APH Press Release

APH Reaches Major Safety Milestone

Louisville Landmark Reaches One Million Hours Worked with No Lost-Time Accidents

LOUISVILLE, KY (February 15, 2011) - The American Printing House for the Blind (APH), the world's largest company devoted solely to researching, developing, and manufacturing products for people who are blind or visually impaired, is pleased to announce that today it reached an impressive safety milestone. The organization, which employs more than 300 people on Frankfort Avenue, has reached one million hours worked without a lost-time accident (LTA) since March 17, 2009.

“This is a rare accomplishment that many manufacturing companies strive to reach, but few achieve,” said Arthur Vaughn, director of safety at APH. “We recognized that we needed to give safety more attention and with the appropriate mechanisms put into place, we were able to dramatically reduce our lost time accidents and recordable accidents. Reaching this safety milestone proves that we are committed to safety excellence, and our employees have proven that no task is worth doing without taking the time to do it safely.”

Vaughn credits the accomplishment to several factors, including monthly safety committee meetings, monthly departmental safety meetings, and the creation of a Continuous Improvement Program which was started in 2000 but began focusing on safety in 2006. Along with these safety education tools, APH began to use training videos that were created in-house by APH employees.

“Seeing places and people with whom they are familiar really adds to these videos and makes them much more interesting to the employees,” says Vaughn. “We utilize APH narrators who add a professional touch, and we’ve discovered the value of including a funny scene or two on what not to do. APH employees readily volunteer to star in the next production, and many employees actually ask when the next safety video will be out.”

“At APH, everyone is in charge of safety,” says Vaughn. “It’s not our motto; it’s our way of life! We encourage and expect employees to report any potential safety issues immediately and we respond to these quickly.”

APH recognizes and rewards individuals, departments, and even the entire workforce when exceptional safety efforts are made. Once it was determined that the million hour milestone had been reached, the company “stopped the presses” and all other work to listen as President Tuck Tinsley III, who said he considers APH employees “our greatest asset,” announced, “we have reached our goal because of the hard work and dedication of everyone here.” A company-wide celebration is planned for next week.

William G. Beavin, APH’s Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer, says, “Because of this commitment to safety and the reduction in work related accidents, funds formerly used to make payments to insurance companies are now reinvested in our safety and wellness programs. Our current workers compensation provider, Kentucky Employers’ Mutual Insurance (KEMI) and our insurance representative, Associated Insurance Services (AIS), recently awarded APH with a print and braille plaque acknowledging our safety efforts.

While the recognition and reduced insurance expenses are two measures of our safety success, the most important outcome is that our employees and their families know that APH values each employee’s safety while at work.”

For more information, call (502) 895-2405 or log on to www.aph.org.

About the American Printing House for the Blind:

The American Printing House for the Blind, a 501©(3) non-profit organization, is the world's largest company devoted solely to researching, developing, and manufacturing products for people who are blind or visually impaired. Founded in 1858, it is the oldest organization of its kind in the United States. Under the 1879 federal Act to Promote the Education of the Blind, APH is the official supplier of educational materials for visually impaired students in the U.S. who are working at less than college level.

APH manufactures textbooks and magazines in braille, large print, recorded, and digital formats. APH also manufactures hundreds of educational, recreational, and daily living products. APH's website (www.aph.org) features information about APH products and services, online ordering of products, and free information on a wide variety of blindness-related topics.

The American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. is located at 1839 Frankfort Avenue in Louisville, Kentucky. For more information, call (502) 895-2405 or log on to www.aph.org.

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