Leadperson David Harbert is standing outside the new employee building with the rest of the Rock Hill Quarry crew when he’s tapped on the shoulder.
“Hey David, did you hear that rattle?” asks Bobby Rucker, the site’s plant manager. “Why don’t you go check it out when we’re done here?”
Harbert steps away, shaking his head in agreement, but Rucker already has a pretty good read on the situation.
“It’s an issue with a screen,” the plant manager says. “You pay attention long enough and eventually you can hear those things. When there’s an odd noise, you just know to look for something.”
Rucker's experience is the kind that only comes from years of working around the same equipment. At Rock Hill, there are a handful of employees have gained such knowledge.
Brian Silvers, a quality control technician on the job for more than 11 years, believes the information exchange between those experienced employees and those with less experience has created a safer and more enjoyable work environment marked by a deep dedication to teamwork.
“We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses,” he says. “There are people like (Leadperson) David Brown, who have been here since 1969 and who know everything about this place. They often teach the rest of us tricks to make the job easier and safer.”
Teamwork is among the more visible elements at the Diamond Honor Award-winning operation, but Rucker says the crew’s commitment to maintenance is another leading factor in the site’s success.
“A maintenance program is one of the keys to operating efficiently,” he says, adding that Rock Hill’s program allows the team to rotate trucks and loaders to balance maintenance and production. “You’re going to have breakdowns, but it’s been proven time again that if you’re on a maintenance program, you’ll be able to run more often than not.”
The combined results of the team’s focus on each other and its focus on the operation’s equipment are evident.
Since 2013, the Rock Hill team has lowered its production costs while significantly increasing its granite production. All the while, the crew has maintained a flawless safety ledger, improved the quarry’s physical appearance and continued building strong relationships with community groups like the York County Fraternal Order of Police.
Brown, the leadperson to whom Silvers turns often, says he’s proud the team has been included among the Diamond Awards program’s inaugural winners.
“It makes you feel good when the plant where you work is recognized,” he said. “We work safely to keep the plant running good and looking good. It’s been a total team effort.”