By Erik Harden, BWC Public Information Officer
At BWC, we’re constantly amazed at the innovative ideas employers have for tackling workplace hazards. To spotlight these employers, their ingenuity and their commitment to workplace safety, we sponsor our annual Safety Innovation Awards.
We created the program to recognize innovations that result in risk reduction, cost savings, and potential application to other workplaces, industries or operations. Innovations can range from a newly–created piece of equipment, tool, process or method to an existing one that an employer has improved or uses in a new or creative way.
After careful consideration of dozens of applications and visits to the sites of eight semifinalists, we are pleased to announce the following employers as the four finalists for the 2018 Safety Innovation Awards.
MPW Industrial Services (Hebron) – M1-RV crawler
A remote-controlled vacuuming system that cleans clarifier tanks; it eliminates employee exposure from hazards of entering and cleaning clarifier tanks
Navistar (Springfield) – Cab destructive weld tear down
An articulating arm that holds a worker’s pneumatic tool during weld tear down of truck cabs; it reduces the potential of falling, bad postures and awkward positions due to high reaction forces on employees during the process
Ramco Electric Motors (Greenville) – Aluminum die-casting automated biscuit return
A conveyor system that delivers aluminum die-casting byproducts (aka “biscuits”) from the casting machine back to the 1,300-degree liquid aluminum bath; the system eliminates the exposures of an individual performing the task of dropping the biscuits back in the crucible
Terracon Consultants Inc. (Cincinnati) – YM3000 pin puller
A redesigned T-handle that is adjustable in height and allows employees to remain standing when pulling 28-inch pins (used for soil density readings) from the ground; it decreases the potential of back or wrist strains from pin pulling, helps reduce fatigue and increases productivity
The four finalists will present their innovations to a three-judge panel and the public at our Ohio Safety Congress & Expo 2018 (OSC18) in Columbus on March 7-9.
The panel of independent judges will select the winners using a number of criteria, including risk reduction, innovation, return on investment, potential for other employers to use the innovation and presentation quality. OSC18 attendees can cast a vote for their favorite innovation to determine the recipient of The People’s Choice award.
We will present the awards and monetary prizes during a ceremony at OSC18. However, the real winners are the employees of these companies. Innovations like the ones listed above help workers stay safe and healthy, increase productivity and morale, and produce long-term cost savings.