ARLINGTON, VA – 2014 was the safest year on record for the U.S. aluminum industry, according to recently released data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The report – the BLS Workplace Injury and Illness Summary – showed that the number of recordable workplace safety incidents in the aluminum industry fell to their lowest level since tracking began in the current system in 1994. Recordable incidents declined 17 percent year-over-year in 2014 to a rate of 3.4 per 100 full-time employees while DART (Days away from Work, Restricted, or Transferred) cases similarly dropped 16 percent to 2.1 recordable incidents per 100 full time employees that resulted in lost or restricted days or job transfer. Both of these rates surpassed the performance of U.S. manufacturing as a whole which averaged a 4.0 recordable incident rate and 2.2 DART rate in 2014.
“You can’t be sustainable as an industry without first being safe,” added Garney B. Scott, Aluminum Association Chairman and President & CEO of Scepter, Inc. “We’ll continue to make industry safety a top priority and will drive for continued advances in our safety performance.”
These improvements are the continuation of a trend – recordable incidents in the aluminum industry have declined by 48 percent since 2003 and the industry’s DART rate has dropped by 43 percent over that same period. While the Association recognizes that any incident or injury is one too many, the tremendous improvements made by the industry to date are being used as a foundation upon which to drive further improvements on the goal to zero.
“I applaud the entire industry for reaching this historic milestone and continuing to improve the safety of aluminum workers in the United States,” said Heidi Brock, President & CEO of the Aluminum Association. “This is just one more sign of the aluminum industry’s commitment to maintaining a culture of safety – a culture I’m proud to say the Aluminum Association has helped foster for many years.”
The Aluminum Association has a long-standing commitment to industry safety and supports a variety of programs to help maintain the safety of aluminum industry employees. Over the past 22 years, the Aluminum Association’s biannual Casthouse Safety Workshop series has trained more than 3,000 aluminum workers on hazard mitigation in the casthouse setting. In 2015, the Association trained more than 180 participants from more than 50 companies – a single-year record.
In addition to sponsoring worker training and extensive research on worker protection and related issues, the Aluminum Association also releases an annual Molten Metal Incident Report to highlight information on hazardous events that occur at facilities melting aluminum. The report is the product of a voluntary program started in 1983 to share safety information among facilities. Although not intended to be statistically representative of the entire industry, the report provides useful information to help guide safety efforts in molten aluminum environments.
The 2015 edition of the Molten Metal Incident Report is available for download at www.aluminum.org/safety.
# # #
The Aluminum Association represents U.S. and foreign-based companies and their suppliers throughout the value chain, from primary production to value added products to recycling. The Association is the industry’s leading voice, providing global standards, business intelligence, sustainability research and industry expertise to member companies, policymakers and the general public. The aluminum industry helps manufacturers produce sustainable and innovative products, including more fuel efficient vehicles, recyclable packaging, greener buildings and modern electronics. In the U.S., the aluminum industry creates $152 billion in economic activity. For more information visit www.Aluminum.org, on Twitter @AluminumNews or at Facebook.com/AluminumAssociation.