Safety Key To Protection And Profits

by Diana Barnum
What rates top priority in your company? An increase in sales? An increase in production?
At Rogers Group, Inc. (RGI), safety on and off the job is the company’s highest priority.
Claiming to be the seventh largest crushed stone producer in the nation with 1,900 employees, Rogers Group operations include hot asphalt mix, road construction, sand and gravel, building materials and supplies, specialty products and construction materials recycling.

What is their asset with the highest value? Employees.
“Our safety record stands out,” said Gary Barrow, manager of RGI’s Bloomington Asphalt and Construction in Bloomington, Indiana. “One of the things we focus on is work zone safety, not only for our employees but the public. We’re always on the lookout for new signage, informational sideboards, etc. for improvements.”
One new safety change in asphalt paving operations that worked well was running night shifts during the past year. Barrows dedicated an asphalt plant to the night crew. Projects resulted in increased production, less traffic, smoother running for haul trucks and more material was transported to the job site.
“Some of the men were a little worried, since it was their first night shift,” said Barrow, “but it worked out okay. It was safer with less exposure to traffic.”
Barrow may start up night shifts again. He has five paving crews that work for him now. The projects with high-traffic areas may be moved to the night shift.
Since RGI makes their own paving materials, Barrow’s crews have been testing new materials to replace the dolometric product that they use now in their QCQA approved 9 1/2 MM materials. This QCQA requires slag steel that they purchase from steel mills around Chicago, elemetric #11 limestone and dolometric-manufactured sand from U.S. Aggregates. The new product must meet skid requirements on rainy pavement approved by the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT).
Indiana crews are also laying new asphalt mix on new roads in Davis County. Equipment they use includes a Blawan Ox 5510, Cedar Rapids CR 431 and Ingersoll-Rand DD 90 and DD 130 compactors. Although INDOT requires new asphalt on road surfaces, they do allow recycled content in base and intermediate courses, even beneath the road surface.
Indiana is not the only state with RGI facilities. They are also in Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky. Several of the Kentucky facilities recently won the Good Neighbor Award from the Kentucky Crushed Stone Association for taking positive steps to improve their operations.
Tennessee facilities received three Smooth Paving Awards and 22 Safety Awards at Tennessee Road Builders’ annual meeting. Twenty-one of the RGI operations received Safety Awards for achieving zero frequency rates for 2001, for a total of 527,272 hours. And one earned second place among companies with greater than 450,000 hours worked, for all Tennessee operations achieving 628,112 hours with no accidents.
The Tennessee Department of Transportation awarded RGI a Top Quality Award for a construction project deemed to be of the highest quality. All across the state, contractors’ projects were in competition in six categories: rideability, budget, completion time, safety, environmental treatment and material specification performance testing. RGI won with a $21,225,161 project, the widening of I-65 from Harding Place to I-440 and the reconstruction of the interchange at Harding Place in Davidson County.
In addition to building roads, RGI believes in building people by supporting educational programs in the community. They also donate materials to schools in all of their communities, and provide internships and scholarships. Their website even hosts Rockology 101 with fun facts and activities for all ages about aggregates.
For more information about safety night shifts and asphalt paving operations, contact Rogers Group, Inc., 421 Great Circle Road, Nashville, TN 37228. Call: (615) 242-0585. Visit them online at