With safety at the forefront of everything we do at Mid-States Concrete Industries, we are currently on the journey to VPP Star Status.
What is VPP Star Status? OSHA’s (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) Voluntary Protection Programs recognize and partner with businesses and worksites that show excellence in occupational safety and health. VPP participants develop and implement systems to effectively identify, evaluate, prevent and control occupational hazards to prevent employee injuries and illnesses, according to OSHA.
The Star Program is designed for exemplary worksites with comprehensive, successful safety and health management systems. Companies in the Star Program have achieved injury and illness rates at or below the national average of their industry and are self-sufficient in their ability to control workplace hazards, according to OSHA.
“It’s very difficult to achieve,” said Mike Wolff, Vice President of Safety and Plant Operations.
Mid-States doesn’t shy away from a challenge though. With a vision to “change the world by being the safest and most innovative precast building company,” aiming for Star Status is an obvious choice. Mid-States has been working towards Star Status for the past three years. The goal is to achieve it in the next two years.
“It’s not so much the award, as (it is) the journey to getting there,” Mike said.
At Mid-States, that journey has included creating safety committees at all levels of the organization, learning from incidents, – like adding a plywood lifter after an employee suffered a sprain in the woodshop – getting all foremen and field crew OSHA 30 hour certified, hosting safety days, creating an employee safety audit team and more. The journey has also included inviting OSHA out to the plant a couple times each year to point out any non-compliance.
“OSHA are our friends here at Mid-States,” Mike said. “We work with them to keep everyone safe at Mid-States.”
Mike acknowledged it takes commitment from not only him and management to make this happen, but also a commitment from all Mid-States employees.
With one facet of star status based on injury rates, 2016 is looking like a good year for Mid-States. In 2015, we recorded 10 injuries. So far in 2016, we’ve recorded only one.
Mike also noted safety goes hand-in-hand with improving quality, improving customer satisfaction and increasing production.
Safety is just good business.