Fontaine Modification Reaches Safety Milestone

Fontaine Modification’s Charlotte, N.C., headquarters celebrated the facility’s 1,000th day without a lost time accident.

Its Charlotte location is home to the company’s headquarters, Innovation Center and one of its six nationwide truck modification centers. All 58 Fontaine employees are part of a company-wide safety program established in 2009 when a new management team came on board.

“The very nature of the truck modification business makes it susceptible to accidents,” says Will Trantham, president. “There are a lot of variables to control and the work is very hands-on: We’re literally taking apart and rebuilding trucks every day. So we’ve made safety a priority for everyone in the company. Every employee is held accountable for safe work practices. Our engineers make safety a foremost consideration when designing new products. We’ve also invested in new equipment that enables us to utilize safer modification processes.”

Every time a Fontaine modification center reaches 100 days without a lost time accident, the company’s senior management team meets with each employee at the location to shake hands, say thank you for being safe and gather suggestions for additional improvements. This personal approach seems to work: several other Fontaine facilities are on track to hit the 1,000-day milestone in 2012 and 2013.

Employees at the Charlotte location were treated to lunch on Jan. 18 to celebrate their accomplishment.

Fontaine’s safety program incorporates best practices developed by Executive Vice President Paul Kokalis while he was in charge of the company’s Dublin, Va., operation. At the Charlotte modification center, David Hambrick, facility manager, has taken ownership of the program, recognizing the many benefits of having safe employees.

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