Local 587 wins national NACBE safety award

Lone Star District Lodge BM-ST Ronnie Keck, center, accepts the national NACBE safety award on behalf or Local 587 (Orange, Texas). L. to r.: John Erickson, NACBE executive director; George Rogers, South Central area IVP; Clay Herford, IR-CD; Newton Jones, IP; and Wendell Bell, NACBE president.

Orange, Texas, lodge works without injury in 2006

THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of Construction Boilermaker Employers (NACBE) presented its annual safety awards to the 2006 top-performing locals from the Boilermakers’ five U.S. vice-presidential areas March 5 during the annual Construction Division conference at Marco Island, Fla.

Local 587 (Orange, Texas), representing the South and Central area, took national honors with zero lost-time accidents, zero compensable injuries, and zero OSHA-recordable injuries.

The four other lodges finishing first in their areas included Local 69 (Little Rock, Ark. — Southeast); Local 193 (Baltimore — Northeast); Local 105 (Chillicothe, Ohio — Great Lakes); and Local 11 (Helena, Mont. — Western States). All four lodges recorded zero lost time accidents.

Overall, injuries occurring across the 55 construction locals were up slightly in 2006 over the previous year. NACBE Director John Erickson attributed the increase to an upsurge in man-hours along with the retirement of many experienced, highly-qualified journeymen. The Boilermaker lost-time injury rate, which had declined steadily since 1999, was 0.070 per 100 workers, up from 0.041 in 2005. “The highest lost-time injury rate in 2006 was 4.47,” Erickson noted. “That’s a number that would have been in the running for the national award not too many years ago. Everybody is doing a remarkable job.” Thirty-six locals reported zero lost-time injuries, and six had zero compensable injuries. OSHA recordable injuries were at 4.16, up from 3.78 in 2005.

Erickson added that the “up-tick in injury rates does not mean we’re doing a bad job; it just means we need to redouble our efforts.” Forty-six NACBE contractors participated in the safety index in 2006.

Ronnie Keck, BM-ST for the Lone Star District, accepted the national award on behalf of Local 587. The local, which was chartered in 1952, represents about 450 members. Local 587 BM-ST James “Sandy” Kirkland III said this is the first year his local has won the national award. The field construction and shop local works primarily in the refinery and power plant industries.