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Jeff Shaffer, left, of Travelers Insurance, presents the company's 'Safety Excellence Award' to Cody Houston, safety manager for PECOFacet's Mineral Wells operations. The company recently surpassed a milestone of 1 million work hours without a loss-time accident. Some 300 local employees were treated to a luncheon Thursday at the Activity Center to mark the event.

PECOFacet facilities in Mineral Wells marked a recent milestone when local employees helped the company surpass the 1 million man hours without a loss-time accident mark.

“This is a huge milestone that we’ve had in our sites for quite some time,” said Cody Houston, who serves as PECOFacet manager of environmental health and safety, facilities and maintenance. “Each employee is responsible for helping the company reach this. I’d like to thank the employees for their efforts to make this a successful safety program and make it work.”

PECOFacet makes filters primarily for the oil and gas industry and, locally, employees approximately 300 workers in four physical operations. Mineral Wells facilities include the main plant and a new facility in Wolters Industrial Park, a research and development facility on Garrett Morris Parkway and a shipping facility on Tradeway Road.

“The more employees you have, the more risk you have of getting a loss-time injury,” said Houston. “We’ve worked hard on reducing our accidents.”

He said this includes monthly meetings with a safety committee – a group of employees selected to assist with the safety program.

“They monitor their immediate area to detect any hazards or any unsafe practices,” said Houston. He added that the company employed a “ZAP” – zero accidents program – in 2007 and increased training and offered employee incentives through a “T-3 strategy” program in 2009.

The T-3 recommendation program encourages employees to contribute ideas “to make our workplace safer and more efficient,” he said. Incentives include, “once-a-month drawings for gift certificates.”

“We surpassed the 1 million man hour mark last week,” Houston said.

PECOFacet accrued one million hours of no lost-time incidents for its 300 local employees from May 14, 2008 to Feb. 9, “meaning employees didn’t lose any time for an injury,” he said, adding that as of Friday morning, this equaled 646 days.

The company benefits from the 1-million-hour milestone. Houston said it equates to worker’s compensation dollars not spent. He said the company budgeted for $184,000 worth of worker’s comp costs, but by the end of 2009, paid out just $4,502.

“That’s a $180,000 savings,” Houston said.

“By no means are we done,” he added. “There are still improvements to be made and we’re not done with achieving more milestones through the hard work of all employees.”

Staff writer Libby Cluett can be reached at (940) 325-4465, ext. 3422, or lcluett@mineralwellsindex.com.

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