500 days without lost time and counting

Bremen Castings, a family-owned foundry and machine shop in Bremen, Indiana, will hit 500 days without lost-time injury next week. Lost-time injury is defined as an occurrence that resulted in a fatality, permanent disability, or lost time from work of one day or shift and possibly more.

The 2010 rate of nonfatal injuries and illnesses that required at least one day of lost work was 118 cases per 10,000 full-time workers, which was about the same as the 2009 rate, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). The total number of cases decreased 4% to 1,191,100.

Bremen Castings was founded in 1939 and uses 92% recycled ferrous material to produce quality gray and ductile iron machined castings. Keeping up with the latest technology is high on Bremen’s priority list, reinvesting in new equipment for production, environmental, and automation improvements, but safety is top of the list.

“We’ve implanted strategies and procedures to make sure that everyone is accountable for everyone’s safety while at work,” explains JB Brown, president of Bremen (www.bremencastings.com). One example is that Bremen requires all employees to file near-miss reports. “If there’s a cable in the way or a slippery step, the employee is responsible for moving it and filing a report to inform upper management of the issue,” says Brown. “This is then looked at by our executive team to determine how we can possibly change things in the future to prevent a possible situation from happening.”  Bremen’s most recent lost time occurred more than a year ago and required the employee to miss a full shift of work. Since then the foundry and machine shop have gone incident free.

Bremen Castings’ goal is to establish a zero-incident culture, including 1 million man-hours with no lost-work time.