Utah employers honored for efforts to promote safety

By Steven Oberbeck
The Salt Lake Tribune
June 7, 2008

Workplace injuries can be devastating for people and the companies involved, according to the Workers Compensation Fund of Utah.

In order to foster injury prevention awareness, the Workers Compensation Fund annually offers its Charles A. Caine Safety Awards to applaud the efforts of Utah companies whose programs and success in creating a safe workplace can serve as example to other businesses.

The 15 award winners this year are:

Ace Disposal Co., Salt Lake City: Even with a 70 percent increase in payroll during the past five years, Ace has managed to keep safety on the minds of its new and veteran workers. The company rewards drivers with raises after an incident-free quarter.

Action Hot Oil Services, Roosevelt: To keep employees safe, Action has a comprehensive written safety program that covers the hazards and controls of its work. It also documented safety programs monthly.

Big D Construction, Salt Lake City: Big D holds regular safety meetings and requires management at the foreman level and above to complete the 30-hour OSHA construction safety outreach program.

Dairyway Transport, Tremonton: Trucking-related safety information is provided to drivers with written handouts and ongoing safety meetings. Spouses are invited to quarterly safety meetings.

Fashion Cabinet, West Jordan: It recently invested $5,000 per table saw to ensure new safety features, such as automatic shutdown when saws come in contact with flesh. Employees are involved in providing input for safety improvements.

Fetzer Architectural Woodwork, West Valley City: The company involves employees on its safety committee, insists on the use of personal protective equipment for every employee and conducts ongoing safety training.

Geary Construction Inc., Coalville: Before employees are allowed to operate heavy machinery, they must complete several safety programs. Employees also are empowered to ensure each other's safety, even if it means stopping work on a project.

Larry Miller Group, Sandy: The company allocates costs back to departments or work groups based on safety performance. Strategies, such as slip-resistant shoes in most restaurants, have helped to dramatically reduce claims.

Petersen Inc., Farr West: A manufacturer of large metal fabrications, Petersen requires its employees to receive safety training both in the classroom and on the job. Employees complete self-inspection reports and must wear personal protective equipment.

Riverbend Express, Washington: The interstate trucking company mandates a full day of safety training on every employee's first day - even for experienced drivers. In the shop, hazards are kept to a minimum with physical barriers between mechanics and drivers.

REI Drilling, Salt Lake City: All crews are required to complete daily pre-shift inspections in which they must preplan their work and hazard control efforts before getting started.

Sandy City, Sandy: Each department of city government has its own safety committee, which meets regularly to review all accident injuries, claims and training needs.

St. George Truss, St. George: The company has strict lifting limits and uses forklifts regularly to avoid back, neck and shoulder injuries.

USU Research Foundation, Logan: Also known as the Space Dynamics Laboratory, the foundation follows guidelines established by NASA, OSHA, the Center for Disease Control and other organizations to ensure employees are adequately protected.

Western Pipe Fabrication, Centerville: The owners of the company, a specialty plumbing contractor, are involved in the everyday safety management of the company, with one owner specifically assigned to oversee safety.

In addition, Icon Health & Fitness of Logan and the United Way of Salt Lake, received the Workers Compensation Fund's Diversity Award for their efforts at fostering safety programs that go beyond language and cultural barriers.

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