Tri-State celebrates 1 million hours without a lost-workday injury at Craig Station | CraigDailyPress.com

Tri-State celebrates 1 million hours without a lost-workday injury at Craig Station

Erin Fenner

Craig Station employees celebrate 1 million hours without a lost-workday injury with a barbecue Tuesday.

Craig Station celebrated more than 1 million hours without a lost-workday injury at a barbecue and presentation Tuesday.

The plant was recognized for the achievement with a plaque, presented by Barry Ingold, senior vice president of Tri-State Generation and Transmission. The employees also took time off to celebrate with a barbecue lunch.

In the plant's 33 years of being open, it never has accomplished this goal before, said Rick Johnson, plant manager of Craig Station.

"This is a pretty big deal for us at Craig Station," he said. "This is not something that management has done. It's what everyone in this room has done."

The plant was free of lost-workday injuries from September 2011 to April 2014. Craig Station has made it a long way, Ingold said. He cited the first time he visited the plant in 1999 and saw a sign that said the plant had gone only one day without a workplace injury.

"You've made great progress to date of improving the safety of Craig Station," he said. "We want you to work safe. We want everyone to go home and come back to work the next day."

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The plant managed to make it through 1,089,002 hours without an injury that kept someone home from work for a day or more.

Paul Perez, safety steward for the Craig branch of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, said it was about not just getting the recognition but also the work it took to get there.

"It's not really the goal, not the end game, but the journey," he said. "The most important contribution is for all of us, all employees, to take safety personally."

Jim Nicoletto, chief steward for the local IBEW union, said Craig Station employees should take pride in this accomplishment.

"This is your award and each one of you owns a piece of it," he said. "Tri-State isn't the plant or the headquarters in Denver. It's the people."

Contact Erin Fenner at 970-875-1794 or efenner@CraigDailyPress.com.