Despite our pro-active efforts and unflagging commitment to an accident-free workplace, 2012 saw a tragic fatality at our plant in Pennsuco (our only fatality in the entire Group this past year). A TITAN employee was on top of a cement storage silo measuring cement levels when the top of the silo collapsed. The employee was engulfed in the silo along with the debris associated with the collapse. The cause of the catastrophic structural failure was traced back to construction and design flaws that dated back to the time of the silo’s construction 30 years ago, and, it is important to note, not to any unsafe act or negligence on any one person’s behalf.
On another note, in an effort to improve its safety performance, the TITAN America Corporate Safety Team completed an exhaustive review of historical injury trends and realized that the ready-mix driver was the employee job classification that consistently suffered from the highest rates of injury.
The first and most promising avenue for addressing this issue and looking for answers in a synergistic, collaborative way was the development of a Driver Council, the first of which councils was established in the Florida Business unit of TITAN America. The Driver Council consists of senior, experienced drivers from all over the Business Unit who come together quarterly, in a meeting with senior management to discuss safety as well as production issues. It was found that the drivers bring a perspective of their job to the table that helped the Safety Department understand and address key issues, such as the safety concerns associated with unloading into concrete pumps, backing safety and personal protective equipment.
Another innovative approach utilized by the cement plants in the U.S.A. was that of the "Small Team Safety Inspection Groups", where hourly employees are divided into small inspection teams and perform Safety Audits throughout the year. Any hazardous condition identified by these teams are documented and corrected as quickly as possible. This effort has led to a dramatic decrease in safety violations.
For the year 2012, TITAN America experienced a 33% decline in lost time injuries from the previous year.
Continued efforts have also been made with respect to the health and wellness of employees through a long-term program initiated by TITAN two years ago.