At 12 of America's Safest Companies, Managers and Employees Share Commitment to and Responsibility for Safety

At first blush, Occupational Hazards magazine's 12 picks for America's Safest Companies of 2005 have about as much in common as a bag of Doritos and a gallon of Speedway gasoline.

But look beyond their diverse industry sectors and product offerings and you'll find that the 2005 America's Safest Companies share a common element: They set their own standards for safety excellence, which usually go well beyond OSHA and EPA regulations and industry norms.

Occupational Hazards, the leading magazine of safety, health and loss prevention, named the following companies to the 2005 America's Safest Companies after extensive reviews of safety procedures and statistics:

  • Amphenol AssembleTech Florida, Lakes Wales, Fla.
  • Calpine Corp., San Jose, Calif.
  • Delta Airlines Inc., Atlanta, Ga.
  • Fort Dearborn Co., Niles, Ill.
  • Frito-Lay Inc., Plano, Tex.
  • ISP Columbus, Columbus, Ohio
  • Keystone Wood Specialties Inc., Lancaster, Pa.
  • Kinetic Systems Inc., Union City, Calif.
  • Marathon Petroleum Company LLC, Robinson, Ill.
  • Springs Window Fashions LP, Montgomery, Pa.
  • Union Pacific Corp., Omaha, Neb.
  • Westinghouse Savannah River Co., Aiken, S.C.

"Some companies still believe that on-the-job injuries and illnesses are a cost of doing business. Our honorees see things quite differently," said Stephen G. Minter, editor and associate publisher of Occupational Hazards magazine. "They understand that work-related injuries and fatalities are a cost - in human and financial terms - that no company should expect to incur. That's why they apply their management skills, ingenuity and resources to ensuring that their employees are safe on and off the job."

The 2005 companies are bound together by some common threads: lost-time accident or injury rates well below their respective industries' averages; EHS programs that have earned the recognition and admiration of their industry trade associations and federal and state occupational safety and health regulators; and EHS programs built on rock-solid, fundamental concepts of occupational health and safety, such as safety committees, safety training, risk assessment and job hazard analysis, accident control and prevention, safety auditing and consistent, continuous communication and awareness-building.

America's Safest Companies not only have employee involvement and empowerment in safety, they have upper management commitment that goes beyond just lip service. At Kinetic Systems, CEO Kurt Gilson conducts project safety audits. At Springs Window Fashions, the plant manager is co-chairperson of the central safety and health committee.

Delta CEO Jerry Grinstein, in a September 2004 memo to officers and directors, could have been speaking for all of the 2005 America's Safest Companies when he said, "providing a safe, secure operation is Delta's first and most fundamental obligation to our customers and employees" and added that commitment to the values of "safety, security, ethics and compliance starts at the top and then extends down through every level of the organization." Grinstein concludes that top company officials must have a sincere interest in and passion for safety for an EHS program to be successful - and that passion was evident in the applications submitted by this year's honorees.

The 2005 America's Safest Companies and the Safest Companies sponsors MCR Safety and PureSafety will be featured in the October 2005 issue of Occupational Hazards.

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