By Erika Mathieu
Sunny South News
The Ag Growth International (AGI) plant in Nobleford has hit a new safety milestone.
Last week, the AGI plant in Nobleford celebrated three years of no time lost.
Plant manager, Kevin Fitzhenry said, “it’s an important milestone that AGI Nobleford has not achieved before. We wanted to gather everybody together and make sure that we really celebrate this.”
Fitzhenry explained, “typically when you are in manufacturing, generally speaking, you are dealing with larger equipment and mobile equipment such as overhead cranes and forklifts. So it is considered to be a high risk industry.”
Fitzhenry said open communication has played a big role in the plant’s safety success in recent years.
“We openly talk about it. We start every meeting talking about safety. It is always the first thing that we do, morning meetings and huddles. We bring up concerns or observations. It is a very open-door policy.”
Fitzhenry said leadership is focused on maintaining a culture of safety by “relentlessly pursuing revisions to policies,” as required and, “not accepting a one and done mentality,” when it comes to keeping employees safe.
Fitzhenry said new employees now undergo a robust orientation when starting out as employees. The plant also embraces ergonomic solutions and morning stretches.
Fitzhenry said, “I try to not think of investments into safety in terms of a ‘return on investment’, sometimes we take a multi-step process. Sometimes there is an intermediate solution that can be implemented while we work on a larger capital investment.”
“I guess maybe the older work culture of just ‘Get’er done’. We want to get it done, but we are going to get it done safely,” Fitzgerald said.
Most of the team’s 111 employees were in attendance for the celebration of the three year milestone, including Senior Vice President of AGI Canada, Paul Brisebois.
Brisebois congratulated the team of over 100 employees for their continued efforts in maintaining a culture of safety. Although AGI Nobleford had previously celebrated one and two year milestones for no time lost, he said he is hopeful to add years onto this milestone for many years to come, and noted the AGI facility in Olds recently celebrated a decade of no lost time incidents.
Brisebois congratulated staff in Nobleford and highlighted, “safety isn’t something that just happens. It is a journey that all of you are on and a commitment to make sure you come to work in one condition and go home in the same condition.”
“Safety is the number one priority at AGI. Across the board at all of our businesses, safety is the priority and we are still achieving phenomenal results in terms of productivity, efficiencies, and profitability. So it is a real testimony to all of you that are working here.”