People + Places

People Power: Our Foundation to Flourish

In south-central Utah there is a group of Aspen trees covering 106 acres. In itself, a large forest is not all that unusual; the western United States is known for wide expanses of forest area. What is remarkable about the Quaking Aspens in Utah’s Fishlake National Forest is that scientists have discovered that the trees are one organism working in tandem to prosper and grow. Each tree that stands within the 106 acres has only one root system— every tree is interconnected! Because of this unique shared root system, the aspen grove has survived intense forest fires and climate change for an estimated 80,000 years. The shared roots have made the tree system resilient allowing each tree to stand strong.

Likewise, the practice of People Power at Dresser-Rand seeks to strengthen individual employees through a strong root system. Safety programs like the stop work authority, adopted organizational methods like 6S and a company-wide culture of charitable service are some of the “roots” that keep D-R strong.

Frozen Yogurt Event Raises $17,000 for STEM Education

CristoReyEveryone enjoys taking a break to indulge in a cup of frozen yogurt.  In Houston, we arranged an employee appreciation event where a local vendor was hired to provide a fun, frozen yogurt break to thank our employees for the hard work they do every day.

During the event, employees participated in a raffle with proceeds donated to Cristo Rey Jesuit School in Houston. In support of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, Dresser-Rand has partnered with Cristo Rey and hosts teams of students in work-study programs at our Houston offices. As such, many Houston employees are aware of Dresser-Rand’s corporate support of the program and have interacted with the students at work.

Our employees rose to the occasion to help the students achieve their goals; the generosity of our employees, combined with matching donations, resulted in proceeds of approximately $17,000 to help support the educational efforts of Cristo Rey students.

The school used some of the donation to attend a NASA rocket launch in Virginia that was scheduled to carry student-designed experiments into orbit aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Sadly, the rocket launch failed and the student’s experiments did not travel to the ISS. Undeterred by the setback, the students are looking forward to future opportunities to send their experiments into outer space.

Proud of the students, their determination and hard work, we continue to be a strong supporter of the Cristo Rey School. It’s within our company culture to reward hard work, both in our own employees and in our partnerships.

Stop Work!

Nearly 50 percent of this year’s recordable incidents are related to hand injuries.

Renol Skaria, a lathe machine operator in Abu Dhabi, was assigned to make new spacers. He determined the job would require the operator to support the material by hand to prevent it from falling which would likely cause damage to the finished surface of the material. Renol also identified a potential risk for hand injury due to the rotating machinery and parts involved to complete the job.

Because of the assessed risk and his concern for safety, Renol used his Stop Work Authority. He discussed his concerns with the shop supervisor and workshop team. Subsequently, the team created a safety fixture that can be inserted inside the spacer to support the material after cutting. As a result, the operator’s hands no longer need to be in close proximity to rotating parts. This process improvement is expected to prevent potential future injuries.

Wellsville Employees Shed 2,300 pounds
ScrapMetalEvent6S is a workplace organization methodology (safety, sort, straighten, shine, standardize and sustain) that aims to eliminate waste, maximize organization and increase efficiency. Across our offices and operations, 6S is taught, encouraged and followed by managers and employees.

This past spring, our Wellsville Engineering office team noticed that many employees were keeping scrap pieces of metal in their offices. Certain pieces were useful for demonstration purposes; however, many were in use as paper weights, or worse, as obstacles to step over, walk around or potentially fall on someone from a shelf. Katie McDowell, a Wellsville administrative team member, decided to organize a 6S event to clean up the scrap metal.

Katie raised awareness of the scrap metal issue and with the support of Jack Reed, director of Engineering for Wellsville Operations, she launched an effort for employees to get rid of the scrap metal in their offices. Arrangements were made for several bins to be brought on-site to collect and dispose of the scrap. The effort resulted in the collection and removal of almost 800 pounds (363 kg) of scrap metal.

“This was a great event. It helped make offices safer and look better,” commented Katie when asked about the success of the event. In further alignment with the 6S, the scrap metal clean-up prompted another effort to organize and dispose of scrap paper and catalogs that had accumulated over the years. Subsequently, 1,500 pounds (680 kg) of paper were removed from the Wellsville offices.

Tags: Community Programs, People Power, STEM

other articles from insights issue Winter 2014 / 2015