Safety Superstars Shine Brightly

New Penn Pulse

On the roads and in the terminals, New Penn employees are reaching some impressive safety milestones.

The Altoona Terminal achieved three, one-year streaks without an OSHA-recordable injury in the past few years. It was also the most-improved terminal for OSHA-recordable injuries last year. The team in Altoona hopes they’re on their way to another one-year record as they recently passed the 100-day injury-free mark.

Terminal Manager Rick Cox says the focus on safety in Altoona is obvious to visitors.

“People who come here say they can feel the safety culture in the air,” according to Rick. “We have a great crew of people who are focused on doing the right things when it comes to safety. We are constantly fine tuning our safety knowledge and skills to keep everyone healthy and injury free.”

After surpassing their 90-day incident-free milestone, they celebrated with a cookout and received New Penn T-shirts.

Employees in the Buffalo Terminal also take their safety seriously, enabling them to recently reach that one-year no-recordable-injury mark. Visitors to the New Penn Facebook page saw a photo of some of the members of the Buffalo team celebrating their impressive milestone.

In addition to those terminal achievements, two New Penn drivers recently passed their one million collision-free-miles mark.

Bill Blount started driving for a construction company in 1983. He quickly earned his CDL after being told it would mean a $2/hour raise. He’s been driving ever since, joining New Penn’s Syracuse Terminal about 12 years ago where he’s driven linehaul but now works in the city.

“The trucks are much safer these days,” Bill says. “Today every truck has ABS and better lights, plus all the new safety technology. When I started, a lot of the trucks didn’t even have power steering. All of that helps us stay safe. A lot of what it takes to reach a million miles comes down to fate, but safety is still mostly up to the driver. You have to rely on the training we get at the terminal and then be cautious on the road.”

Mark Richter, the East Syracuse Terminal Manager says it’s “… extremely exciting to have another million miler. It’s a huge achievement to reach a million collision-free miles. You have to work hard to accomplish a record like that.”

Bill’s recent million-safe-mile accomplishment comes close on the heels of two other Syracuse drivers, Andy Taylor and Mark White, who also achieved that impressive goal.

David Leck is one of the standout drivers in Altoona according to Terminal Manager, Rick Cox, who is proud to have him as a member of the Altoona team.

“David always goes over and above when it comes to taking care of customers and staying safe on the job,” says Rick. “He takes pride in everything he does and is truly concerned about what he can do to help our terminal do well. There’s nothing to say about him except positives.”

Rick helps build personal and terminal-wide safety records in Altoona with morning and evening shift meetings to cover all the employees. Each month, Rick arranges safety demonstrations and driving challenges to allow the drivers to demonstrate their professional skills. Another standard practice in Altoona is to spot check that seat belts are being worn and everyone has their orange safety vest on while they are on the dock and in the yard.

They say that safety is its own reward. That’s true first and most importantly because working safely means everyone goes home healthy and injury free. Customers also feel better about relying on a transportation partner that puts safety first, and consistently completes deliveries with no injuries, accidents or incidents. These safety records are important to New Penn employees, but also to New Penn customers.

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