We speak often about safety in the quarry, safety in the office and safety at home, but for most of Martin Marietta’s ready mix employees, the work is done primarily in places where maintaining safety is far more challenging: the road and the delivery site.
That’s why the Sept. 30 celebration marking one year without a reportable incident was such a big deal for the men and women of the San Antonio Ready Mix Area.
“For us, this is huge. We’ve never done it before,” said Terry Darden, area production manager. “Business has been brisk and we’ve had new people come on board, so to do it this year was quite special.”
The team includes nearly 120 employees at the Beckmann, Kirby, O’Connor, Rio Medina and Westside ready mix operations, along with teams in the truck shop, and the sales, dispatch and quality control offices.
Because they’re so spread out, just celebrating the achievement was a feat; the group held five luncheons in as many days in early October to recognize the milestone.
Gary Little, superintendent of the Beckmann ready mix site, gave credit for the achievement to the team, starting with Southwest Division President Larry Roberts and moving right down the line.
“Larry has never let up on us and that’s good because when it comes from the top, it’s a lot easier to make happen,” Little said. “We’ve taken one safety attribute at a time, implemented it and moved on to the next. It’s taken us quite a while to get here.”
Darden, who shared Little’s gratitude to the entire team, focused especially on the ready mix drivers for their combined role in the achievement.
“Martin Marietta provides ongoing training, but we’ve learned that our drivers have to be very good decision makers,” he said. “Every job site is different and they’ve been making good decisions when it comes to safety.”
Little, whose experience in the industry spans several decades, said much has changed over the years, from onsite technologies to those utilized by drivers on the road.
The most significant shift, however, has been in the prevailing attitudes of the Company and its employees, he said.
“Now, it’s safety first and everything else falls in behind that,” Little said. “The weather is one example. We shut things down when the rain is bad and we let the storm roll by. Taking that step because it’s raining hard was unheard of years ago.”