski, who heads manufacturing operations, and Dale Austin, human resources chief at Johnson City. The 25-member committee, which has been meeting twice each month since 1995, continually monitors safety performance, oversees training programs, and reviews every safety-related incident in the plant.