Johnstown Wire Technologies
Johnstown Wire Technologies
Built by Cambria Iron Works from 1909 thru 1911.
Purchased by Bethlehem Steel in 1936
Completely integrated steel plant.
Blast Furnace – Not at JWT
Steel Making – Not at JWT
Nail and barbed wire manufacturing
Bethlehem shut the operations down in 1992.
Prior to the shut down, Bethlehem sold the rod
mill equipment to Casey Equipment for resale.
JWT purchased the remainder of the Wire Mill
in 1992 and began production in December of
that same year.
JWT is a Union shop and the employees are
represented by the United Steelworkers.
JWT employs 52 Salary and 210 Union
JWT is comprised of nine departments.
Each department or group of departments has
The Quality Department operates under the
Director of Quality.
The nine departments at JWT are:
Cleaning Lines/Wire Drawing/Bundling
These departments operate under five managers.
Some managers have multiple departments.
Due to increasing cost of workers
compensation insurance, our increasing OSHA
recordable accident rate, and a fatality, JWT
formed their Joint Safety Committee in 2007.
The original committee consisted of:
Vice President of Operations
Two (2) from Human Resources
Five (5) Department Managers
Fourteen (14) Hourly Employees from the 9 units.
In late 2009, our insurance carrier suggested
that the joint safety committee become a state
certified safety committee. This certification
would lower our insurance premiums.
JWT received it’s certification in 2010.
The state certification must be renewed
annually and this requires a two (2) hour
Since the committee became State Certified, the
actual committee only consists of four people.
There are two from management and two from
the Union workforce.
The employees not chosen to be on the State
Certified Committee still function as a part of
the Joint Safety Committee as guests and also
participate in the meetings.
In fact, we try to get three of the four different
employees annually to serve as members of the
State Certified Committee with the Safety
Manager always on the committee.
We felt that this would keep the committee
fresh and the same people would not have to
serve every year unless they choose too.
Reduce the OSHA recordable accident rate to
We also received a mandate from our company
President. “If there is an accident that is borderline
recordable I want it recorded and turned in to
OSHA”. I don’t want any gray areas in reporting.
Make the mill at JWT a safe place to work.
The top three Leading Indicators for
Preventable Accidents by frequency were as
Strains and Sprains 28%
Lacerations (Cuts) 19%
Top three (3) leading injuries by cost were as
2014 JWT ACCIDENT RATES
Injury Lost Work
The first task the committee took on was training.
Every new hire begins with a week long safety
orientation, which includes a truck safety course
that ends with fork truck state certification test.
Every hourly employee at JWT is a certified lift
Week two, covers all OSHA required training and
Zero (0) Tolerance policies on Harassment, Work
Place Violence and Drug /Alcohol training, prior
to being placed on a job.
Once assigned to a department, the new hire
spends another two days learning our HAZ COM
Policy, our SOP’s and JHA’s.
After completing the required training, the new
employee will be assigned with an experienced lift
truck operator or job they will be assigned to and
trained to do a particular job.
The employee will be evaluated by the department
manager after the two week period.
If additional training is required, the employee(s)
Secondly, the safety committee developed SQP
These meetings are held monthly.
Comprised of the Department Manager ,Safety
Manager and all hourly employees.
These meetings allow the hourly workers to
address any safety, quality or production concerns
that they have directly to the Department Manager
and to the Union Safety Committee member.
The third thing the joint safety committee
developed was a list of ten (10) safety topics
that are delivered by the Department Managers
and Safety Manager, at their monthly SQP
These classes include all OSHA required
Point of Interest:
Our insurance carrier periodically sends a
representative to our safety meetings. This is a good
source of obtaining information, videos and power
point presentations to help with our training.
January – HAZ COM/GHS
June – PPE/Fall Protection
February – Truck/Hoist/Crane
March – Lock Out/Tag Out
April – Confined Space
May – Blood Borne Pathogens
July – Ladders
October – Fire Extinguishers
November – Propane Safety
December – Arc Flash
August and September were set aside for any
employee that have missed any of the Safety topics
throughout the year and to review key issue about
safety that has occurred throughout the year.
The fourth thing that the Safety Committee
developed was the weekly walk through.
The Department Manager and the hourly
member of the Joint Safety team would walk
through their department and document
anything that was unsafe.
These findings are then discussed at the Joint
Safety committee monthly meeting.
The walk through consisted of the following:
General Condition – aisles, mirrors, floors
Materials – rod coils, waste disposal
Labeling – secondary container labeling
Equipment –guards, safety switches, trucks
Emergency Equipment – AED, first aid Blood
Bourne Pathogen kits
Personal Protective – hard hats, glasses, hearing,
Housekeeping – general condition of departments
Most items that are found during the walk
through are corrected that day or within a
reasonable time frame.
If there was a larger safety item, like a bad floor
area that required some extra cost or extra
manpower , these are placed on a action list .
Any item that makes the action item list, must
be corrected within 30 days.
The weekly walk through the mill also
benefited the safety team. It gave the hourly
employees that were not on the safety team a
chance to talk with management and their
union representative, and get any of their
concerns addressed at the safety meeting.
The weekly walks are the best fit for JWT
because we operate around the clock.
Several departments operate 365 days per year.
Finally, In conjunction with the walk through,
our company President insisted that the
Department Managers do semi-annual safety
The observations were just the department
manager watching an employee do a part of his
job and see if he was doing it safely.
We currently do these observations and report
the good with the bad.
Due to the success of the program, lately we
report more good than bad.
So, how did we measure if the system was
OSHA Recordable Accidents
Severity Rates of Accidents
Lost Time Accidents
Restricted Work Accidents
Again by the efforts of the Joint Safety
Committee, our Safety Manager, Department
Managers and the Union Workers on the floor
we lowered our All Injury Rate from 31.0 in
1995 down to 6.2 at the lowest in 2010 and
averaging 8.0 through 2013. OSHA reportable
accidents from 76 in 1997 to 20 in 2013. We
have had a few set backs over the years but
continually strive to make JWT a safer work
Again our goal is “ZERO”.
Strains & Sprains
Most of these occurred while removing carriers
from a stack.
Our receiving foreman came up with the idea
of reducing the amount of carriers in a stack.
This simple change reduced accidents in this
area by 20 %.
These are called carriers.
These carriers are used
to hold the wire when
it comes off of a drawing
These carriers used to
be sent to us with six
carriers in a pack.
With six carriers in a pack
the carriers had to be
pried apart. This prying
and pulling action is what
caused most of the sprain
and strain injuries.
The solution to our
injury problem was very
simple. Order the
carriers to be shipped
with no more than five
carriers per pack. This
simple change reduced
this type of injury by 90%.
In 2012, a team looked at safety glasses that fit
tighter to a person’s face, especially under the
eye where it meets the cheek, also all safety
glasses are paid for by the company.
The team also had windshields installed on all
of the trucks in the mill.
This simple change reduced accidents in this
area by more than 50%.
We have seen a upward trend in cuts over the
In 2014, a team recommended that all
employees cutting banding must wear long
sleeves or kevlar arm guards. The committee
accepted the recommendation . We are very
confident that implementing these action items
we can reduce our cuts and lacerations.
With the efforts of the Joint Safety Committee
working with our Insurance Company and our
hourly workforce at the end of 2013, we
received a dividend from our insurance carrier
due to the fact that our accident rates have
dropped and stayed below the industry
Although in 2014 we have had some set backs
in our All Injury we are working together to
make JWT safer place to work for all
Finally, by becoming a “State Certified Safety
Team”, we also saved an additional 5% per
year on our Worker’s Compensation Insurance
premium. With these saving we re-invest for
training and better equipment , to provide a
safer work place for all of Johnstown Wire