PCA confirms safety award winners 

The Portland Cement Association (PCA) has confirmed Cemex USA, GCC of America and Buzzi Unicem are among the winners of the 2021 Safety Innovation Awards.
Concrete Plants, Equipment & Applications / November 29, 2021
By Ben Spencer
Portland Cement Association 2021 Safety Innovation Awards Cemex USA GCC of America Mitsubishi Cement Corporation Salt River Materials Group
The award categories included Covid-19 management, pyroprocessing, general facility and distribution (© Thamrongpat Theerathammakorn | Dreamstime.com)

The awards recognise creative safety-enhancing projects in the cement industry. 

The winners were determined by a panel of judges that evaluated safety projects completed in 2020 in the categories of Covid-19 management,  pyroprocessing, general facility, and distribution.

PCA president Michael Ireland says: “Our industry prioritises the safety of its employees above all else. We are proud of our members continuous efforts to pursue excellence in safety innovation for their company and their colleagues.”

The following are the 2021 Safety Innovation Award winners:

Covid-19 Management

Cemex USA — Miami, Florida

Covid Rapid Response Team: In the early days of the pandemic, the Cemex USA employees at the Miami Cement Plant mobilised quickly to adapt the Cemex Covid-19 protocols to the plant circumstances and implement the extensive protocols to ensure the health and safety of the plant workforce while maintaining business continuity. Implementing these protocols and responding to Covid-19 issues included employees taking on extra jobs and working longer hours with remote technical support from their peers to assure the plant operated safely. A rapid response team was quickly activated to provide supplies, testing, medical support, and more for Cemex employees at all locations in the region.


GCC of America — Tijeras, New Mexico

Igniter Lance: The employees at GCC of America’s Rio Grande Plant devised a safer procedure for igniting the burner pipe in the kiln. The team created an igniter lance that allows team members to insert it in front of the burner while standing in a safe location from the side of the kiln hood. The burner floor is completely cleared of all employees while this process takes place, so no one is in an unsafe position.

General Facility (Tie)

Mitsubishi Cement Corporation — Lucerne Valley, California

Confined Space Training Program: Mitsubishi Cement’s Cushenbury Plant purchased a storage container and converted it into a confined spaced training facility. Employees re-configured the container to include the narrowest entry doors, hatches and crawlway spaces found in the cement plant and conducted confined space entry training for employees onsite.

Salt River Materials Group — Clarkdale, Arizona

Storage Rack for Shaft Guides: Machinists at the Salt River Materials Group’s Clarkdale Cement Facility designed and built a storage rack for shaft guides for the shaft hydraulic press. Lifting tabs welded onto the guides allow the overhead crane to be used instead of manual carry and placement, protecting employees from potential injuries in lifting and placing the guides.


Buzzi Unicem USA — Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Safe Egress for Truck Drivers: Buzzi Unicem’s Oklahoma City Terminal fabricated a platform complete with extended handrails and steps to provide safe egress for the drivers exiting their trucks on site. This upgrade reduced fall hazards and ensures that drivers can get to ground level safely.

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