Innovative Precast Concrete
Safe and sound – IPC celebrates milestone

By Corey Meints
November 16, 2011

Employees at IPC in Iowa Falls recently surpassed 1,000 days without a lost-time on-the-job injury. They will be treated to a steak lunch Thursday to celebrate the rare feat.
Employees at IPC in Iowa Falls recently surpassed 1,000 days without a lost-time on-the-job injury. They will be treated to a steak lunch Thursday to celebrate the rare feat.

Anytime a company goes 1,000 days without a lost-time injury, it’s pretty amazing. But when workers at a company deal with as many dangers every day as those at Innovative Precast Concrete, it’s almost unbelievable. IPC recently surpassed the milestone and, with some luck and continued diligence, should reach 1,100 days since the last lost-time accident by the end of the year. The company is a primary producer of prestressed and precast concrete products for the commercial construction industry, with four manufacturing facilities in daily operation and offices in Des Moines and Kansas City. It is among the largest precast producers in the United States.

Founded in 1956, IPC has been part of the Precast/ Prestressed Concrete Institute’s (PCI) certification program since its inception. PCI assures the industry’s highest standards of quality control, safety and cutting-edge manufacturing technology.

IPC’s projects include hotels, condominiums and office buildings, parking structures, stadiums and sports complexes, criminal justice facilities, schools and community centers, commercial and institutional buildings, industrial and manufacturing facilities, and bridges and skywalks. IPC Inc. leads the industry in creating innovative total-frame precast structures and offers a team of highly experienced, dedicated precast structural engineers, drafters, project consultants and a field staff of professional project managers and detailers.

Mike Meyer has been with IPC for six years. He was the production manager at the Des Moines site and is now the same there and in Iowa Falls. He is part of the safety committee at the Iowa Falls plant and said it’s no small feat going so long without a serious accident.

“It’s heavy construction work and it takes a lot of effort every day keeping people safe,” Meyer said. “Picking up 30-ton concrete panels, if somebody gets underneath that they’re not coming back. We work with massive rolling cranes and big equipment.” Meyer said he has seen some broken bones in his six years, but nothing lifethreatening. “There’s a lot of normal sprains and strains, but you get that about anywhere,” he said. There are about 85 employees at IPC in Iowa Falls. While that is a large number of workers to keep safe, Jackie Winters said the number fluctuates.

That often means workers who are not as in tune with safety measures as are the regulars. Winters is the human resource and safety manager and has been with IPC 36 years. She said this is just the third time in all those years that the plant has gone at least 1,000 without a lost-time injury on the job. “That is a pretty big feat,” Winters said. “An injury here could be deadly with the heavy product we pour and the large machines running around.”

Winters said the company takes a big stand on safety because of it. That stand includes a six-person safety committee that serve as the eyes of safety for the company. Committee members include herself and Meyer, Kevin Dillon, Bobby Mikesell, Dillon Hutzel and Jim Goodnight. “Getting to 1,000 days is tremendous,” Winters said. “We’ve been very fortunate in that the whole year we’ve only had one slight injury. I think the employees are really working together to stay safe. It’s not by any means management taking care of it, it’s the people out on the lot.”

Winters said many of the workers have been there a while and look out for each other like family. “If one person’s hurt, they’re all hurt,” she noted.

“They really do care about each other.” To celebrate the achievement, workers will be treated to a steak lunch on Thursday.

For further information contact Corey mmeints@iafalls.com