E.J. Ajax & Sons, Inc. Wins 2010 North American Safety Award of Honor
The following is a press release distributed by the Precision Metalforming Association. For more information, please contact Christie Carmigiano at (216) 901-8800 or email@example.com.
CLEVELAND, OH - August 27, 2010 - E.J. Ajax & Sons, Inc., Fridley, MN, has received the 2010 North American Metal Forming Industry Award of Honor for Safety as part of the Precision Metalforming Association’s (PMA’s) Awards of Excellence in Metalforming. The company’s safety program has yielded outstanding results as E.J. Ajax has gone more than 20 years without a lost-time incident and more than seven years without an OSHA-recordable incident.
At E.J. Ajax, personal safety is valued above everything else. Every new hire is provided with safety gear that includes safety glasses (prescription if necessary), a $200 pair of work boots with full metatarsal protection and ear protection. Workers who handle sharp metal pieces also wear elbow-length Kevlar gauntlets. All safety equipment is replaced at company expense when needed—no questions asked.
The safety culture is strictly enforced: one violation within a 12-month period warrants a verbal warning, the second is put in writing, and the third results in a one-day paid decision-making leave, when the employee is sent home to decide whether he/she can follow safety policies. If not, termination results.
The enforcement of safety policies includes random drug testing for all company employees, including office employees and officers.
Employees are encouraged to participate in the safety process. Safety training is continuous with a minimum of 10 hours per employee annually. Over the last 10 years, workers have documented an average of 200 process improvement suggestions per year; one-third have been safety-related, and the majority of those suggestions have been implemented. Workers also have total authority to shut down any machine or operation at any time if they question its safety.
The company’s safety program has many unique elements, including a wellness program with ergonomics professionals making site visits twice per year as well as every time the company defines a new manufacturing job. An incentive program rewards employee safety with annual bonuses equal to half of the company’s savings from low workers’ compensation rates.
E.J. Ajax was one of the first companies in Minnesota to tie its apprenticeship training to the NIMS Level I Metalforming Skills credential. Industrial safety and environmental protection is one of six sets of occupational duties that comprise NIMS Level I. All of the company’s employees have earned this credential, which requires a physical demonstration and written examination of safety knowledge. E.J. Ajax also has a strong partnership with Minnesota OSHA, as it was the first metal stamping company in the state to achieve OSHA’s Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) designation.
As a result of E.J. Ajax’s successes, the company has received numerous awards, including the Minnesota Safety Council Governor’s Award of Honor for plant safety for 16 consecutive years. It also was named one of the Top Ten Safest Companies in America in 2007.
More than 50 Metal Forming Companies from as far away as Puerto Rico and Canada have toured E.J. Ajax since 2000 to learn about their safety culture first hand.
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, E.J. Ajax & Sons will receive a $1,500 cash prize that will be donated to the Hennepin Technical College Foundation Scholarship Fund.
PMA is the full-service trade association representing the $113-billion metal-forming 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 1,000 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, andMetalForming magazine.
Editor’s Note: Information on PMA’s Awards of Excellence in Metalforming is available at www.pma.org.
RCBI Director and CEO Charlotte Weber welcomes guests to the Commencement Ceremony. Photo courtesy of Martin Spears, RCBI.
On Tuesday, August 10th NIMS Accreditation Director Catherine Ross had the pleasure of presenting an accreditation plaque at the Robert C. Byrd Institute Commencement Ceremony. Held at the Bridgeport campus, the ceremony celebrated the Machinist Technology Program Class of 2010, which included twenty-two talented men.
Speakers at the ceremony included, in the order of occurrence:
• RCBI Director and CEO Charlotte Weber • RCBI Machinist Technology Program Class of 2007 Graduate Ben Grose • Bruce Davis of Kanawha Manufacturing and Vice Chairman of the RCBI Industry Advisory Board • NIMS Accreditation Director Catherine Ross • Mark Carter of Swanson Industries and Chairman of the RCBI Industry Advisory Board • West Virginia Department of Commerce Cabinet Secretary and Executive Director of West Virginia Development Office Kelly Goes
Members of the RCBI Industry Advisory Board accept a plaque containing their official letter of re-accreditation. Standing, left to right: Bruce Davis, Charlotte Weber, Catherine Ross, and Mark Carter. Photo courtesy of Martin Spears, RCBI.
Prior to the presentation of certificates to program graduates, Ms. Ross said a few words on just how impressive the Machinist Technology Program is, stating that RCBI is among the best of the best. The accreditation plaque represented the official re-accreditation of both the Bridgeport and Rocket Center campuses, both of which, when combined with the Huntington campus, have earned more than 500 credentials since 2004. Wow!
NIMS applauds RCBI on their recent re-accreditations and wishes the very best to the Class of 2010!
Accreditation Awarded to Southwestern Michigan College
NIMS is pleased to announce the official accreditation of the Precision Production Technology Program at Southwestern Michigan College in Niles, Michigan!
Since first applying for accreditation in June 2008, the staff and faculty at Southwestern Michigan College have done what it takes to ensure that their training is on par with industry standards.
The final phase of the accreditation process, the On-Site Evaluation, took place on April 22nd and 23rd of this year. Making up the Evaluation Team was:
• Team Leader Ron Krueger of Eaton Corporation
• Industry Representative Dan Kiraly of the Tooling & Manufacturing Association
• Education Representative John Niccum, Retired Instructor
Following the two-day audit, the Evaluation Team voted unanimously to accredit the program, saying “The college is doing a great job in all areas, and the staff and instructors are doing a great job to serve the industry." The team also commended the college on the overall training program and condition of equipment.
Congratulations to everyone involved in this process, especially the administrators, staff, and instructors, who have made this accreditation possible!
James B. McGregorhas been named to the 2010 Manufacturing Council of United States Department of Commerce. Mr. McGregor is a past Chair of the NIMS Board of Directors and an active member of the Precision Metalforming Association. The announcement was made August 5th by U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke.
Mr. McGregor is Vice-Chairman of McGregor Brothers Metalworking Companies with metalforming facilities in Ohio and South Carolina. Mr. McGregor has been an ardent supporter of NIMS. His company was the first to be accredited by NIMS and his companies actively use the NIMS national certifications.
While Chair of the NIMS Board, Mr. McGregor oversaw the recruitment of NIMS initial professional staff and NIMS accreditation by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
The Manufacturing Council advises the Secretary of Commerce on matters relating to the competitiveness of the manufacturing sector, and government policies and programs that affect U.S. manufacturers. The 25 Council members represent a broad spectrum of American Manufacturing and include both small and large companies.
NIMS Credentialing Workshops in Kentucky and Tennessee
Metalworking instructors from across the states of Kentucky and Tennessee have recently welcomed NIMS staff to undergo one day workshops for the purpose of familiarizing instructors with the NIMS Credentialing Process. The first meeting, held in Louisville, KY on Monday, July 19, was led by NIMS Deputy Director James Wall, and the second meeting was led by Accreditation Director Catherine Ross at Blackman High School in Murfreesboro, TN on Thursday, July 22.
A special congratulations go to each of the instructors who attended the Tennessee Workshop, as each attendee earned the NIMS Measurement, Materials & Safety credential by day's end.
Interested in hosting an instructor workshop for instructors in your state? Simply contact NIMS for more information!