Source: Ash Grove Cement Co., Overland Park, Kan.

Ash Grove’s Leamington, Utah, plant won top honors in the company’s annual L.T. Sunderland Safety Excellence Award competition for 2011. Since 2006, eight Ash Grove cement manufacturing plants and two grinding facilities have competed to earn the award. Each facility is evaluated on an extensive matrix of data that is focused on health and safety process and results.

The Ash Grove Safety Leadership Steering Committee scores each of the health and safety metrics used in selecting the best overall performing plant. Those scores are tabulated, and the plant with the highest score is selected to receive the award. For 2011, the plant with the overall highest score was Leamington. “Our team takes great pride in this honor,” said Leamington Plant Manager Ron Smith. “This recognition is proof of our commitment to ensure that each of our employees goes home whole each day.”

“We select the three top-performing plants as finalists for the award. For 2011, the finalists were the Leamington plant, along with our Inkom, Idaho, grinding facility and our Midlothian, Texas, plant,” according to Ash Grove’s Director, Health and Safety, Steve Minshall, who coordinates the final evaluation process. “Each one demonstrated a high degree of health and safety competence by achieving Gold status in the company’s Safety Leadership Awards for 2011.”

In addition, the Rivergate grinding facility in Portland, Ore., the Chanute, Kan., Foreman, Ark., Montana City, Mont., and Seattle, Wash., cement manufacturing plants all achieved Gold status for their outstanding safety results last year. Both port terminals in Houston, Texas, and Portland, Ore., earned the Gold status awards for 2011 as well. Two cement manufacturing plants in Durkee, Ore., and Louisville, Neb., qualified for the 2011 Bronze status.

According to Minshall, each of the company’s manufacturing plants, grinding facilities and port terminals actively participate in the company’s health and safety management system, which includes injury prevention, compliance management, audits and training to ensure a safe work environment for employees. “Excellent safety performance does not just happen. It takes effort, teamwork, accountability and truly valuing the well-being of every person. This recognition validates the strong commitment to safety excellence we have at Ash Grove,” Minshall said.

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