Only eight employers out of more than 21,000 MEMIC policyholders across the country received a 2019 award for workplace safety from the workers’ compensation insurance specialist.
“Instead of just saying it’s our No 1 priority, we’ve really empowered everybody to take the time they need, and the action required to do their work safely,” said Steve Ladd, Steel-Pro’s president. “MEMIC is always there to support Steel-Pro, and it’s a great relationship.”
Steel-Pro is a custom manufacturer of stainless steel pressure vessels, biopharmaceutical equipment, vacuum chambers and storage tanks. With more than 60 employees, the company was started in 1978 by Chris Beebe and Fred Carey. In 2014, it was converted to an employee-owned company.
“I think the reason why people want to work at Steel-Pro is because they know that we are committed to safety,” said Jill Sullivan, Steel-Pro’s human resources manager.
Added Hartley Webb, MEMIC’s safety management consultant: “It’s pretty clear that employee ownership can improve engagement, feedback, employee recruitment and retention in a tight labor market. You can see it at Steel-Pro from the shop floor to leadership.
“You need to meet stringent quality and safety standards to supply companies like DuPont, so the precision that comes with experienced employees and safety engagement is essential. Steel-Pro’s strong return-to-work program and relationship with their local primary medical provider also helped them receive this recognition.
“It also earned them a Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program Award (SHARP) from the Maine Department of Labor.”