Cemex USA reaffirmed its commitment to workplace safety and the health of its employees with Safety Week 2017: Action-Based Safety, a company-wide initiative observed at its facilities across the United States.
Workers at all Cemex USA plants and facilities participated in safety stand downs on the same day. For 60 to 90 minutes, all operations stopped so employees could refocus on their safety procedures as well as Cemex’s commitment to Zero4Life.
“Zero4Life is something we live at Cemex every single day,” Cemex USA President Ignacio Madridejos said. “Safety Week shows how it takes commitment from everyone to have zero recordable injuries, job-related illnesses, preventable vehicle accidents and environmental events. It really takes daily action to make it happen.”
In addition to the safety stand downs, workers also conducted site inspections at Cemex USA’s 12 cement plants, nearly 70 aggregate quarries and more than 350 ready-mix facilities. They looked for potential fall hazards, damaged tools and other opportunities to improve jobsite safety. Workers filled out safety improvement cards for any issues they found.
“By proactively identifying hazards at our facilities and fixing them, we will eliminate injuries in our operations,” Alan MacVicar, Cemex USA’s vice president of health and safety said. “The idea of Action-Based Safety helps reinforce the procedures and processes already adopted at Cemex to make sure every worker at our facility can go home safe.”
Safety Week also stressed driving safety. The Baytown Ready-Mix Plant in Texas was one of several plants around the country that invited police officers to inspect their trucks. The officers explained what violations they watch for and gave workers information on what they can do to ensure the safety of themselves as well as the drivers around them on the road.
“We talk a lot about safety, about the whys, but this is Action-Based Safety,” Paul Stalter, Cemex health and safety manager for East Texas, said. “We’re actually doing it. We’re getting it in the hands of the drivers with the knowledge, the experience and the resources. We want to make sure they go home to their families every day.”
Staying safe also requires employees to commit to their health. Several Cemex USA facilities held programs about the importance of healthy eating and exercise. Safety Week 2017 wrapped up with employees completing Action-Based Safety Commitment Cards, with their pledges of what they will do to commit to safe environments at their facilities. The cards will be posted in central locations so they can serve as reminders that safety is action, not just words.
Health & Safety Academy
Fostering a robust safety culture takes more than raising awareness – it takes leadership, education and a commitment to excellence. That’s why Cemex established the Health & Safety Academy, an innovative training initiative that was piloted in the United States in March 2016.
“Cemex USA is dedicated to the pursuit of Zero4Life and constantly improving our safety culture. I believe the Health & Safety Academy is an outstanding program that will have a lasting impact on our safety leaders, and we’re very proud to have piloted and to roll out this program here in the U.S.,” MacVicar said.
The Health & Safety Academy is a three-module educational program given over the course of 18 months. Participants in groups of 20 to 25 meet face-to-face for the classes, which are held at different locations throughout the country and taught by a core group of operations and safety managers. These meetings give participants not only the opportunity to learn new tools for better health and safety leadership, but also the chance to network and find shared experiences with their colleagues from other lines of business.
In the first module, Foundation, participants focus on developing leadership skills and creating a real-world action plan tailored to the health and safety needs of their specific line of work. It builds on Cemex USA’s LEGACY training, which was launched in 2004.
The second module, Health & Safety Management System, debuted in December. The third module, Proficiency, is designed to provide more skillsets on specific topics considered to be key to health and safety progress in the company.
Once participants complete the three modules, they receive a special certification from the Global Health & Safety Academy.
To date, 450 employees have completed Foundation, with an end goal of training 1,900 participants in the United States.