On May 10, 2016, the Baldor employees of the Fort Smith motor plant completed 15 million hours without a lost-time accident. They have been working toward this achievement since August 26, 2010.
During a recognition ceremony held June 16 on the Fort Smith campus, Leon Jones, Jr., director of the Arkansas Department of Labor, presented a plaque to a member of the Safety Committee and congratulated all of the employees. He noted that this plant was the first group of employees in Arkansas history to achieve this milestone. He added, “The best thing we can do today is to get everyone home safely.”
A crowd of nearly 500 employees gathered under a large tent to hear from company management as well as state representatives, congressmen and senators. Each talked about the difference these employees are making for themselves, their coworkers and their families. “You are more important than you know to someone in your life,” said Pat Hart, Division Head of Health and Safety for the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission. “You take your body with you wherever you go.”
Johnny McKusker, Fort Smith plant manager, closed the event by saying, “Hitting 15 million hours – there’s got to be a lot of luck in doing that. But, we are trying to take ‘luck’ out of the equation by incorporating proactive measures. Talking about the things we ‘always do and never do,’ using SafeStart to change habits and behaviors and analyzing root causes are tools we are all using. But we continue to need your help every day to identify the risks that are still out there.”
Baldor has been producing industrial electric motors in Fort Smith since 1957, and today, the company produces 1.2 million, 1-20 horsepower motors at this campus each year. Baldor became a member of the ABB Group in 2011.