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Participation in the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association's annual ready-mixed concrete safety contest has nearly doubled since the program was revised and reinstated 2 years ago. NRMCA and The Concrete Producer co-sponsor the popular program. This year, 145 companies submitted production and accident data from 1,208 plants. Of these, 363 plants received NRMCA Excellence in Safety certificates and 412 received Accident Free Year certificates in August.

The primary goal of the NRMCA Safety Contest is to recognize the employees of concrete production facilities that have good safety records. Further, the program is designed to provide industry-specific accident frequency benchmarking data. The high level of participation lends credibility to the benchmarking effort, as the sample population has become quite large and is statistically representative. This year's entries represent almost 80 million cubic yards of production, nearly one quarter of the estimated ready-mixed concrete production in 1998.

The contest's accident frequency rate (AFR) is derived from the number of personal injury accidents and truck mixer accidents per 100,000 cubic yards of concrete produced. The contest entry form was designed to be as simple as possible, so other events that can impact a company's loss profile are not captured.

The AFR does, however, give a producer a quick and easy way to examine the company's safety efforts relative to others in the industry. Members of the Safety Task Group of the association's Operations and Equipment Maintenance Committee hope that the accidents-per-100,000-yards benchmark gains universal acceptance in the industry over time. Companies with an AFR below the industry average could use this to demonstrate the effectiveness of their safety programs to workers' compensation and commercial auto insurance carriers.

The National Precast Concrete Association's 1998 Safety Awards recognize member companies' safe working environments using three simple criteria:

  • A facility that completely avoided lost-time accidents earned a Winner of Excellence Award
  • A facility posting a lost-time accident rate equal to or better than that of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) received a Safety Award of Merit
  • Finally, a facility with a lost-time accident rate equal to or better than that of the BLS and that had the greatest percentage of improvement during the year earned a Most Improved Safety Record Award

The American Concrete Pipe Association selects winners of its Annual Safety Program based on the accident-incidence rate plus lost-time accidents per 200,000 man-hours worked. ACPA uses these criteria to rank plants in seven categories, from those with fewer than 25,000 man-hours during the calendar year to those with more than 300,000.

The article includes lists of NRMCA, NPCA, and ACPA member companies honored for safe records in 1998.

Keywords: National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, NRMCA, Excellence in Safety Accident Free Year accident frequency rate, AFR, benchmark, National Precast Concrete Association, NPCA, Winner of Excellence, Safety Award of Merit, Most Improved, ACPA, American Concrete Pipe Association, incidence, lost time