Fort Smith Factory Breaks State Safety Record

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FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- Baldor Electric Company in Fort Smith has gone 14 million working hours without an accident.

The state recognized the company with an award and told Baldor that it had set the Arkansas state record.

Plant safety manager Brian Thurber said more than 5,000 motors are produced for large machinery every day.

He said an accident is considered to be an injury that prevents the employee from returning to work the next day, and that last happened six years ago.

Since then, the plant has changed its safety training program, which every employee is required to complete.

“That consisted of ten hours of training,” Thurber said. “It's behavior based; not necessarily focused on work. It's something they can take home to their families and their kids.”

Plant manager Ben Roe said the reason the plant has gone so long without an accident is because the employees follow the “always/never rules,” which includes goals like always wearing proper safety attire and never taking short cuts.

“Their commitment and their conscience decision to come in each day and work safe has made all the difference,” Roe said.

Roe said they plan to continue with the same safety training to reach the next million safe hours.

“At the end of the day it's all about employees going home the same way they walked in the door,” Roe said. “They go home to their families, they go home to their friends, loved ones, and that's really what drives this program.”

Baldor is a 24-hour facility, which explains a little how it was able to collect 14 million safe hours in six years.