International Dredging Review

International Dredging Review

Last summer Dredging Supply Company Inc. (DSC) a dredge manufacturer headquartered in Reserve Louisiana was nominated for the 2007 Louisiana Workers Compensation Corporation (LWCC) Safest 70 Award.

DSC is one of 142 companies nominated for the award and these companies represent the top one percent of all policyholders.

Companies track their overall safety by recording the frequency of accidents and their severity. Accidents are categorized as one of the following: first aid case – can be treated onsite and the employee can immediately return to work; restricted case – requires treatment by a physician and the employee returns to work on light duty; lost time case – the employee receives treatment and returns to work after a length of recovery.

During the 2007 calendar year DSC worked 183000 man hours without a lost time accident.

DSC attributes their record to their commitment to workplace safety. Both owners Bob Wetta and Bill Wetta have put safety at the forefront of their company and continue to provide employees with incentives to keep a safe working environment. All employees attend monthly safety meetings which are held to remind them of safe practices and keep them informed of accident prevention tactics. More frequent “tailgate” style safety meetings are also held by the individual manufacturing departments to further promote specific safety requirements for their trades.

Employees keeping a safe track record are further encouraged with safety awards.

Early in 2007 Gary Hamilton (COO) organized a safety team of 12 voluntary members that meet monthly to review safety concerns and past accidents as a way to improve existing safety policies and prevent similar accidents from happening again.

“Safety is a team effort and it’s refreshing to see such great participation. We come to work to support our families so I think it’s equally important that we return to our families in the same condition we left them” explains Jeff Cox DSC Safety Team Leader. As it takes constant training and employee awareness to eliminate accidents altogether DSC continues to take extra care in implementing procedures to meet the challenges of an accident-free workplace. DSC also offered a free first aid and CPR class to its employees as an added benefit; of 110 employees 40 volunteers attended the eight-hour class.

LWCC is Louisiana’s largest workers’ compensation carrier providing coverage to approximately 22000 policyholders. They are a private nonprofit mutual insurance company that revitalized a workers’ comp system that was on the verge of collapse and have continued to provide much needed stability in Louisiana.