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Location: Fargo, North Dakota

Company: Tecton Products, LLC (Tecton)

Employees: 200

Success Brief: A company that designs and manufactures custom fiberglass pultrusions achieved SHARP and VPP recognition as a result of its commitment to continuous improvement in workplace safety and health.

Company Description

Tecton designs and manufactures custom fiberglass pultrusions. Pultrusion is the process of pulling fiberglass reinforcements, such as mats and strands, through a proprietary resin and a heated die. The result is a specific complex profile that can be cut to any length. Tecton is an industry leader in fenestration profiles and offers commodity shapes and large architectural profiles. Tectons facility operates 24 hours-per-day, 7 days-per-week.

A History of Focus on Safety: On-Site Consultation Visit and SHARP Recognition

In 2005, Tecton earned North Dakotas first Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) designation for their exemplary safety and health management systems. Tecton began its voluntary SHARP process with a comprehensive OSHA On-site Consultation Program site visit conducted by the North Dakota Safety and Health Consultation Program at Bismarck State College (North Dakota On-site Consultation).

A Tecton representative, the North Dakota On-site Consultation Program Manager, and the North Dakota Governor made the following remarks when Tecton received SHARP recognition:

  • "Safety is a part of our culture. It comes from attitude and actions. Our associates begin safety training on their first day. The process never stops," said Tom Gohdes, Tectons Director of Engineering.
  • Al Koch, Program Manager for North Dakota On-site Consultation, said: "Tecton Products has a top quality safety program. They have met all OSHA requirements, have maintained a low injury rate, are committed to safety throughout all levels of the company, have written safety programs, and have passed an in-depth health and safety audit."
  • "This is an outstanding accomplishment for Tecton Products," said John Hoeven, North Dakota Governor at that time. "In completing the SHARP designation process, Tecton Products has proven their dedication to the health and safety of their employees."

VPP Recognition

Under the Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP), OSHA recognizes employers and workers who have implemented effective safety and health management systems and maintain injury and illness rates below national Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) averages in their industry. In VPP, management, labor, and OSHA work cooperatively and proactively to prevent fatalities, injuries, and illnesses through a systems approach focused on: management commitment and worker involvement, worksite analysis, hazard prevention and control, and safety and health training.

In 2009, Tecton officially formed a project team to begin the process of documenting the companys efforts in pursuit of VPP recognition. OSHA conducted the VPP onsite evaluation in February 2011 and Tecton was approved as a VPP Star site in August 2011. As a result of its commitment to VPP, Tecton decided to let its SHARP status expire in March 2011.

Roxann Hanson, Human Resource Generalist and VPP Project Manager said, It has been exciting to see the teamwork and dedication demonstrated by everyone throughout the process. We have made tremendous improvements to our safety and health system, which is a reflection of the hard work invested in our goal of achieving VPP Star Certification.

The Impact: Low Injury and Illness Rates and Continuous Improvement

Tectons historical injury and illness rates have been significantly below the national average for its industry. Tecton's Days Away, Restricted, or Transferred (DART) incident rate from 2008 to 2010 was 78 percent below the national average for its industry. Tecton's Total Case Incident Rate (TCIR) for the same period was 20 percent below the national average for its industry.

 

TCIR

DART

2008

3.9

0.4

2009

4.5

1.5

2010

3.5

0.0

Tecton’s 3-Year Average

4.0

0.6

 

BLS Averages for Industry

5.0

2.7

"As a facility, Tecton is extremely proud of our past results, but we are also very excited for even better results in the years to come," said Chris Barta, Tecton's Director of Operations.

Amber Unser, Human Resource and Training Manager said, VPP is not about perfection, but it is about never losing focus on your continuous improvement opportunities as a company. Tecton has always been a very innovative organization that strives for continuous improvement in everything we do. To us, safety is no exception to the rule. VPP aligns with our culture, plus the collaboration among other VPP companies is the perfect complement to our pursuit for continual improvement in our own safety and health programs.

Sources:

  • Amber Unser, Human Resource and Training Manager, Tecton Products, Fargo, North Dakota
  • Roxann Hanson, VPP Project Manager, Tecton Products, Fargo, North Dakota
  • Brad Baptiste, VPP Manager, OSHA Region VIII, Denver, Colorado

As of August 2011.