Based on its low number of total recordable injuries, Valmont in Columbus, NE, won Nebraska’s Safest Companies Award from the National Safety Council.

“Valmont takes a very serious approach for the safety of our employees,” said Renee Campbell, director, investor relations and corporate communications at Valmont Industries Inc.

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With 80 locations worldwide, Valmont Industries Inc. provides infrastructure development and agricultural productivity services for highways, transportation, wireless communications, electrical transmissions, industrial constructions and energy markets.

This is the second year in a row Valmont of Columbus, 1600 E. 29th Ave., was recognized with the distinction due to its total number of recordable injuries falling twice below the national average.

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“(It’s a) Very impressive record,” Campbell said. “They’ve worked very hard to reduce the number of safety incidents and to make safety just a part of everyday life for our employees.”

This year also marked the first time all five Valmont locations in Nebraska – Columbus, Valley, McCook, Waverly and West Point – were presented with the awards in the same year, covering all four of Valmont’s different business sections. Each facility’s safety operations were individually evaluated.

“The concentration of employees and facilities that we have in Nebraska makes these awards very gratifying,” said Steve Kaniewski, president and chief executive of Valmont. “Safety is paramount at Valmont. The fact that every one of our Nebraska facilities received this award shows us that safety continues to be a vital thread in the fabric of our culture.”

Campbell said she believes safety begins with the employees, ensuring they are able to identify possible safety hazards in their respective work areas. Employees were trained to identify and address harmful situations. Meetings are held daily for employees to discuss safety with their managers.

“Employees are encouraged to speak out if they have any concerns about anything that they might see that maybe isn’t safe or that they feel is unsafe,” Campbell said.

When employees stumble upon dangerous situations, they are authorized to stop working and seek help from managers at the site through the company’s Stop Work Authority program. From there, administrations proceed to address the issues.

“It has become ingrained in their day-to-day work and their day-to-day job,” Campbell said.

Campbell said the award symbolizes the hard work put in by Valmont employees throughout the state, including the approximately 140 staff members at Valmont of Columbus.

“We are honored to be recognized,” she said. “I would also say we believe this recognition is not because of any one individual person’s actions, but rather (because) safety is very much a collaborative process where managers, supervisors and employees all work together to facilitate a safe work environment and recognize the value that each one of our employees bring to the workplace and each other’s (lives).”

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