GSI GroupIn late April, GSI Group in Bremen, Alabama, celebrated a milestone not many workplaces can hang their hat on -- four years of accident-free work. Brigitte Whaley, HR Manager at GSI Group, said the company celebrated the achievement with lunch, door prizes and giveaways for the 100 staff members who made the achievement possible. 

“We think it is a tremendous accomplishment and all of our associates have worked hard to keep this record going,” said Whaley. “Our organization considers our four year safety record achievement as a continuous journey. We view our associates as our most valuable resource.”

Founded in 1978, Hired-Hand is still located on the same ground that the company began on all those years ago in Bremen, Alabama. Whaley said the current facilities in Bremen total just over 170,000 square feet and currently employ more than 100 associates.

“Hired-Hand is a part of GSI, a worldwide brand of AGCO. The Bremen facility designs and builds a wide range of products that serve the agricultural industry throughout the world,” she said. “Major lines include ventilation, heating, feeding systems, watering systems, curtain/vent machines and advanced electronic control systems all designed for primary use in the poultry and livestock markets. Our products are known worldwide for their design capabilities and rugged performance in the harsh environments that they are installed into.”

The team, as Whaley refers to the nine people responsible for ensuring the safety of 100 employees, has implemented several key programs and processes to continuously improve in providing a safe work environment, as follows; Associate Safety Committee, Corporate Safety Steering Council, Weekly Safety Toolbox Talks & Training, Safety Flashes (Inter-divisional for sharing best practices), Dedicated Safety Leader Safety Bingo, Weekly & Monthly Safety Metrics with Countermeasures; which include

  • Lost Work Day Incident Rate
  • Recordable Incident Rate
  • First Aid Incidents
  • Near Misses & Property Damage Incidents
  • Safety Spend per Associate
  • Safety Culture

“GSI embraces and supports associate safety genuinely from the corporate management team to the manufacturing team in all aspects across the value stream. The teams strive in implementing long-term safety cultural changes through processes, interventions, tools and capital expenditures required to achieve a best-in-class safety environment,” she said. “Just recently in January 2013, the Bremen facility added an EF-5 Tornado/Storm shelter for severe weather and a Vacuum Assist Sheet-metal Lift for health-safety ergonomics in which demonstrates, management’s commitment to associate safety.”

Bremen Plant Leadership Team is:

  • Brigitte Whaley – Human Resources Manager
  • Eddie Harris – Plant Manager
  • Jeff Watts – Materials Manager
  • Andrew Baggett – Information Technology
  • Amanda Hancock – Finance Controller
  • Zach Morrow - Customer Service & Technical Support Manager
  • Brian Peppers – Product Manager
  • George Phillips – Engineering Manager
  • Randall Macintosh – Site Leader