2012 was a good year for the safety department. Southland reported the second lowest incident rate in our history and the lowest vehicle accident rate ever. We saw the team at Fort Hood recognized as contractor of the quarter with an award from the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). And, we have strengthened our safety team by promoting two employees.
Southland Industries reported a recordable incident rate of 3.0, which is the second lowest in our history. The national average is currently a 4.0. What that means is that for every 100 full-time employees Southland has, we experience three injuries. That is still three injuries too many and we aim to continuously improve our safety training, as well as policies and procedures, so that we may reduce the number and severity of all injuries and protect our most important asset: our people.
Southland saw its best year with regards to vehicle claims, as we reported the lowest number of at-fault incidents ever. We also had the lowest number of accidents reported to our insurance company. As a result, we were able to manage many of the claims in-house. The greatest improvement was in the total cost of all claims, which saw a decrease of over 70 percent. These improvements are the effect of increased awareness and training in vehicle safety and will result in lower insurance premium costs in the future.
As an acknowledgement of the outstanding safety performance of the project team at Fort Hood, Southland was awarded the Fort Worth District Excellence through Safety Award from the USACE. The award was presented onsite during Southland’s all-hands safety meeting on September 11, 2012. They have done a fantastic job and have yet to report a recordable injury!
In an effort to strengthen our safety efforts, we promoted two of our team members. Zachary Gill, who began with Southland in 2009 in our Mid-Atlantic Division, moved to our Northern California Division to assume the responsibilities of Division Safety Manager. He is currently enjoying the warmer temperatures in California and working with his construction manager and superintendents to eliminate injuries. Similarly, Debbie Shelton has been with Southland since 2007 and has been very successful in her safety efforts on projects like CityCenter in Las Vegas and SC-1 in Northern California. She has returned to her home in Las Vegas from the Northern California Division to assume the responsibilities of Safety Manager in Nevada.
In closing, Southland had a good safety year and with the improvements made in 2012, we look forward to an even better year in 2013! I ask that everyone please continue to make safety a focus each and every day.