Last year while they were celebrating having worked three-million work-hours without having a lost time accident, Williamsburg Mayor Roddy Harrison challenged local Firestone employees to go for four million work-hours without a lost time accident.
On Tuesday, Firestone workers celebrated the successful completion of Harrison’s challenge, which for employees was just a continuation of safety practices they do every day.
“It never ceases to amaze me at those folks numbers! Each year it continues to grow,” Harrison noted.
“Let’s put that in some context … four million hours, that’s 60 million minutes, that’s 500,000 eight hour shifts! It’s simply amazing. Congratulations to all the employees at our Firestone. That kind of commitment is hard to find … Dang near impossible, and it makes me proud.”
Firestone Industrial Products President Craig Schneider noted that safety is the top priority for the company.
“Safety is ingrained in our culture and our top priority in our day-to-day operations,” Schneider said. “The culture of safety underscores Bridgestone’s commitment to be an employer of choice. Williamsburg is a shining example of this commitment.”
The Bridgestone Americas family of enterprises, which includes Firestone, has more than 50 production facilities and 55,000 employees throughout the Americas. The Bridgestone Americas international footprint includes manufacturing and sales subsidiaries located in Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Mexico, with additional offices throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.
The Williamsburg plant opened on July 5, 1989, and now has 365,000 square feet of space. It is now the only remaining U.S. air spring manufacturing plant.
The Williamsburg Firestone plant manufactures air springs for the heavy-duty truck, automotive, and agricultural market.
Whitley County Judge-Executive Pat White Jr. is no stranger to the Williamsburg Firestone Plant. His family’s lumber business made wooden pallets for the plant for many years.
“As I grew up servicing the pallet contract for this plant, I always knew that Firestone in Williamsburg was something special and by accomplishments like we are celebrating today, you all are convincing the rest of the world. Congratulations to you all,” White said Tuesday about the plant’s accomplishment.