Press Release


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News Release
For Immediate Release

Jan 19, 2011

Mike Strickland of Collins Bus Corporation Named 2010 Safety Professional of the Year

Neenah, WI –KellerOnline® and OH&S Magazine have named Mike Strickland, of Collins Bus Corporation in South Hutchinson, Kansas, as the 2010 Safety Professional of the Year (SPOTY). Strickland serves as the Environmental, Health and Safety Manager for Collins Bus Corporation, which is the largest and most technically-advanced builder of Type A school and school activity buses in North America. Type A buses are built on GM or Ford cutaway chassis and Collins builds more than all of the other competitors combined. The manufacturing processes at Collins Bus include a full metal fabrication shop, paint booth facilities, welding shops, and assembly processes that rely heavily on power tools. All of these processes pose their own hazard potentials.


Type A buses are built on GM or Ford cutaway chassis and Collins builds more than all of the other competitors combined. The manufacturing processes at Collins Bus include a full metal fabrication shop, paint booth facilities, welding shops, and assembly processes that rely heavily on power tools. All of these processes pose their own hazard potentials.


When Mike joined the Collins Bus team as the Environmental, Health and Safety Manager in January 2008, the company had a recordable injury rate of 14.09 and a DART rate of 3.06. Over a two year period and with the implementation of various safety programs, the recordable injury rate was reduced by 47% and the DART rate was reduced by 73%. This reduction in key safety metrics was achieved during a time when the production rates at the company were increased to their highest level ever – jumping over 30%. His approach of teaching safety, versus preaching it, has helped to transform Collins Bus into a safety and environmental leader in its field. Mike credits the entire Collins team for this achievement. As part of Allied Specialty Vehicles (ASV), Collins embraces Lean Manufacturing principles which rely on employee engagement and a disciplined approach to quality and safety improvements.


The improvement on these numbers is even more impressive when one considers the natural disasters that occurred at the Collins Bus facilities during this same two year period – a partial roof collapse due to heavy snow, extensive damage from a microburst with winds exceeding 120 mph, and a lightning strike that damaged several chassis. Fortunately, no employees were injured during these events or during the extensive clean-up efforts where Collins team members handled shredded sheet metal and broken glass.. This series of unfortunate events and the resulting lack of injuries is a true testament to the safety culture that Strickland has been instrumental in building at Collins Bus.


Strickland will receive a $2,500 cash award, along with a plaque, certificate, ten free, one year subscriptions to KellerOnline for himself and others in his organization, and $1,200 in online training.


Dan Allen, Corporate Safety Director for California Drywall in San Jose, California, was awarded second place. Dan received this award for his outstanding safety leadership in lowering key safety indicators and implementing safety programs to help improve his company’s competitiveness during a struggling economy. The programs that he implemented reduced recordable incidents rate from 13.83 to 2.04 over a period of three years, which falls 65% below the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates for companies within the industry in which California Drywall competes.

Allen will receive a $500 cash award, a plaque, certificate, and a one-year subscription to KellerOnline.


Frank McDaniel, Director of Safety for Helix Electric Inc. in San Diego, California, was awarded third place. He received this award for being an integral part of helping Helix Electric Inc. become a world class leader in safety performance. The successful implementation of behavioral-based safety processes has resulted in over an 85% improvement in incident rates. He will also receive a plaque, certificate, and one-year subscription to KellerOnline, along with a $50 cash award.


“This year’s winners have successfully demonstrated the role that safety plays in a company’s overall success. During the tough economic circumstances that have faced us over the past several years, these individuals and their companies have demonstrated resilience in their safety efforts and their ability to remain strong competitors in their respective industries,” said Rustin Keller, Director of Business Services for J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc. “KellerOnline and OH&S Magazine are proud to support these and all dedicated safety professionals and their organizations in the most important job – safety.”


About KellerOnline®

KellerOnline® (KOL) is the most widely used safety management tool on the web. More than 19,000 safety professionals rely on KOL to manage their safety programs. KOL integrates a safety management process with reference materials, tools, and applications in order to help users reduce accident rates, decrease injuries, and lower workers' compensation costs. To learn more about KellerOnline®, visit www.koldemo.com or www.kelleronline.com.


About Occupational Health & Safety

Now in its 79th year of continuous publication, Occupational Health & Safety magazine is a leading resource helping safety and health managers, industrial hygienists, emergency responders, ergonomists, human resources managers, and professionals in related fields eliminate hazardous exposures for their workers, utilize best practices, and stay in compliance with an array of ever-changing standards and regulations. For more information, visit www.ohsonline.com.


About J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.

J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc. was established in 1953 and has become the nation’s leader in risk and regulatory management solutions. The company employs over 1,100 associates and serves over 350,000 customers including more than 90% of the Fortune 500. J. J. Keller’s diverse products and services include publications, forms, training, supplies, software, consulting, online management tools, outsourced services, and mobile technology. For more information, visit www.jjkeller.com.


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