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McWane Team Members across the Company Attend National VPP Conference

McWane Team at 31st Annual VPPPA Conference

L to R: Jim Voss – Manchester Tank, Quincy, Illinois (VPP Star Site); Mark Hill – Tyler Couplings, Marshfield, Missouri (VPP Star Site); Chris Cantrell – Tyler Couplings, Marshfield, Missouri; Ross Boeker – McWane Corporate, Birmingham, Alabama; Alicia Hardacre -Tyler Couplings, Marshfield, Missouri; Bill Kays – Tyler Couplings, Marshfield, Missouri; Kent Arnold – McWane Ductile-Ohio, Coshocton, Ohio (VPP Star Site); David Vasquez – McWane Ductile-Utah, Provo, Utah (VPP Star Site) ; Gary Wood – McWane Ductile-Utah, Provo, Utah; Ryan Grassley – McWane Ductile-Utah, Provo, Utah

Several team members across the McWane family of companies attended the 31st Annual National VPPPA Conference in Grapevine, Texas, this week. Attendees pictured from left to right:

Attendees attend educational workshops designed to allow participants to exchange the latest best practices, programs, and innovations in occupational health and safety. The conference attracts some of the most innovative manufacturers of environmental, health and safety products and services, which give attendees an opportunity to see the latest and greatest products displayed all in one location.

We are proud that McWane currently has six facilities that have been certified by OSHA as VPP sites, which is evidence of our strong commitment to the best safety practices possible. We are committed to being the best we can be by doing our very best!

McWane Ductile-Ohio Mentors Other Companies Pursuing OSHA VPP Certification

McWane Ductile - Ohio VPP Mentoring

The Columbus, Ohio, OSHA office recently recommended McWane Ductile-Ohio (MDO) as a mentor to another company seeking VPP certification. MDO was happy to meet with the safety team from Messer Construction Company to share the history of their VPP journey.

MDO team member Kent Arnold (pictured second from left) shared MDO’s VPP journey and fielded questions from Messer representatives. Kent’s strong commitment to safety and VPP and his willingness to share McWane’s success is a true testament to his dedication to McWane and the safety of our team members.

Since their recognition as an VPP Star Site in 2010, MDO has been asked by OSHA to mentor other companies pursuing VPP certification. In 2011, OSHA picked MDO as a VPP mentor for Republic Engineered Products because MDO and Republic have similar product types and they also share similar safety challenges and hazards.

In 2012, MDO mentored Chase Brass & Copper Company located in Montpelier, Ohio. MDO representatives visited Chase Brass four times to meet with hourly and management personnel to answer questions about VPP and tour the facilities to identify safety concerns and share best practices.

Kent is a third generation MDO team member and his commitment to safety is not only recognized by his fellow team members, but has been recognized by OSHA as well. He was awarded the OSHA Region V VPPPA Safety Champion Award in 2014 and he travels to other McWane facilities to assist them in reaching their goal of VPP certification.

Manchester Tank Elkhart Team Celebrates VPP Star Re-certification!

MTE VPP Star RecertificationOn 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 Ductile Ohio Hosts OSHA SGE Classes

McWane Ductile Ohio Hosts OSHA SGE ClassesMcWane Ductile Ohio recently hosted an OSHA Special Government Employee (SGE) training class. Individuals that are interested in becoming a SGE must be familiar with OSHA Regulations and VPP requirements and have experience in a leadership position. They must also have strong interpersonal skills. More importantly, management must support their decision to become an SGE. The three day course was conducted by Nancy Mugavero, OSHA Region V VPP Manager from Chicago, Illinois, and David Wilson, OSHA Assistant Area Director from Columbus, Ohio.

A total of seven students attending the training, two of which were McWane team members (Barb Wisniewski and Shawn McGarry).

McWane Ductile – Ohio now has three SGE’s!

Amerex Hosts NAVPPC Meeting

Amerex NAVPPC MeetingAmerex was proud to host the quarterly meeting of the North Alabama Voluntary Protection Program Committee at the Trussville Civic Center. Over 50 industry representatives from companies in central and northern Alabama participated in the event. Included were speakers presenting on topics such as incident investigation, an update on the OSHA’s focus areas, and an overview of “The McWane Story”. Following the morning meeting and lunch, attendees toured the facility at Amerex where a mock VPP audit was conducted.

Amerex is taking the steps necessary to pursue VPP certification. Many of the attendee/auditors commented on how well Amerex was prepared and that they believed the facility would be able to achieve VPP in the near future.

Keep up the great work, Amerex! Your hard work will soon pay off!

McWane Boasts Seven Plants in the VPP Program

VPP Flag 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!