Portland, ME – At its Annual Meeting of the Policyholders last week, workers’ compensation specialist The MEMIC Group presented awards for workplace safety to eight of its more than 21,000 policyholders. MEMIC Senior Vice President of Loss Control and Safety Services Karl Siegfried paid tribute to the following employers for their workplace safety efforts at the Portland Museum of Art:
- Buffalo Games, LLC of Buffalo, New York
- Ciocca Dealerships of Quakertown, Pennsylvania
- Compounding Solutions, LLC of Lewiston, Maine
- Ducktrap River of Maine in Belfast
- Gaftek Inc. of Bangor, Maine
- Home Hope & Healing, Inc. of Smithfield, Maine
- Kingsway Arms Nursing Center of Schenectady, New York
- Metro Corral Partners, Inc. of Winter Park, Florida
Buffalo Games, LLC is the premier manufacturing facility for jigsaw puzzles and party games in North America, selling more than 50 million puzzles and party games since 1986. Family owned with about 75 employees, they have had no lost time injuries in the past 3 years. “Award winning safety results start with ownership, and that culture of caring is embedded in management, spread to supervision, and permeates throughout the organization,” said MEMIC Safety Management Consultant David Darnley. “That’s what makes Buffalo Games special. That’s why Buffalo Games deserves this safety award.”
Ciocca Dealerships’ founder Greg Ciocca bought his first dealership in 1993 and now employs about 750 people in 9 locations across Eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The company credits their safety committee as having a big impact. “We did start our safety committee before we came to MEMIC, but I do believe that MEMIC and the strategic information they give us has helped us raise our effort and to win this award,” said CFO Aaron Winiarz.
Compounding Solutions, LLC is committed to manufacturing specialty plastics compounds and concentrates of the highest quality, including satisfying the strict requirements of the medical device industry. In the past few years, the company has more than doubled the size of its facilities and workforce to 120,000 square feet and 100+ employees. “It’s got to be a culture, it’s got to start from the top and work its way through the managers right down to each individual employee,” said Owner/General Manager Scott Neal. “If any of the employees have questions or concerns, it’s very easy for any employee to go to any manager and ask them a question or ask for suggestions or offer suggestions,” said Maintenance Manager Gene Girouard.
Ducktrap River of Maine is a growing gourmet smoked fish and seafood company with a 45,000 square foot facility and 150 employees working 24 hours a day six days a week. “We’ve seen amazing results over the past 15 years as we’ve worked with them to improve ergonomic efforts throughout the facility, implementing adjustable height stools and tables in most production areas along with an aggressive ergonomic risk and control awareness program,” said MEMIC Safety Management Consultant Hartley Webb.
Gaftek Inc. is the Northeast’s premier provider of petroleum services with 24 hour emergency service, tank installations, and facility inspections. “Gaftek has demonstrated over the years that we are very committed to safety,” said Safety Manager Dave Fielder. “A lot of it is done through coaching activities, to encourage people to think about your family at home, think about your friends and your relatives, think about the impact if you are hurt, what that does to those relationships. This company is so positive about trying to find something to keep an injured employee working in any capacity, to minimize the time that they lose and the impact that it has on them and their family.”
Home Hope & Healing, Inc. is a homecare agency that provides skilled pediatric and adult nursing care in homes throughout Maine. Founded in 2002 by two registered nurses who were also sisters, the company now has about 230 employees. “They have gone from hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses to just a few thousand said MEMIC Safety Management Consultant Beth Stowell. “It happened because they educated their employees and they changed the way they went about their tasks, they became creative about continuing that quality of care but also caring for themselves.”
Kingsway Arms Nursing Center is a family-operated senior residential community that has made tremendous safe patient handling improvements with the goal of achieving a zero injury workplace. “Before we can have patient safety, we have to have employee safety,” said Registered Nurse Priya Wheeler. “Before they do anything, they gather our thoughts before they implement something, and I really like that because it shows our voice is being heard.” CEO Michael McPartlon says that Kingsway has really focused on the prevention piece of workplace safety and “we were happy that we found MEMIC and MEMIC found us, together it’s been a good partnership.”
Metro Corral Partners, Inc. is a restaurant management company with more than 2,500 employees. “It’s about our people,” said Vice President of Operations Jeff Cheatham. “We don’t want our people getting hurt at our restaurants and so we put a lot of focus not only to cut costs but to have happier folks and to keep everybody working.” “Our employees are trained on safety from day one,” said General Manager Juan Sandova. “You can’t even start working for us until you have the proper footwear. The most important thing we want to accomplish at the end of the day is to have a safe experience for our coworkers and our guests.