The thin sheet of white paper between his fingers is awash with numbers detailing Mallard Creek Quarry’s success in recent years, but Bobby Martin Jr. has little concern for those numbers.
"When I see this, I see people that got it done," says the plant manager. "Long days are what I see. Pride is what I see."
Make no mistake, he knows the statistics that led to Mallard Creek winning its first Honor Plant award since 1998 - production rose by 35 percent in 2014, net sales were up 46 percent and gross profit jumped by 72 percent – but the only number that truly means anything to Martin is 17, the number of men and women driving the quarry’s success.
"We got to December and looked back on what we had done and it was golden," he says. "We all had our fingers and toes, there were no accidents, incidents, MSHA citations or environmental citations, and all the demand was met. These guys came through with flying colors."
To say demand was met is something of an understatement.
Local construction projects on a pair of interstate highways and a light rail system pushed production at Mallard Creek higher than it had been in years; in 2014, production hit 585,758 tons, nearly 62 percent higher than in 2012.
Though many figures at Mallard Creek are on the rise, others remain constant. Between 2012 and 2014, the site received zero notices of violation from the Environmental Protection Agency. The site also hasn’t had a reportable incident in more than four years.
Leadman Chris Safrit, who has spent his entire 17-year Martin Marietta career at Mallard Creek, says the quarry’s safety focus is the result of the miners’ dedication to each other.
"We’ve always got our eye on safety," he says. "We’re like a family. We look behind one another and we watch out for one another."