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Mon January 07, 2013 - Midwest Edition
In any given year, Vulcan Materials Company’s McCook Quarry, McCook, Ill., — one of the largest limestone operations in North America — hosts hundreds of scouts, community leaders, students and organizations, who visit the quarry to learn more about earth sciences and the engineering and technology used to manufacture construction materials that go into the building and maintenance of Chicagoland’s roads, infrastructure, homes and businesses’ developments.
Recently, however, it welcomed visitors from the other side of the globe, from China’s Liaoning province, who came to the McCook Quarry to learn more about industry-leading best practices for aggregates mining and production.
The delegation of Chinese government officials have been attending lectures, field studies and programs developed by the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), and visited the McCook Quarry for a first-hand look how Vulcan deploys technology and engineering to produce high-quality construction aggregates in a safe and socially responsible manner.
Vulcan Safety Supervisor, Jason Schlee, explained to the delegates that Vulcan’s safety culture is “employee driven” and is based on employee involvement. He told them that by working together, employees can develop solutions to sustain an injury-free environment.
“I like to consider it a humanitarian effort,” said Carl Vizza, director of Professional Learning Programs at IIT. “It’s important to lead by example, because in their country, reform will have to come from within.”
“Our philosophy at Vulcan has always been to breed a culture of safety,” said Kevin Cox, plant manager at the McCook Quarry, a quarry honored for its award-winning safety and community relations programs.
“For us, safety is more than a priority; it’s an element of our business that informs everything we do, every day.”
“This is a very important initiative for the Chinese people,” said Vizza. “It’s clear they’re interested in safety, and we’re happy to help usher in those practices for them.”
“Today was a great opportunity to share some of what we do,” said Cox. “It’s been a privilege for our team to be recognized by IIT and the Chinese officials.”