On Wednesday, June 17, the Manchester Tank & Equipment team in Elkhart, Indiana, celebrated the 5-year renewal of their VPP Star status. The Elkhart facility has been a Star site since 2008 and this latest renewal extends Elkhart’s Star designation to 2020.
Team members were congratulated by Jill Drajer (MTE-Elkhart General Manager), Robert Graumann (MTE President), and Tim Maley (Deputy Commissioner, Indiana Department of Labor – IOSHA).
Everyone enjoyed a hog roast, signed banners, and posed for a team photo to celebrate the re-certification!
McWane University conducted an Environmental Boot Camp in Franklin, Tennessee, on May 19-21. The boot camp was lead by instructors Terri Evans and Larry Bowers. This intense McWane-specific course covered a wide range of environmental topics with high emphasis on McWane’s goal of 100% Compliance, 100% of the time.
Having highly trained and competent personnel at all levels of the organization is a critical element in achieving this lofty goal, and this course was another step toward that goal. There were attendees from the Valve & Hydrant, Pipe, Plumbing, Technology and Business groups, and representatives from Manchester Tank, Amerex and Corporate.
Danny Clymer is retiring from Manchester Tank & Equipment (MTE) after 15 years of service. Danny has served the company in a number of roles including leadership of human resources, operations, engineering, and purchasing / supply chain. He has also been active in managing MTE’s Australian operations for much of the last 10 years.
Manchester Tank held an event in his honor last Thursday night, which was attended by McWane President Ruffner Page and many of Danny’s current and past colleagues from the MTE Franklin office and U.S. plants. Danny had the entire group laughing for close to an hour as he “bequeathed” many of the items from his office that he felt should stay with Manchester team members going forward.
We will miss you, Danny, and wish you all the best in your retirement!
No other company in the waterworks foundry industry has a single plant in the VPP program. McWane has seven. Clow Valve, Metal Casting Facility (Oskaloosa, Iowa), Clow Water (Coshocton, Ohio), Manchester Tank (Elkhart, Indiana), Manchester Tank (Petersburg, Virginia), Pacific States Cast Iron Pipe Company (Provo, Utah), and Tyler Pipe (Marshfield, Mississippi) are all VPP Star facilities with Pacific States being the latest as of September 2013. Clow Valve, Machine Shop (Oskaloosa, Iowa) has earned VPP Merit accreditation – an effective stepping stone to achieving Star status.
In order to receive this accreditation, a facility has to successfully pass certification by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to become a Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) Star Facility. According to the VPP website, “The VPP recognize employers and workers in the private industry and federal agencies who have implemented effective safety and health management systems and maintain injury and illness rates below national Bureau of Labor Statistics averages for their respective industries. To participate, employers must submit an application to OSHA and undergo a rigorous onsite evaluation by a team of safety and health professionals.”
Receiving a VPP Star ranking is no small honor as only .03% of all American companies qualify – putting those facilities awarded with the certification in an elite club for sure. For example, in the entire state of Utah – where Pacific States is located – only eight other facilities are considered VPP Star! Approval into VPP is OSHA’s official recognition of the outstanding efforts of employers and employees who have achieved exemplary occupational safety and health programs.
“The VPP designation indicates a true commitment from management and team members in working together, with everyone taking personal responsibility for safety and health,” said Barbara Wisniewski, Vice President of Health and Safety, McWane. Inc.
Brian Lichtenfels, Safety Manager at Pacific States, gave several words of advice for facilities preparing for an upcoming audit.
“If I could give someone three learned lessons to focus on in an upcoming audit, they would be: prepare, prepare, prepare. Make sure the whole facility is on the same page and do not be defensive with OSHA. Take a cooperative and open approach.”
Congratulations to every team member at all of our VPP Star facilities, and especially those at our latest – Pacific States, all of whom demonstrated their supreme commitment to the best safety practices and VPP principles! This is more proof that the McWane Way is about being the best by doing our very best.
Our own Andy Boise, a melting foreman at Clow Water Systems, composed lyrics and music to create a VPP Song, Everyone Goes Home From Here. Take a listen!