To celebrate winning their Diamond Honor Award, the employees at Stamper Mine attended a Kansas City Royals baseball game.
Looking ahead to 2017, this talented Midwest Division team has its sights set even higher.
“We want to take things to the next level with a Diamond Elite Award,” noted Assistant Plant Manager Scott Brennan. “Maybe with that we’ll be able to go to the Superbowl.”
While such a celebration is probably not practical (or at the very least within budget), Brennan and others at the quarry are quite serious about repeating as a Diamond Award winner.
“We now know what it takes to get to this level,” said Driller Matt Irwin, “and we’ve talked a lot about the commitment that will be required to stay at this level. Earning such recognition is hard; we know keeping it will be even harder.”
If it is to win a second consecutive award in 2017, Stamper will need to continue a streak of no lost-time incidents that dates back almost 11 years. Its last reportable incident occurred in 2009.
“To maintain our record, we need to keep safety fresh and foremost in everyone’s minds,” said Plant Manager Chris Bollinger. “We know that a single lapse of judgment or concentration can cause something bad to happen.”
According to Irwin, safety at Stamper needs to be an “every day thing” if the site is to maintain its success. Consistency and repetition of messaging are critical, he said.
Truck Driver Frank Davis agreed, citing the Guardian Angel Creed as a key factor in his team’s safety achievements.
“The fact that we can stop things if we see something wrong without any repercussions for doing so is huge,” he said. “And it’s not just that we’re able to do so; it’s that we’re required to do so.”
The only underground operation among this year’s Diamond Honor Award winners, Stamper is just as proud of its environmental and community efforts as it is of its safety performance. It’s been honored for both in recent years by the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA).
“Being so close to an international airport, the environmental aspect is huge for us,” Bollinger said. “Dust is simply not acceptable.”
On the community front, the mine generously donates money, material and manpower to various causes and welcomes visitors for tours throughout the year. The team also hosts an annual open house that, over the years, has introduced untold numbers to mining and Martin Marietta.
“A lot of people still don’t know there’s an underground mine here,” Brennan said. “Anything we can do to educate people and help reduce the stereotypes about our industry is well worth the time and effort required to put on such an event.”