A. O. Smith Corp. recently presented its highest safety honor, the Lloyd B. Smith President's Safety Award, to the 1,200 employees of its Water Products Co. plant in Johnson City, Tenn.
safety award is given to the facility that compiles the best safety record in a
calendar year, based on statistical evidence of improvement over that period as
well as by sustaining a comprehensive facility-wide safety program focused on
the goal of accident prevention. Johnson City was one of 40 company facilities worldwide
competing to receive this year’s honor.
Johnson City plant emphasizes awareness and accountability by making safety a
part of the training for each assignment in the facility, from blueprint
reading to fork lift driving. No employee
may change job assignments without understanding the safety aspects of the new
addition to the extensive training, Johnson City’s comprehensive safety program
extends to every facet of the operation. Each department contributes to the
safety program by requiring that safety is a mandatory element of each project
or machine upgrade. This effort has extended to machine guarding, die storage
and an integrated press lock-out system.
has also been great emphasis placed on ergonomic improvements at Johnson City,
a key element in helping Johnson City reach five million hours without a lost
time accident. Projects such as installing lifts for heavy components, lowering
work stations to eliminate the need for bending, and positioning tools on
retractable hangers for easier accessibility have helped reduce fatigue and the
potential for accidents.
City helps engage all of its employees though an annual Summer Safety
Celebration. During this celebration, employees are entertained by a bluegrass
band and a mascot from the local baseball team, the Johnson City Cardinals,
while they eat a picnic lunch. The main focus for the Summer Safety Celebration
is the Health and Environment Fair. This fair hosts various health-related booths
for employees such as blood pressure and cholesterol checking.