December 21, 2022 Niagra Bottling utility technician wins free car in safety raffle
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JACKSONVILLE – A special “Super Bowl style” event for the employees of Niagara Bottling, where employees got to dress up, enjoy a buffet-style meal and dance the night away to celebrate the holidays and the company’s outstanding record for safety.
But for Reggie Williams, a utility technician, it will be remembered as the night he beat the odds and won a new $30,000 car.
The Los Angeles-based company showed its appreciation to the employees at its Middleburg plant at 565 Atlantis Dr. with a party last Saturday night. When it opened in 2021, Niagra was a 550,000-square-foot plant that’s now being reconfigured to 820,000 square feet.
The highlight of the night, however, was an announcement that sent team members and invitees into a frenzy: a raffle drawing for a $30,000 new car, motorcycle or boat of their choosing.
Senior plant director Robert Williams proved to be both sociable and fashionable, the executive rocking a black and gold coat, all-black pants and all-gold shoes. Williams provided updates and announcements throughout the night’s programming, including the final $30,000 car raffle, which provided for a nail-biting seven-minute experience for 50 hourly employees that were selected to be drawn for the potential prize.
Balls were eliminated one by one in a metal raffle basket, leaving team members on the edge of their seats. And after surviving one-in-50 odds, the lucky winner was Reggie Williams.
“It’s really a blessing to be able to give someone something back that is significant on that level to your team members and let people know that Niagara is about having that world-class safety record,” Robert Williams said.
The plant director said Niagara will give away the same prize to an employee at each of its 30 plants nationwide in December – all with highlighting employee safety.
It’s a simple yet highly paramount principle to follow for employees at the plant.
Williams said that the national incident rate is 4.0, but with world-class safety standards, Niagara shoots for a 2.0 rating.
“That means you can’t have more than one or two incidents, and minor ones at that, to still be in the running,” he said of the standard.
He said safety is the primary goal at the Clay County plant.
“Safety is a mindset. Everyone is their own safety manager. Take care of yourself and others, and don’t do anything that you haven’t been trained on. Don’t put yourself in a situation where you might get hurt. We make bottled water, so you shouldn’t get hurt over them. So, we drill that mindset into our team members once they walk through the door. So do the job that we need you to do, but the number one thing is to do it safely, first,” he said.