Hudson is ‘shopping around’
Published 12:00 am Friday, August 11, 2000
for the record in safety
By JAINE TREADWELL
August 10, 2000 10 p.m.
The shop employees at Hudson Transportation, Inc. are going for a record that seems almost as impossible to eclipse as Mark McGwire’s 70 home runs on the season.
But records are made to be broken and the nine employees are optimistic that they can top the shop record of 4,512 days without a lost-time accident.
They recently passed the five-year milestone and logged 1,885 days without a lost-time accident and they’re still counting.
"Our shop employees take great pride in their work and they are safety-conscious," said Steve Dewberry, director of safety and maintenance. "They work in two shifts each day, seven days a week and we have a mechanic on call 24 hours a day. When you think that they have been 135,000 days without a lost-time accident, that’s pretty amazing and a credit to each one of them."
Dewberry said working in a truck shop that is responsible for keeping 50 tractor trailer trucks on the road for between five and seven million miles a year is no easy task.
"They don’t always work under ideal conditions," Dewberry said. "It’s not always cool in the shop and it’s not always warm, but no matter what conditions the weather puts them in, they do their jobs and they do them efficiently, safely and they do them right."
The shop employees participate in safety meetings and safety audits are conducted periodically at the shop.
"If one of the employees happens to forget to put on some piece of safety equipment, someone else will remind him," Dewberry said. "They realize how important it is for us to keep the trucks on the road. If we have a lost-time accident, we feel the effects."
Those effects include an increase in workman’s compensation premiums and the necessity of bringing in someone to take the place of the injured worker.
"If we’re shorthanded, we’re not as productive and that translates into late deliveries because we can’t get the trucks on the road in a timely manner," Dewberry said. "I can’t put a dollar figure on the amount of money we save by having employees who put safety first."
Can the nine shop employees continue on a record-setting safety pace?
"No doubt," Dewberry said. "They are all excellent employees who want to do a good job and they come to work every day with a positive attitude. They know how important it is to use the safety equipment and procedures, for their sake and for the benefit of the company."
The employees agreed they would all like to be there when a new record of 4,513 days of no lost-time accidents is posted.
"We’re going for the record," they said. "It’s still a long way off but we’re going for it."