Four Brickmakers Win EH&S Awards

The recipients were honored by the Brick Industry Association for comprehensive safety programs, energy conservation, and building a plant to LEED Gold standards.

Four brick manufacturers received awards this month from the Brick Industry Association for both EH&S and environmental success. BIA said the winners' programs "save lives, drastically reduce employee injuries, [and] greatly lower a plant's energy use." One award went to the first brick plant to achieve Leadership in Environmental Efficiency and Design (LEED) Gold certification. John "Russ" Butler, executive vice president of sales at Elgin Butler Company, which was founded by his great-grandfather in 1873, was honored for exemplary lifetime contributions to the industry.

"All of the winners are innovators and leaders who demonstrate our industry's commitment to healthier, safer workplaces, increasing building sustainability and a steadfast dedication that benefits the entire industry," said BIA Vice Chairman Brett Packer, president of Packer Brick, Inc., in Rockwall, Texas.

Acme Brick of Fort Worth, Texas, received an Employee Health & Safety Award for its arc flash program, which has resulted in no arc flash injuries in the past two years. The program highlights safe work practices for electrical components and modifying electrical equipment to reduce hazards. According to BIA, the program included hazard labeling and electrical diagrams created for each facility to help in identifying potential hazards; pre-shift stretching; a buddy system; target zero; kiln safety week; daily pre-shift safety and health meetings; silica emphasis day each month; and a company-wide Annual Safety Day.

Also winning an Employee Health & Safety Award was Whitacre-Greer Co. of Alliance, Ohio, for its Reviving a Safety Culture Program, which uses various methods (five-minute Safety Talks, the Caught Being Safe program, an annual training day at Whitacre Greer University, etc.) to achieve than 1,093 days and 500,000 man-hours without a lost-time injury.

Environmental Stewardship Awards went to Boral Bricks Inc., Roswell, Ga., whose Terre Haute, Ind., plant became the industry's first built to LEED Gold standards, and Glen-Gery Corp. of Wyomissing, Pa., for upgrading its lighting to high-efficiency fixtures controlled by occupancy sensors and timers. The program has reduced energy usage by approximately 2.8 million KWH annually and reduced the company's carbon footprint by 2,610 tons annually, according to BIA.

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