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Unirac Inc. Wins Safety Award

Monday, November 12, 2012

For more information, please contact Christie Carmigiano

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CLEVELAND, OH—November 12, 2012—Unirac Inc., Albuquerque, NM, has received the 2012 Pitcher Insurance Agency Safety Award, as part of the Precision Metalforming Association’s (PMA) Awards of Excellence in Metalforming, for its outstanding employee-driven safety and health program.  Employing 140 people, Unirac designs, manufactures, distributes and installs photovoltaic solar-industry mounting structures.

By embedding safety into the day-to-day environment, Unirac has achieved more than three years of injury-free performance.  By using a “from the ground up” approach versus a “top down” management mandate, the company has achieved full-scale buy-in from its operators who self-monitor work-cell activities, develop safe work practices and enhance material-handling procedures.  With the many pieces of equipment employed at the company, the handling of 4,000-lb. bundles of raw material via forklifts and the fast-paced environment, the employees’ commitment to safety is evident.  In January 2012, Unirac had a surprise OSHA audit with no findings. 

Select portions of Unirac’s safety program include program oversight and administration at the COO level; utilization of daily, weekly and monthly safety checklists and data collection that drive safety metrics and KPIs; a documented process to evaluate accidents, incidents and near misses as a means of root cause and corrective action efforts; and an employee-run safety team with management involvement and commitment to support the team in implementing their recommendations.

As part of the safety program, safety audits are conducted across the factory using “new sets of eyes” from outside the audited area to look for safety concerns that may be overlooked by those who work there every day.  Opportunities for improvement are posted and the implementation of the recommendations is tracked.  In addition, spot awards and employee of the month recognition for self-directed safety-related actions, recommendations and improvements are made.  Employees’ safety efforts also are recognized in the company’s pay-for-performance bonus program. 

Unirac continues its commitment to world-class operational practices with its pursuit of OHS 18001, Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems certification, anticipated by the end of 2012.  This certification will be added to the company’s ISO 9001 and 14001 certifications. 

The Safety Award is one of eight Awards of Excellence in Metalforming presented annually by PMA.  Sponsored by Pitcher Insurance Agency, Chicago, IL, the award acknowledges either an effective comprehensive safety program or a specific innovative idea in the context of an effective safety program.  Along with recognition in industry publications and at events, Unirac will receive a $1,500 cash prize.

PMA is the full-service trade association representing the $113-billion metalforming industry of North America—the industry that creates precision metal products using stamping, fabricating, spinning, slide forming and roll forming technologies, and other value-added processes.  Its nearly 900 member companies also include suppliers of equipment, materials and services to the industry.  PMA leads innovative member companies toward superior competitiveness and profitability through advocacy, networking, statistics, the PMA Educational Foundation, FABTECH and METALFORM tradeshows, and MetalForming magazine.

Editor’s Note:  Information on PMA’s Awards of Excellence is available at www.pma.org/awards.


 

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