They roll in from the pit, angling toward the softball field in small groups – some on foot, others in the cabs of pickup trucks.
It’s hard to tear them from their work. It’s harder still to wrangle them for a picture.
By the time the first 42 of Beckmann Quarry’s 100 employees are squared away on the bleachers, we’re running about 20 minutes behind schedule.
It’s no small feat to get so many men and women on the same page, but by all accounts Plant Manager Jim Densberger does so day after day – particularly when it matters most.
"We’re not asking them to have a good safety record, an above average or even excellent safety record. We’re asking them to be perfect and that’s the challenge," says Barton Chevreaux, production manager for the Central Texas Aggregates District. "Beckmann has the safety culture and employees who get it. Their safety record comes from a relentless dedication to the best practices."
With a great staff comes great numbers. Production topped out at just above 8.6 million tons last year and sales rose by 20 percent.
The figure that brings the most pride, however, is 2 million – the number of hours worked at the site without a reportable incident. Beckmann celebrated the milestone in September before extending the streak into the first quarter of 2015.
Jacinto "J.C." Capetillo, a maintenance supervisor on the job for more than 21 years, credits this year’s Honor Plant award – the Beckmann’s third since 2012 - to the quarry’s dedicated management and high-caliber crew.
"It helps when you have people who put in the extra effort to make things productive and safe," he says. "That’s an attitude we try to instill in each new employee. Those who have been here for several years take the new guys under their wings. They show them what to do to stay safe."