Johnson Technology, Inc. Receives State's Highest Safety and Health Award

Contact: LARA Communications 517-373-9280
Agency: Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

JULY 09, 2003 - Johnson Technology, Inc.'s Latimer Plant has become the eighth facility in the state to receive the prestigious Michigan Voluntary Protection Programs (MVPP) Star Award for workplace safety and health excellence. CIS Director David C. Hollister presented the Star Flag at a special ceremony today on behalf of the Michigan Department of Consumer & Industry Services (CIS).


"I am honored to welcome Johnson Technology's Latimer Plant into this exceptional group of Michigan companies who represent the ‘Best of the Best' in workplace safety and health," said Hollister. "The Latimer plant has created a work environment where everyone accepts responsibility for safety, every day. We applaud the safety and health diligence exhibited at this facility."


The CIS Bureau of Safety and Regulation is responsible for the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Act (MIOSHA) program. MIOSHA established the MVPP program to recognize employers actively working toward achieving excellence in workplace safety and health. It was developed in 1996 to reward worksites that develop and implement outstanding safety and health programs that go beyond MIOSHA standards.


CIS Director Hollister presented the MVPP Star Flag to David M. Yacavone, President, who accepted the award on behalf of all Johnson Technology's 477 associates. Employees raised the MVPP Star Flag during the ceremony. State and local elected officials, corporate leaders, as well as CIS and MIOSHA representatives, were on hand to congratulate Johnson Technology employees and management on their outstanding achievement.


"We are extremely proud of this achievement, which recognizes each and every Associate who worked so hard to qualify for Star status," said Yacavone. "This is the ultimate demonstration of Johnson Technology's commitment to our workers' safety and health, while at the same time making the company more competitive."


The Johnson Technology Latimer Plant's Incidence Rates and Lost Work Day Rates are well below the Michigan average for their SIC code 3724, Aircraft Engines and Engine Parts. The Total Case Incidence Rate for the Latimer Plant was 4.8 in 2000, 2.9 in 2001, and 2.2 in 2002-compared to 12.6, 11.8, and 11.8, respectively, for the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) industry average. The Total Lost Work Day Cases for the Latimer Plant was 2.0 in 2000, 0.9 in 2001, and 0.0 in 2002-compared to 5.2, 5.9, and 5.9, respectively, for the BLS industry average.


"Johnson Technology's outstanding safety and health record sends a strong message to all employers that safety pays."


Johnson Technology has published and posted its commitment to safety and health throughout the facility. It includes the statement: "The implementation of this policy will receive a priority equal to production and quality." Led by President Yacavone, total staff commitment to achieving MVPP recognition was evident during the evaluation process.


To ensure safety accountability, safety has been made a line function, and safety performance receives the same percentage (20 percent) as productivity in the employee appraisal process. The company employs a "cell" work environment and a "flat" management style that ensures strong employee (associate) involvement and empowerment in all phases of company operation.


Each work cell receives a monthly scorecard that is posted in the shop areas. Factors evaluated include:  incident rates; JSA (job safety analyses) audits completed; safety contacts completed; cell inspections completed; timeliness of incident investigations; lapsed time to fix safety issues; scheduled training completed; and attendance at committee meetings.


Commitment of material resources to safety is substantial. All required personal protective equipment was provided in ample quantities and appropriate for the hazards present. Comprehensive safety surveys are conducted and a sophisticated system of physical hazard controls is in place and highly effective. The company also conducts exposure monitoring on a regular basis.


Individual, cell, and company-wide goals are set annually following a comprehensive audit of the safety performance and management systems. Some objectives included: 35 percent reduction in injuries and lost time rates; 15 percent reduction in work-comp costs; no employee exposures to contaminants or physical agents exceeding established limits, and implementation of the SAFE program, a behavior-based tool for improving employee work practices. Employee perception of the safety and health management system is that it is continuously improving, focused and effective.


The Latimer Plant produces turbine nozzle segments and shrouds for aircraft and land-based systems. Their 477 associates annually manufacture close to 100,000 jet engine parts that are assembled into several different types of aircraft.