AK Steel's Butler Works Logs First-Ever Injury-Free Quarter

AK Steel's Butler Works, the first "Star" steel plant in OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program, logged nearly 1.3 million hours worked without a single recordable injury.

Last September, AK Steel's Butler (Pa.) Works became the first steel plant in the country to earn the "Star" designation from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the highest designation under OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program. Now the plant, which employs 2,200, has logged the first injury-free quarter in its history, completing nearly 1.3 million hours worked without a single recordable injury for the first three months of 2002.

According to AK Steel, the U.S. steel industry average recordable injury rate in 2001 was 6.58 per 200,000 hours worked. The Butler Works had an recordable rate of 4.1 in 1999, which steadily declined to 0.68 in 2001, or about 10 times better than the steel industry average. Last year AK Steel created 15 full-time hourly safety coordinator jobs at the Butler Works as part of the company's efforts to continually improve its safety program.

"The men and women of the Butler Works have just provided additional evidence that our objective of zero injuries is not just a slogan, but a realistic, achievable and certainly worthwhile goal," said Richard M. Wardrop Jr., chairman, CEO and president of AK Steel. "When you consider the hazards associated with a huge, full-line steel producing plant, this ranks as one of the most remarkable safety records ever in heavy manufacturing," he said.

AK Steel's Butler Works routinely records the best safety record in the specialty steel industry. Among Butler Works' other recent safety accomplishments are the Pennsylvania Governor's Award for Safety Excellence, Award of Honor from the National Safety Council and Outstanding Achievement Award from the Western Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Safety Council. AK Steel's overall safety record has led the industry average for eight consecutive years.

In addition, two Butler Works hourly employees were recently recognized by Safety Smart magazine for their winning entries in a winter safety slogan contest. John Costa and Timothy Simon, who both work in the plant's electrical steel processing department, were honored by the magazine.

AK Steel produces flat-rolled carbon, stainless and electrical steel products for automotive, appliance, construction and manufacturing markets, as well as standard pipe and tubular steel products.

edited by Sandy Smith ([email protected])

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