Aggregates Manager

August 2014

Aggregates Manager Digital Magazine

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OPERATIONS ILLUSTRATED AGGREGATES MANAGER Voices of Experience S outhington Sand and Gravel Plant, a Tilcon Connecticut Inc., Old- castle Materials company, received a Gold Safety Excellence Award from the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Associa- tion at its 2014 Annual Convention. John Perkowski, plant foreman, says that he at- tributes much of the operation's excellent safety ratings to its housekeeping efforts. Southington Sand and Gravel incor- porates a program called 5S – Workplace Organization & Standardization, which is followed at all of Tilcon's facilities in every division. e program addresses the importance of housekeeping and consists of the following: • Sort: When in doubt, move it out – e Red Tag technique. • Simplify: A place for everything and everything in its place. • Sweep: Clean and inspect or inspect through cleaning. • Standardize: Make up the rules and follow them. • Self-Discipline: Part of daily work and it becomes a habit. "Our goal is to get rid of anything we're not using," Perkowski explains. "If we haven't used it in two or three years, then it makes sense to get rid of it, scrap it, or sell it. In our storage facility, we have pegboard on the wall that has all our tools outlined on it. With a simple glance, we can quickly tell if any tools are missing. It simplifies things a lot." During the last several years, Oldcastle has highlighted a program at all its opera- tions — When I see something , I will stop and do something. e slogan is on stickers, t-shirts, sweatshirts, and posters, and is ad- dressed in a video message from Oldcastle Materials CEO Randy Lake. "We really want employees to get en- gaged," Perkowski says. "If you recognize anything, please stop and do something about it. Get involved. Correct it. at's all an aspect of good housekeeping." John Perkowski ▼ Randall "Randy" Mucha ▼ "H ousekeeping is prey much a staple as far as seing a culture for our company's health and safety program," says Randall "Randy" Mucha, corporate director of safety and health at Lehigh Hanson. "Many times, the first impres- sion is a lasting impression. If you go into a plant where the housekeeping is very good, it puts in your mind that they have their hands wrapped around safety at that location. It tells the story very quickly." Company health and safety profes- sionals look at housekeeping as they go through each plant. During health and safety meetings, the company takes employee suggestions and stresses the im- portance of a clean operation. Employees are empowered to fix a problem before a supervisor has to call someone to fix it. "Our focus on safety is about culture and leadership," Mucha explains. "e company is focusing on the fact that, when it comes to safety, everybody can be a leader. You don't have to be a manager or supervisor. If you see something wrong, you have the authority and power to fix it. at cultural empowerment isn't unique to Lehigh Hanson, but it is something we've been deliberately focusing on over the past few years. When we empower everybody, housekeeping doesn't just happen on a certain day or at a certain time, it is ongo- ing." Lehigh Hanson shows off its good housekeeping during Family Safety Days when employees are invited to bring their families to work. Employees get a chance to explain to their families what they do and how they do it. It shows off the plants and gives the employees a sense of pride in their operation. "We want to show the families that we are happy that their family member works for us, and that we are glad that he goes home safely every day," Mucha says. "And part of that is having a clean house." H ousekeeping is an important part of the regular routine at Vulcan Materials' Fort Payne Quarry in Alabama. "It's part of the job," says George Grguric, plant manager. " We schedule eight hours per day — six hours of production and two hours of general maintenance and repair. e idea is not to have to clean up much at all. e idea is to find what's causing the problem, such as a buildup of material, and repair that. We try to make the plant run and operate at maximum capacity without spillage, which can cause a lot of extra cleanup." At the end of the day, the first items to be checked are all the tail pulleys and head pulleys at the dumping points in the plant. If there's any buildup of material, it is either washed out with a hose, cleared by a skid-steer loader, or cleared away with shovels. Use of the water hose is preferred, rather than the use of shovels, because there is less risk of a back injury with the water hose. Appearance is important. "We don't have papers lying around the shop," Grguric notes. "You don't see anyone throw a drink can or an empty chip bag out of the window of a vehicle. If there's a scrap on the ground, we stop, pick it up, and take it to the garbage can. You don't see grease spots. You don't see debris on catwalks. It's almost habitual now. at presents itself well to anyone coming in." Before the economic downturn in 2008, when business was booming, there was a designated clean-up person at the quarry. Now, the responsibility lies with every employee. "Everybody has their priority when it comes to good housekeeping," Grguric says. "I think, for me, it solidifies owner- ship in the quarry and the business. It's motivational, it's safe, it's efficient, and it's contagious." George Grguric ▼

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