Three Cemex USA cement plants are setting the pace with high safety standards, each reaching more than 1,000 days without a lost-time injury (LTI).
Balcones Cement Plant in New Braunfels, Texas; Demopolis Cement Plant in Demopolis, Ala.; and Knoxville Cement Plant in Knoxville, Tenn., all achieved the milestone in late 2017. At each of the plants, no employees have missed work due to on-the-job injuries for nearly three years.
“Our team members at these plants need to be commended because they show our goal of Zero4Life is possible,” said Cemex USA President Ignacio Madridejos. “At Cemex, there is nothing more important than the health and safety of our employees, and by putting safety first each day, these teams are leading by example.”
The Demopolis Cement Plant reached the 1,000-day mark on Nov. 29, 2017. Knoxville Cement Plant hit the milestone Dec. 6 and Balcones Cement Plant followed Dec. 22. Each plant has between roughly 80 and 130 employees who are committed to working safely. The plants are following the lead of the Brooksville South Plant that marked 2,500 LTI-free days at the end of 2017.
“It takes a team effort to reach this milestone, and we congratulate the plants for setting the standard when it comes to safety,” said Dr. Hugo Bolio, Cemex USA’s executive vice president, cement operations and technology. “They are shining examples in the industry of what is possible when everyone is committed to the goal.”
“Our employees look out for each other, and we are a big family,” Demopolis Cement Plant Manager Alejandro Perez said. “Everything starts with safety. We have daily safety meetings because we all have someone at home waiting for us.”
Each January, Cemex USA holds its annual Safety Week, in which all employees recommit to Stop, Think and Act, when it comes to their safety and the safety of their colleagues. To kick off Safety Week, employees at all Cemex USA operations participate in safety stand downs. Work is stopped for 60 to 90 minutes at each facility so employees can pay special attention to safety.
“We are engaged with our employees each day when it comes to safety because it’s the right thing to do,” said Knoxville Plant Manager Kevin Kelley. “We want to make sure everyone knows how to safely perform their tasks for the day and what personal protective equipment (PPE) they will need and why. We want to make safety a way of life.”
“Balcones has 126 employees at our plant and each recognizes the importance of safety,” said Antonio De Luca, Balcones Cement Plant manager. “Our employees are constantly working to identify and fix any potential hazards they may encounter so we can continue to add to the milestone.”
Other Cemex USA cement plants are working toward the 1,000 LTI-free days’ milestones. Clinchfield Cement Plant in Clinchfield, Ga., reached 800 LTI-free days and Miami Cement Plant in Miami, Fla., achieved 365 LTI-free days in February 2018.