PCA Honors Safety Innovation

The Portland Cement Association (PCA) recently announced the winners of the 2021 Safety Innovation Awards, which recognizes creative safety-enhancing projects in the cement industry. 

The winners were determined by a panel of judges that evaluated safety projects completed in 2020 from across the country in four categories: COVID-19 management, pyroprocessing, general facility, and distribution.

“Our industry prioritizes the safety of its employees above all else,” said PCA President and CEO Michael Ireland. “We are proud of our members continuous efforts to pursue excellence in safety innovation for their company and their colleagues.”

The following are the 2021 Safety Innovation Award winners:

COVID-19 Management – CEMEX USA, Miami.
COVID Rapid Response Team. In the early days of the pandemic, employees at the Miami cement plant mobilized quickly to adapt the extensive CEMEX COVID-19 protocols to ensure the health and safety of the workforce while maintaining business continuity. Implementing these protocols and responding to COVID-19 issues included employees taking on extra jobs and working longer hours with remote technical support from their peers to assure the plant operated safely. A rapid response team was quickly activated to provide supplies, testing, medical support and more for CEMEX employees at all locations in the region.

Pyroprocessing – CEMEX USA, Tijeras, N.M.
Igniter Lance. The employees at GCC of America’s Rio Grande Plant devised a safer procedure for igniting the burner pipe in the kiln. The team created an igniter lance that allows team members to insert it in front of the burner while standing in a safe location from the side of the kiln hood. The burner floor is completely cleared of all employees while this process takes place, so no one is in an unsafe position.

General Facility (tie) – CEMEX USA, Lucerne Valley, Calif.
Confined Space Training Program. Mitsubishi Cement’s Cushenbury Plant purchased a storage container and converted it into a confined spaced training facility. Employees re-configured the container to include the narrowest entry doors, hatches and crawlway spaces found in the cement plant and conducted confined space entry training for employees onsite.

CEMEX USA, Clarkdale, Ariz. 
Storage Rack for Shaft Guides. Machinists at the Salt River Materials Group’s Clarkdale cement facility designed and built a storage rack for shaft guides for the shaft hydraulic press. Lifting tabs welded onto the guides allow the overhead crane to be used instead of manual carry and placement, protecting employees from potential injuries in lifting and placing the guides.

Distribution – CEMEX USA, Oklahoma City, Okla.
Safe Egress for Truck Drivers. Buzzi Unicem’s Oklahoma City Terminal fabricated a platform complete with extended handrails and steps to provide safe egress for the drivers exiting their trucks on site. This upgrade reduced fall hazards and ensures that drivers can get to ground level safely.

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