Alcoa Celebrates 125 Years of Innovation

If you've ever had a drink in an aluminum can, there's a solid chance Alcoa has impacted your life in some way. Now, the aluminum producer celebrates a remarkable milestone of 125 years in business. Their web site explains: "Leading the way for future generations, Alcoa celebrates its first 125 years by setting new standards for breakthrough technology, strengthening communities and growing sustainably. From the world’s lightest planes to the most fuel efficient cars to the sleekest mobile phones, Alcoa innovations accelerate advancements in our key markets."

If you want to learn more about this impressive company, you can read a fairly recent BizVoice article about its Indiana-based Warrick and Howmet operations, or read about its history and see how the world has been changed by its brainpower.

Alcoa Warrick Earns Global Honor for Commitment to Safety, Environment

Alcoa's Warrick Operations has been in Newburgh for over 50 years, and was just honored for its commitment to safety at its corporate headquarters in Pittsburgh. For more information on that achievement, see below. And for more on this impressive employer in southwestern Indiana, read this 2011 BizVoice article about the company. Odds are if you ever drink from an aluminum can, Alcoa has played a role in your life.

Alcoa's top leaders, including Alcoa Chairman and CEO Klaus Kleinfeld, congratulated employees from Alcoa Warrick Operations during the corporation's annual leadership conference in Pittsburgh. The event also commemorated the corporation's 125th anniversary.

Warrick Operations won the corporation's global award in the category of Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) during the March 18 awards program.

In 2012, Alcoa Warrick Operations had its best-ever safety performance: The OSHA recordable rate for the sprawling facility, which employs nearly 2,000, finished the year at 1.23. That result is significantly lower than the U.S. Department of Labor's reported rate of 3.8 for all businesses, including government.

The OSHA Recordable Injury Rate is determined by multiplying the number of recordable injuries by 200,000 and then dividing by total work hours. A recordable injury can range from minor injuries such as muscle strain/sprain or an injury that could result in lost work time. There were no lost workday injuries at Warrick Operations in 2012.

"This strong safety performance happened through the collective effort of our workforce — employees who consistently focus on working safely, watching out for each other, and using proven and robust safety systems and tools," said Ed Hemmersbach, the V.P. of Alcoa Global Packaging. "It's excellent to receive this level of recognition from the highest levels of our corporation, and we'll continue to share safety best practices with our manufacturing peers here in the Tri-State."

At Warrick Operations, safety processes are ingrained in the culture, which includes daily toolbox meetings and pre-task reviews. During pre-task reviews, employees complete a safety evaluation before specific tasks are started. Also, employees are authorized to stop any job if they observe an unsafe condition. Safety takes priority over profit or production. In fact, employees are recognized when they identify an unsafe condition and take action to correct it.

Royce Haws, the Location Manager for Alcoa Primary Metals, said employees are ever-vigilant in identifying and then eliminating safety risks.

"We're proud of this safety achievement," Haws said, "but we also know that one injury, no matter how small, is one too many. So we continue to improve and not rest on previous accomplishments, including this one.

"Importantly, our employees know that it's possible to have zero injuries, and that's our goal every year," Haws said.

Looking for a Bellwether County in Indiana?

Here is a look at the 10 counties that historically have been accurate bellwethers in predicting a statewide winner. It is also interesting to note that these 10 counties are located in eight of the 10 TV media markets in the state. This accuracy is based on 19 statewide races from 1998 to 2006.

Jay: On average, is only 1.5% off the winning candidate’s percentage received. One of the top House races, district 33, is in Jay County where Bill Davis is fending off a tough competitor.

Brown: Don’t we all wish we were enjoying beautiful Brown County today?

Newton: Another one of the top House races, District 15, covers Newton County where Don Lehe looks to defeat the same candidate for the second straight election.

Warrick: In the Evansville TV market

Wayne: Technically in the Dayton TV market

Henry: Home of the “World’s Largest and Finest High School Gymnasium in the World” (Nice to be able to plug my hometown of New Castle.)

Jennings: In the Louisville TV market.

Howard: Like the country, tough economic times have hit this county.

Ohio: In the Cincinnati TV market.

Parke: Eastern part of Parke County has a competitive House race (HD 44).