Employee-Driven Approach Drives Record Safety Performance at CertainTeed Gypsum Facilities

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Through a comprehensive approach driven by more than 1,000 employees, CertainTeed Gypsum has achieved record-breaking safety performance. The company, which has more than 30 facilities throughout North America, has logged nearly 3 million work hours with only one lost-time incident — an event that prevents an employee from reporting for his next shift at work. Overall, CertainTeed Gypsum has seen a 92 percent decrease in the number of injury-related incidents over the past seven years.

Through a comprehensive approach driven by more than 1,000 employees, CertainTeed Gypsum has achieved record-breaking safety performance. The company, which has more than 30 facilities throughout North America, has logged nearly 3 million work hours with only one lost-time incident — an event that prevents an employee from reporting for his next shift at work. Overall, CertainTeed Gypsum has seen a 92 percent decrease in the number of injury-related incidents over the past seven years.

According to Dean Read, a millwright and 33-year veteran at the company’s Vancouver plant, a bottom-up approach was the key driver behind a safer work environment. Referred to as “autonomous” safety, the approach empowers each employee to take an active role in decisions made at the plant.

“Autonomous safety means that front-line employees can drive and direct changes that might be needed to create a safer work environment,” says Read. “When everyone is involved in the decision-making process, safety programs work.”

The employee-driven program not only creates an open dialogue throughout all levels of the company, it also includes frequent peer-to-peer observation and assessment of assigned tasks. In addition, safety champions at each facility provide local leadership in addressing risks as well as keeping the best safety practices top-of-mind.

“In traditional safety programs all of the employees are not involved in making facilities safe. Through our approach, we have built practical systems that work,” adds Mike Walsh, director of safety for CertainTeed Gypsum. “Our strong safety culture is a tremendous point of pride and a critical ingredient to the company’s overall sustainability and success.”

CertainTeed Gypsum’s safety performance has received significant praise from parent company, Saint-Gobain. To date, 11 facilities have been inducted into the Millionaires Club, requiring zero lost-time incidents for five consecutive years or 1 million work hours.

Offering a broad range of gypsum and finishing products for interior and exterior needs, CertainTeed Gypsum has served the North American building industry for more than 80 years and is a subsidiary of Saint-Gobain, the world’s leading producer of gypsum products. This, in combination with the full range of affiliate CertainTeed Corporation’s building products, provides architects, contractors, builders and dealers one partner to provide service and support for commercial and residential building projects.

About CertainTeed
Through the responsible development of innovative and sustainable building products, CertainTeed has helped shape the building products industry for more than 100 years. Founded in 1904 as General Roofing Manufacturing Company, the firm's slogan "Quality Made Certain, Satisfaction Guaranteed," quickly inspired the name CertainTeed. Today, CertainTeed® is North America’s leading brand of exterior and interior building products, including roofing, siding, windows, fence, decking, railing, trim, foundations, pipe, insulation, gypsum, ceilings and access covers.

A subsidiary of Saint-Gobain, the world’s largest building products company, CertainTeed and its affiliates, including CertainTeed Gypsum, have more than 6,000 employees and more than 65 manufacturing facilities throughout the United States and Canada. In 2009 and 2010, CertainTeed, which is headquartered in Valley Forge, Pa., was named ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a national award that recognizes environmentally responsible corporations. The group had total sales of approximately $3 billion in 2009. http://www.certainteed.com

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