Our society relies on steel perhaps more than on any other single material in the world, for the production of just about everything. From kitchen utensils to buildings-steel is a material we rely on heavily. Although modern safety practices have reduced the number of injuries, workers operating steel mill equipment are at high risk as the process of producing steel requires using high-energy furnaces and toxic chemicals.
However, steel mill companies such as the Gerdau Ameristeel facility, takes the safety of their employees very seriously. According to the Paragould Daily Press, the Gerdau Ameristeel facility in Paragould, Arkansas has been recognized for the second time in just four weeks for its outstanding safety achievement of being accident-free for four years.
General Manager of Rail Products division Ron Ancevic came all the way from Lancaster, S.C. in order to recognize the Paragould factory’s hardworking employees and present them with the honorary safety award.
Ancevic states, “There’s only one other facility downstream that I know of that has a better record of safety.” He continues by stating, “You don’t get to that point without coming to work every day having an attitude that you’re going to work safely.”
It is evident that the positive attitude’s of the Gerdau Ameristeel employees has paid off. Ron Ancevic commends them for their commitment to safety, and tells us that the Paragould plant has distinguished itself as a top producer of rail spikes even as it has remained accident-free.
Recognizing the plant’s achievement “a culture of safety”, Ancevic said Gerdau Ameristeel is now offering 'safetykicker, a new safety incentive program that rewards employees who are accident free in 2010.
With steel mills having a reputation of being extremely dangerous workplaces, this incentive program should be a sigh of relief for all steel mill employees, and hopefully, set the high standard for other steel mill factories throughout the country.