The American Society of Safety Engineers (Alabama Chapter) Recognizes McWane’s Barb Wisniewski for a Decade of Health & Safety Leadership

Birmingham, AL (April 4, 2013) – The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), Alabama Chapter, honored Barb Wisniewski, McWane Vice President of Health & Safety, for helping to drive award-winning improvements across the McWane family of companies.

The ASSE recognized “Special Honoree” Barb Wisniewski at an Alabama Chapter event this month, noting that under her leadership McWane has become one of the foundry industry’s leaders in health and safety.

“In 1999 we made a commitment to dramatically transform our health and safety systems,” said G. Ruffner Page, Jr., McWane President and CEO. “When Barb came aboard in 2003 that process kicked into overdrive. Her proactive approach has helped create an open and ethical safety culture committed to employee involvement and continuous improvement. If anyone is due an honor, it’s Barb.”

Since Barb’s arrival at McWane, the company’s Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) has declined by 69% in the U.S. while Days Away From Work (DAFW) has fallen by 63%. McWane’s foundry averages are now almost 40% below the industry averages.

“Barb Wisniewski’s work speaks volumes about what can be accomplished with dedicated and committed leadership,” said Bob Fitzgerald, president of the ASSE Alabama Chapter. “We’re honoring her because she’s honored our industry with her hard work and commitment to always finding ways to be even better.”

McWane’s systems are based on the principles of the international ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 standards, ensuring safe, sustainable, environmentally-friendly processes are in place in every department. Under the leadership of Wisniewski and other company experts, McWane’s efforts include the:

Investment of more than $350 million on EHS improvements since 1999;

  • Implementation of internal and third-party audit systems and inspections to ensure continuous improvements;
  • Creation of more than 120 new EHS and HR positions since 1999;
  • Utilization of nationally known safety and environmental experts, including two former OSHA administrators and a former EPA deputy administrator, to develop and implement programs;
  • Integration of human resources function with EHS to ensure that compliance is a prominent part of the company’s culture;
  • Creation of effective training for all employees, including a 40-hour program with the United Steel Workers of America;
  • Active participation in the National Safety Council, the U.S. Green Building Council, and many other safety advocacy groups.

The ASSE’s Women in Safety Engineering recognized Barb in 2011 with its “Making a Difference in Safety” honors for her career’s ongoing health and safety.

McWane’s achievements have been acknowledged by regulators and other groups during Barb’s tenure, including the US Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“I’m so proud of what all of us at McWane have accomplished together as a team,” said Barb Wisniewski. “It’s been an incredible opportunity to make a difference as we have led our industry into the future and I couldn’t be more excited about where we’re going.”

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About McWane Inc.

McWane, Inc. is a family-owned business based in Birmingham, Alabama, with companies across the United States and the world.  At the McWane Family of Companies, we cast ductile iron products--including pipe, valves, hydrants, fittings, and plumbing products--manufacture fire extinguishers, fire suppression systems, steel pressure vessels, and build network switches and monitoring equipment.  We are the leader in delivering clean, safe drinking water around the world while focusing on the safe, environmentally-friendly manufacturing of our products.  With more than 6,000 team members McWane has a longstanding commitment of support to the communities where we live and work.