Nutrien wins safety awards, Beaufort County government also recognized

Published 8:56 pm Tuesday, May 3, 2022

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Beaufort County’s largest employer also appears to be among its safest.

Nutrien’s Aurora plant won the Million-Hour award and many others at the Safety Awards banquet in Greenville.

The award recognizes companies whose employees haven’t lost any time to accidents for a million hours from July 13, 2021 through January 1, 2022.

“Maintaining safe operations to protect everyone on site is our primary focus,” Aurora Phosphate General Manager William Ponton said. “It embodies our ‘Culture of Care’ commitment to safeguard physical safety and promote mental and psychological well-being. While we are honored to receive recognition for safety practices, the best demonstration of that commitment is when our employees arrive home safely each day.”

The plant that employees 850 was also recognized in the following categories: gold awards: rate of days away from work, job transfer or restriction must be at least 50 % below the industry average.

Nutrien’s accounting, administration & public affairs, health & safety, human resources and materials departments were recognized for the 25th consecutive year.

The technical services department (23rd consecutive year), mine (10th) maintenance-central department and shipping solids (ninth), environmental affairs and prestripping departments (eighth), sulfuric acid and mill departments (seventh), maintenance-instrument & electric (sixth) I.T. department (fifth), product distribution (third) maintenance mining and mine services departments (second).

The DFP department, purified acid plant and shipping-liquids were recognized for the first time.

Beaufort County’s emergency services department was recognized for the first time, the health department for the third time and the administrative offices for the sixth year.

“It shows that our safety programs are working,” county manager Brian Alligood. “Our risk manager, Jennifer Banks, has worked very hard to make sure our employees go home the same way they came to work. Of course, there are different levels of safety within our departments, but we train our employees to not hurry, do their job safely and to take extra precautions when necessary.”

Other county winners include Wimco Corporation (seventh year) the Pantego Corporate Office of Tideland Electric (fourth) the Washington unit of the DHHS division of vocational rehabilitation services (third) and the Washington branch of Gregory Poole Equipment Company parts division.

The silver awards are given for rate of days away from work must be at least 50% below industry average.

The Beaufort County department of social services, sheriff’s department and Gregory Pool’s Washington branch construction division were recognized for the first time, Nutrien’s phosphoric acid department made it for the second straight year.

“We have sponsored the safety awards banquet for many years and it’s always a good opportunity to speak with Department of Labor Commissioner Dobson and his team,” McKeithan said.  “It is very clear from his address to attendees that we are all in this together. Workplace safety is a responsibility we all share. Our employees who attend always enjoy networking with others who feel the same and in being recognized for their dedication. We have just been recertified as a Carolina Star site by the Department of Labor. This certification and the careful examination of our safety practices demonstrates how protection of people and the environment is our daily mission.”