NEWTON -- GKN Driveline Newton was awarded the Certificate of Special Recognition Safety Award by North Carolina State Commissioner of Labor, Cherie Berry. The award recognizes a North Carolina-based business that achieves one million safe employee hours without a lost time accident.
The award was presented to Michael Erdt, GKN Driveline Newton Plant Director, Jonathan Gobble, GKN Driveline Newton EHS Specialist and Jochen Wieland, Managing Director for GKN Driveline Torque Americas with many of their team members in attendance.
"Safety is a journey," commented Commissioner Berry as she presented the award to Michael Erdt in front an audience of Newton employees. "Each one of you has made this award happen. Thank you for all that you do."
The achievement comes during a time of continued growth for GKN Driveline Newton. Over the past two years the number of employees and temporary workers has increased 24% During this time period, the employees in the Newton site have worked safely while meeting increased demand, exceeding a record production milestone for the facility of one million parts produced.
Jonathan Gobble noted this achievement in his opening remarks, "We will achieve one million parts produced for the year with world class quality. GKN Driveline Newton is an award winning company with employees who care each and every day."
"Since its beginning, safety has always been important to the success of the business. Safety is our number one priority in everything we do and is therefore also the cornerstone of our strategy," notes Roland Seeger, Associate Director of Quality and EHS for GKN Driveline Torque. "The focus is to uncover hidden risks before they happen in an environment that has constant changes."
The event included a walking tour of the facility for Commissioner Berry, who recognized the proactive approach of the employees. "Yesterday is gone and you haven't met tomorrow yet. It's all about today when you think of safety and health. Thank you for all that you do, I applaud your efforts."
Jochen Wieland summarized the emphasis on the importance of safety every day, "These achievements are a testament to the dedication and passion everyone here in Newton has for safety, quality and continuous growth of this company." He continued by sharing the appreciation the GKN employees felt that Commissioner Berry came in person to deliver the award, "It was great to receive the recognition directly from Labor Commissioner Berry today and have her explain why safety is so near and dear to her heart."
The day ended with closing speech and celebration cheer from the employees. "This was not awarded by luck," Michael Erdt, noted in his closing speech to his fellow Newton colleagues. "It's because of the efforts from all of you that we are celebrating this today."