Alcoa announced October 12 that two of its safety specialists have been named “Rising Stars of Safety” by the National Safety Council (NSC), a new program started by the organization that recognizes the safety leadership of young safety professionals. Rebecca Cranford, environment, health & safety manager at Alcoa’s Cleveland (Ohio) Works, and Ken Grace, environment, health & safety director for Alcoa Building and Construction Systems, headquartered in Norcross, Ga., were named to the NSC’s first-ever 40 under 40 ranking of individuals who have distinguished themselves by improving workplace safety.
“I am extremely proud of Alcoa’s environment, health & safety talent,” said Bill O’Rourke, vice president of sustainability and EHS. “While every Alcoa employee embraces our EHS Value, I see our EHS professionals as the people with the education, training, background and experience to remind each of us, every day, of the importance of living that value, and bringing us the processes, systems and controls to insure our constant improvement. I am encouraged when I see the next generation of EHS leaders embracing our culture and challenging us to perform even better.”
NSC’s Rising Stars of Safety program provides a way for the public service organization – which is dedicated to protecting life and promoting health in the United States – to meaningfully engage tomorrow's safety leaders in addressing current and future safety challenges. This year's honorees were chosen from almost 200 nominations.
Honorees were recognized at the opening session of the 2010 NSC Congress & Expo in San Diego on October 4, among more than 10,000 of their safety peers.
Rebecca Cranford joined Alcoa in 1998 and has worked in environment, health and safety (EHS) roles at the plant, regional, and business unit levels. Most recently she served as EHS Manager at Alcoa Cleveland Works, where she has been responsible for managing EHS for 1,000+ employees. During her tenure at Cleveland, Cranford has taken an active leadership role in unifying the workforce around the common goal of safety, and has developed strong partnerships with union officials to drive safety improvements, which significantly impacted safety performance.
Since 2007, Cleveland Works has achieved a 45 percent reduction in number of injuries and also experienced nearly a 90 percent reduction in injury severity, from more than 1,500 total days away from work in 2005 to less than 200 days today. Cranford also drove $8 million in EHS capital projects to improve fatality prevention, vehicle/pedestrian segregation, and environmental compliance. She remains actively involved at her alma mater, Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania, addressing students in the American Society of Safety Engineers campus chapter. In 2010, Cranford was honored by the YWCA Cleveland Chapter as a Woman of Professional Excellence.
Since joining Alcoa in 1997, Ken Grace, a Certified Safety Professional, has held leadership positions in plant locations and business units. He was recently promoted to EHS director for Alcoa Building and Construction Systems. From 2007 to September 2010, he was safety manager for the Alcoa Power and Propulsion business. Grace led a personal protective equipment initiative in 2009 that resulted in better employee protection and over $600,000 in savings. He also headed a team that developed and deployed a fatality prevention process that has been benchmarked by other businesses within Alcoa.
Grace currently serves as team leader for the Alcoa Global Safety Committee. The committee reviewed Alcoa’s serious injuries (total recordable injuries), which have historically increased by 10 to 15 percent between the months of June, July and August. In 2009, Alcoa’s May through September recordable injury performance improved by more than 40 percent as a result of the seasonal safety initiative Grace coordinated along with the other members of the Committee. Grace undergraduate degree is from of Millersville University, Central Pennsylvania. He obtained a master’s degree in Engineering Safety from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Alcoa is the world’s leading producer of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina. In addition to inventing the modern-day aluminum industry, Alcoa innovation has been behind major milestones in the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation, consumer electronics and industrial markets over the past 120 years. Among the solutions Alcoa markets are flat-rolled products, hard alloy extrusions, and forgings, as well as Alcoa wheels, fastening systems, precision and investment castings, and building systems in addition to its expertise in other light metals such as titanium and nickel-based super alloys. Sustainability is an integral part of Alcoa’s operating practices and the product design and engineering it provides to customers. Alcoa has been a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for nine consecutive years and approximately 75 percent of all of the aluminum ever produced since 1888 is still in active use today. Alcoa employs approximately 59,000 people in 31 countries across the world.