Northern Concrete Pipe of Bay City Receives State Award for Outstanding Safety and Health Record

Contact: Mario L. Morrow
Agency: Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

May 26, 2011 - Northern Concrete Pipe Inc. of Bay City received the CET Platinum Award yesterday from the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) for an exemplary safety and health record. The MIOSHA program is part of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA).

The MIOSHA Consultation Education and Training (CET) Division recognizes the safety and health achievements of Michigan employers and employees through CET Awards, which are based on excellent safety and health performance. The CET Platinum Award recognizes an outstanding safety record of five or more years worked without days away from work.

The Northern Concrete Pipe Bay City plant has gone more than seven years without a lost time accident.

"We are honored today to recognize the outstanding safety and health achievement of Northern Concrete Pipe with the CET Platinum Award," said Steve Arwood, LARA Deputy Director. "Their record of seven years without a lost time accident in a high-hazard industry is an astounding success. Their commitment is proof that focusing on safety up front is a sound business decision."

MIOSHA Director Doug Kalinowski presented the award to William Washabaugh Jr., President, and Tim Phillips, Director of Safety. Invited guests, management personnel and employees attended the presentation and luncheon.

"It has taken a very strong commitment by Northern's management, supervision and leaders - and most importantly, a consistent dedication by the very best precast concrete product production people in North America - to achieve this remarkable record," said Washabaugh. "A close working relationship with the CET Division helped us achieve a ‘Safety First' company attitude and culture."

Besides going more than seven years without a lost-time accident, the company has completed the following criteria to receive the CET Platinum Award: 
  • Developed and implemented a comprehensive safety and health management system; 
  • Established a safety and health committee, with both employee and management participation; 
  • Developed an employee training system, with an emphasis on how to do the work in a safe and healthful manner; and 
  • Worked diligently to change their workplace culture to reflect the importance of worker safety.

Northern Concrete Pipe has worked with the MIOSHA CET Division since 1996. CET Senior Safety Consultant Lee Jay Kueppers performed a hazard survey on site, which is a part of the award process. This survey allowed them an opportunity to walk through the facility with a MIOSHA representative and correct any problem areas that were noted.

Northern Concrete Pipe's outstanding safety and health record comes from several areas, including: 

  • Significant employer commitment, 
  • An active safety and health committee, 
  • Job safety analysis (JSA) to identify hazards, 
  • Near-miss hazard reports, 
  • Extensive facility audits, and 
  • Regular safety and health training.

Northern Concrete's Bay City Plant also received a safety award from the American Concrete Pipe Association this past spring for having, again, been the safest precast concrete pipe and box culvert plant for its size in North America.

"Companies that establish an integrated safety and health program reap the benefits of significantly reducing their injury and illness rates," said Kalinowski. "Reducing these rates not only protects employees - it has a healthy impact on a company's bottom line."

Reinforced concrete is the most widely used construction material in the world today. Concrete becomes stronger as it ages, unlike other materials that can weaken and decay. Ongoing research continues to improve the strength, durability and longevity of concrete, which will ensure its preeminent position in the construction field of the future.

Since 1958, Northern Concrete Pipe Inc. has been a leader in the precast concrete industry. They manufacture precast reinforced pipe, manholes, catch basins, gate wells, box culverts and other products. Their production, engineering, sales and distribution staff provides both quality products and services. They have two manufacturing facilities in Michigan, in Bay City and Lansing.

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