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The National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA) Safety Contest has for years been a safety performance and incentive/award program aimed to foster safe practices at ready-mixed concrete plants across the nation. THE CONCRETE PRODUCER co-sponsors the contest.

Before 1993, NRMCA annually sponsored a safety contest that gathered industry accident data and recognized member companies that had commendable safety records. This original contest was based on company-wide production criteria. This made it difficult for large, multi-plant ready-mixed producers with outstanding safety records to be recognized.

The Safety Task Group of NRMCA's Operations, Environment and Safety Committee redesigned the contest to its current form in 1996. Over the past few years, the program has grown to become NRMCA's most popular award recognition program. It is designed to be simple, while providing meaningful and fair criteria to recognize individual plants for their commitment to safety as evidenced by their records.

The secondary goal of the contest is to gather thorough and accurate industry accident statistics. The data are analyzed and used to establish industry benchmarks for safe operations.

This is a per-plant contest open to all facilities operated by NRMCA member companies. The contest entry form was made available to NRMCA members in January 2007; the deadline was May 31. Companies with more than one division were encouraged to distribute entry blanks to people responsible for keeping safety records at each location. NRMCA keeps the data submitted strictly confidential. After verifying all data entry and calculations, NRMCA destroys the entry forms and specific company information.

Categories

To promote fairness, plants are divided into three categories, each based on the number of ready-mix trucks that are stationed at each plant. In today's industry, unlike just a few years ago, it is very common, if not the norm, to have trucks that service two, three, and even more plants. In these cases, the producers are instructed to estimate the percentage of their fleet that could be theoretically assigned to a particular plant or if the number of trucks fluctuates significantly, the average number is used. The three categories represent three size groups.

Producers are divided into groups with 20 or more trucks, 10 to 19 trucks, and nine or fewer trucks.

Basis for Winning Entries

The following information was requested on the entry form:

  • Total Number of Cubic Yards Shipped During 2006 (yd3) from that particular plant. This value was used to level the playing field, assuming that more yardage shipped produced a greater opportunity for accidents.
  • Number of Lost-time Accidents at each Plant in 2006 (LTA). This includes all accidents that caused one or more employees to miss a complete shift of duty.
  • Number of DOT Reportable Accidents (RA) in 2006.
  • These were ready-mix truck accidents only where the mixer driver was at fault.
  • Number of Fatalities (F) in 2006 that occurred in accidents in which the company employees were at fault.

A safety score was calculated from these factors. The safety score or Accident Frequency Rate (AFR) is the sum of one, lost time accidents, DOT Reportable Accidents, and Fatalities divided by Concrete Shipped in 100,000-cubic-yard increments.

An Excellence in Safety certificate is awarded to individual plants that are equal to or above the 70th percentile in scoring within each of the three categories in the contest. An Excellence in Safety certificate is awarded to all plants with no accidents during 2006.

We congratulate the 921 Excellence in Safety winners for 2007. It is due the efforts of all who have entered the contest and voluntarily shared their safety records that the industry will continue to keep safety an utmost priority and will continue to strive to improve safety records through the benchmarking data that this contest provides. We also would like to thank NRMCA staff Nina Stedman and Karen Bean for their administrative support.

Authors of this report are Terry Jones, of Irving Materials Inc. and OES safety task group chairman, John Carew of Carew Concrete and OES committee chairman, and Gary Mullings, vice president of operations and compliance, NRMCA.

For more on the association, visit www.nrmca.org.

Results Summary

The 2007 NRMCA Safety Contest received 1238 individual plant entries. The number of plants receiving Excellence In Safety awards this year is 921. NRMCA estimates there are currently 6000-7000 plants in the U.S. The largest category with 634 entries was for plants with fewer than nine trucks. Those with 10-19 trucks tallied 459 entries, and plants with more than 20 trucks had 145 entries. NRMCA estimates more than 456 million cubic yards of concrete was shipped in the U.S in 2006.

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