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Steel Industries Inc. Earns Michigan Safety/Health Award

Accident-incident rates well below the forging industry average

The Forging Specialties division of Steel Industries Inc. has been named a winner of Michigan’s SHARP Award, in recognition of its “exemplary safety and health management system.” The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) established the Michigan Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) Award to reward employers that have achieved safety and health excellence beyond the standard of their peers.

Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth (DLEG) deputy director Bob Swanson and MIOSHA deputy director Martha Yoder presented the SHARP Award to David Heminger, Ameri-Forge president, and to Keith Woodland, president, Steel Industries Inc.

Steel Industries Inc., Redford Twp., MI, is part of the Ameri-Forge Group. It is a open-die forging and seamless rolled-ring manufacturer, and its customers include manufacturers of power generation equipment, industrial machinery, machine tools, mining and construction equipment, and transportation systems. Steel Industries is certified to the ISO 9001-2000 standard.

Last fall, Steel Industries announced an $8-million expansion project to improve its product line by installing a new heat-treating complex and adding more CNC machining systems, as well as other processing equipment.

“I am proud to present this prestigious award to the employees and management of Steel Industries, particularly in connection with your $8-million expansion,” said Swanson. “Your outstanding safety and health record demonstrates that a strong safety and health program goes hand in hand with increased production and profits.”

The MIOSHA Onsite Consultation Program within the Consultation Education and Training (CET) division operates the Michigan SHARP Program. Consultants work with employers to help them achieve self-sufficiency at managing occupational safety and health, and SHARP worksites are exempted from “programmed” MIOSHA inspections on a yearly basis.

The Forging Specialties division has 57 workers, and their accident-incident rates are well below the national average for the forging industry (NAICS code 332111 – Iron and Steel Forging). The Total Case Incidence Rate for the division was 1.8 in 2004, versus 14.7 for the Bureau of Labor Statistics industry average. The Total Days Away/Restricted Cases (DART) for the division was 1.8 in 2004, versus to 6.4 for the BLS industry average.

Among the practices adopted by the Forging Specialties division to achieve these standards are:
- Weekly safety inspections;
- Management of change, e.g. powered industrial truck lift capacity;
- Root-cause investigation of all Incidents, regardless of any recordable injury;
- “Excellent” housekeeping;
- Active involvement by managers and employees in Safety Committee efforts.

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