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2016 was a record-breaking year for safety for all of RAI’s tobacco-manufacturing operations, with a more than 20 percent reduction in OSHA recordable incident rates in all three companies, bringing incident rates to all-time lows.  In addition, 2016 was another year in which there were no work-related fatalities at our companies’ manufacturing facilities.

In 2011, R.J. Reynolds manufacturing started setting aggressive proactive safety performance goals to enhance its safety culture. These goals, called the Safety Performance Index (SPI), include many leading indicators such as safety training, safety ownership, and safety engagement. While R.J. Reynolds continued its use of SPI in 2016 with enhancements, SPI was also implemented at both ASC and SFNTC facilities in 2016.

At each of our companies, safety is embedded into our everyday actions. For example, employees at R.J Reynolds’ Shorefair location identified a safety opportunity and took action. After an upgrade to the automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS), employees teamed together to construct guardrails on the high rise. The team worked together to fabricate and install the guardrail system, with support from Tobacco Processing employees. Not only did this make the ASRS safer, it also highlights the great teamwork among our employees. By internalizing this cost, employees also saved R.J. Reynolds $15,600. Because of the safety commitment by each of the Shorefair employees, this facility achieved its fifth consecutive year with zero OSHA recordable incidents in 2016.

In 2016, eight operating locations received North Carolina Department of Labor (NCDOL) Gold Awards for their safety achievements. Gold Awards, the highest safety award presented by NCDOL, are presented to organizations that achieve a lost time and restricted incident rate of less than half that of the overall industry average. The following locations received Gold Awards in 2016:

  • Research and Development – 34 consecutive years of receiving the award;
  • R.J. Reynolds’ Main Office – 17 consecutive years of receiving the award;
  • R.J. Reynolds’ Leaf Department – 16 consecutive years of receiving the award;
  • R.J. Reynolds’ Tobaccoville Manufacturing – 15 consecutive years of receiving the award;
  • RAI’s Main Office – 7 consecutive years of receiving the award;
  • R.J. Reynolds’ Shorefair Manufacturing – 5 consecutive years of receiving the award; and
  • R.J. Reynolds’ Tobacco Processing – Received the award in 2016 and 8 out of the last 10 years
  • ASC Taylor brothers: Taylor Brothers received their gold safety award in 2016, 2015, 2013 and 2012, and received Silver award in 2014

In addition, R.J. Reynolds’ and RAI’s main offices received recognition for working more than 2 million hours without a lost time incident. A lost time incident is defined as an incident where the worker is unable to return to their job, not including the day of the injury.