Bridgestone Americas facilities honored for safety rates

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In celebration of June’s National Safety Month, Bridgestone Americas Holding Inc. announced that six of its facilities were recognized recently by the Rubber Manufacturers Association for outstanding safety performance.

RMA’s Safety and Health Improvement Program awards, created in 1981, acknowledge noteworthy enhancements in worker health and safety. The awards promote and honor a company’s established dedication to worker health and safety.

“Our consistent presence in RMA’s SHIP awards demonstrates our complete commitment to the health and safety of our teammates,” says Mark A. Emkes, chairman and chief executive officer of Nashville, Tenn.-based BSAH. “We’re always striving to ensure that safety is a top priority at Bridgestone Americas, and it is one of the five guiding principles in my CEO Policy.”

Emkes accepted the honors for the company at the annual RMA meeting earlier this year. The six Bridgestone Americas plants honored included Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire’s Aiken County, S.C., facility. Aiken County received a record sixth consecutive award in the “excellence” category. Facilities in this category have had an OSHA incidence rate that is 75 percent better than the overall RMA average.

Other BSA recipients garnered awards in the “improvement” category and included BFNT facilities in Warren County, Tenn., and Des Moines, Iowa. Bridgestone Firestone Diversified Products facilities in Kingstree, S.C.; Prescott, Ark.; and Noblesville, Ind., also received awards in the “improvement” category. Plants that earned the improvement award had an OSHA incidence rate that is both 10 percent better than its rate in the previous year and the same or better than the RMA average incidence rate. Both Kingstree and Prescott are repeat winners in this category.

“Our industry is serious about worker safety issues,” says Donald B. Shea, RMA president and CEO. “The SHIP awards are recognition of superb achievement in worker safety, and facilities who qualify for this ought to be quite proud of the accomplishment.”

BFNT’s Warren County and Aiken County plants are the only tire plants in the United States to have received the prestigious VPP STAR award, OSHA’s highest honor. The BFDP Kingstree plant also is an OSHA VPP STAR site, as is the BFDP polymers plant in Lake Charles, La.