J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. of Lowell, Ark., has received four awards for safety achievement from the American Trucking Association (ATA) including a first-place award recognizing the company''s low rate of injury. The awards were presented to J.B. Hunt recently by the Safety and Loss Prevention Management Council of the ATA.
"We value the well being of our employees and pride ourselves on having drivers and maintenance personnel of the highest quality," said Kirk Thompson, J.B. Hunt president and CEO. "This recognition points to their desire to work as safely as possible and our ability to provide them a safe work environment in which they can excel. The ultimate winner is our customer who is served by the best and safest drivers in the industry."
Another reason for the award is the company''s commitment to training, according to Greer Woodruff, J.B. Hunt''s vice president of Safety. "We work with our employees to help them recognize the potential hazards of the job and how to perform their duties without injury," said Woodruff.
J.B. Hunt recently initiated a focused safety program centered on development and implementation of Job Safety Analysis for its maintenance personnel as well as its Dedicated Contract Services (DCS) division. The program identifies tasks associated with each job and any possible hazards that could be encountered. Control methods are also identified and taught to employees to show how the work can be performed without injury.
"This program requires employee involvement and ownership of their work environment and practices," said Woodruff. "Each of our employees has responded accordingly."
The program has had a marked impact on injury rates. In the last five years, J.B. Hunt has experienced a 60 percent improvement in injury rates among maintenance personnel, a 34 percent improvement in injury rates for over-the-road and intermodal drivers, and a 37 percent reduction in injuries among DCS employees, who do a significant amount of material handling to meet customers'' specific needs.
J.B. Hunt was also recognized by the ATA for its low accident rate, according to Woodruff. The company received three additional honors - a second-place award for DCS, and two third-place awards for intermodal local and truckload line-haul. These are given based on a company''s accident rate as reflected by vehicle miles traveled. Over the last five years, J.B. Hunt has experienced a 48 percent reduction in preventable collisions as defined by the Department of Transportation.
"Our first concern as a company is always the safety of our drivers and the general public," said Woodruff. "We''re pleased that each of J.B. Hunt''s operating groups was recognized for its low rate of motor vehicle accidents. Our drivers take great pride in belonging to one of the safest fleets in the nation and in doing their job safely every day. These awards recognize their commitment, skill and professionalism."
Over the past five years, the company has posted a 50 percent reduction in accident rates, achieving one of the lowest accident rates among truckload carriers.
by Sandy Smith