Ag Growth International announced that its Joplin, Missouri, manufacturing facility has achieved a significant safety milestone with three years of no lost time incidents.
A lost time incident (LTI) refers to a non-fatal injury that results in disability or an employee missing work due to an injury. An LTI measurement is a baseline representation of a company's safety performance and the effects of those injuries on workforce productivity.
“We are delighted to celebrate this 3-year accomplishment with employees at the Joplin, Missouri, facility. The milestone exemplifies AGI’s worldwide commitment to workplace safety,” said Paul Householder, AGI president & CEO. “AGI is on a relentless quest to zero incidents. The goal is that every employee – regardless of where they work or the type of environment they work in – return home safely at the end of each day."
With safety as a companywide core priority, AGI has implemented a comprehensive Safety Management System (ASMS), that proactively monitors and guides performance at the facility level. Safety is continuously assessed based on leading and lagging indicators, allowing each facility to work towards improving their goals and ensuring standards are met or exceeded.
“I am proud of the Joplin team’s three-year no lost-time record. AGI’s safety culture is driven from the top down starting with our CEO. Once you pass that responsibility to your people, it becomes everyone’s job to make each other safe daily. A new employee is as much responsible for safety and preventing an incident as the plant manager,” said Craig Sanders, AGI Joplin plant manager.
A community employer and agricultural equipment manufacturer since 2017, AGI’s Joplin facility has a 67-year-old business legacy first-used as a lumber yard. Today, the plant manufactures custom-built, heavy-duty equipment for AGI’s global commercial food and pet food customers. The product line is diverse and includes silos, hoppers and conveying systems.
“Everything we do is job-specific, so our employees are multi-talented and highly skilled. I am fortunate to work with the group that we have,” noted Sanders.
The Joplin facility also serves as home base to AGI's 15-person field (installation) team under the direction of Samuel Caudill, director of Global Food Service and Installation. Much like the manufacturing side of the business, the field crew is multifaceted.
“The field team, which does everything from on-location welding and assembly to transportation, lives a bit of a hard life. They are three weeks on the road with one week home. When we talk about safety, the installers are exposed to more potential risk simply because they cannot control their environment. They work out in the elements; when it is snowing or hot outside, they are in it. So, everyone, who does this job, is very safety oriented. They legitimately care about each other. Their lives are in each other’s hands,” said Caudill.
From a safety perspective, all welders on AGI Joplin’s manufacturing and field teams are certified by the American Welding Society (AWS) and Canadian Welding Bureau (CWB). Many field team members, also, maintain OSHA-10 or OSHA-30 certifications and are CPR first aid-trained.
According to Sanders and Caudill, they work hard to never be complacent. Plant employees train weekly and monthly, conduct hazard observations, and remediate potential issues that make the workplace safer. The field team hosts an annual Safety Week in which all certifications are updated.
“The fact that we pay attention to incidents as small as a pinched finger speaks volumes about how we got to where we are today with a 3-year no lost time record," said Caudill. "There is a lot of thought, care and consistency that goes into AGI’s safety program and culture.”
This quarter, three AGI manufacturing facilities have achieved AGI’s Safety Standout Award, which recognizes significant milestones with no lost time incidents: 10 years at Olds, Alberta, and three years at Joplin, Missouri, and Nobleford, Alberta.