The employees of the A. O. Smith water heater plant in Bangalore, India, were recently recognized in a special ceremony as the 2013 recipients of the Lloyd B. Smith President’s Safety Award.
The President’s Safety Award is presented to the A. O. Smith facility that demonstrates the most improvement over a one-year period in the area of workplace safety as well as offering a comprehensive, sustainable safety program focused on the goal of accident prevention. A total of 15 A. O. Smith plants worldwide were evaluated to determine this year’s recipient.
The 300,000 square foot Bangalore plant, which opened in 2010, employs approximately 275 people and manufactures residential water heaters for the Indian market.
A. O. Smith Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ajita G. Rajendra, praised the employees for their efforts in the area of workplace safety. “In the short time you’ve been in operation, your team has worked hard to implement a strong, sustainable safety program in the plant.”
“With a new plant and growing workforce, it’s a challenge to make certain that everyone understands the importance of safety,” Rajendra continued. “This team has embraced the challenge. You have made a point of involving employees in the effort to create a culture of safety in Bangalore.”
To earn the Lloyd B. Smith President’s Safety Award, each company facility is evaluated based on three statistical categories:
- Lost workday case incidence rate–This measure relates to the most serious, work-related injuries or illnesses that result in one or more lost work days.
- Recordable case incidence rate–Recordable incidents are significant, work-related injuries or illnesses beyond first aid as defined by the U. S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
- Lost workday incidence rate–This category measures a facility’s total number of lost work days and provides a measure of accident severity.
The Bangalore plant achieved a perfect record in 2013 with no lost-time accidents or recordable accidents during the year.
The Bangalore team has made a concerted effort to implement a comprehensive workplace safety program, starting when the plant first opened in June 2010.
“As the Bangalore facility was new at the time, we had an opportunity to implement new processes and safety policies to create the foundation for a safe workplace,” according to Tamal Chaudhuri, managing director of A. O. Smith (India) Water Products Co., Pvt. Ltd. “Timely implementation of these processes and policy awareness sessions with employees helped us to overcome all the hurdles that we faced.”
Chaudhuri leads a 16-person Safety Committee, which oversees all aspects of the plant’s safety program. In addition to creating processes and policies, the committee is responsible for safety training for employees, conducting regular safety inspections throughout the plant, and analyzing potential process hazards in the facility.
The team has made a point of involving employees in the effort to create a culture of safety in Bangalore. This has come through fun activities, such as the safety quizzes and poster competitions, as well as departmental awards for working safely.
Safety training for new hires as well as regular refreshers to existing employees covers a wide range of topics, ranging from the proper use of personal protective equipment, electrical safety, material handling, first aid training, emergency preparedness and firefighter training.
The plant was recognized by the company in August 2013 for working one million hours without a lost-time accident.
The Lloyd B. Smith President’s Safety Award is the A. O. Smith Corporation’s highest honor in the field of workplace safety and the company’s longest-running employee recognition program. It is named after the late Lloyd B. Smith, a former chairman and chief executive officer of A. O. Smith Corporation and the great-grandson of the founder of the company.
Smith was a strong believer in the importance of workplace safety and, in 1954, created the award program to recognize the contributions each employee makes to help keep the company’s facilities safe. At that time, A. O. Smith’s accident rate was at its lowest in history, however, Smith wanted to make safety even more visible and more important to all employees.
About A. O. Smith:
A.O. Smith Corporation, which is celebrating its 140th anniversary this year, is a leading global manufacturer and marketer of residential and commercial water heaters. A. O. Smith offers its customers an additional competitive advantage in that the company designs, builds, distributes and field supports the world’s broadest and deepest line of residential and commercial water heaters, as well as commercial boilers. This single-source concept simplifies ordering, installation and service and is backed by nearly 80 years of research and innovation. For more information, visit www.hotwater.com. For the most up-to-date industry news, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.