Compco Receives Joan Kovach Safety Leadership Award

NILES, Ohio – Compco, a Columbiana-based company, was presented the 2024 Joan Kovach Safety Leadership Award during the Mahoning Valley Safety Council Leadership Awards luncheon at the Eastwood Event Centre.

First issued in 2007, the award recognizes Mahoning Valley businesses and individuals who are effective in transforming their workplace from high-risk to safety-driven environments for their employees.

The award is named in honor of Joan Kovach, a longtime safety advocate and owner of City Machine Technologies Inc. prior to her death in 2006. The award was presented by her daughter, Claudia Kovach, to Compco Safety Manager Karen Wright.

During the presentation, Kovach credited Wright and the team at Compco with making safety a priority, including creating a designated training room full of visuals, training videos, displays of defective materials and measuring tools. Additionally, incoming team members at Compco begin focusing on safety during their first-day, on-site orientation. New employees are required to successfully pass inspector training within the first 60 days of employment, and all employees participate in regular monthly safety training sessions.

“In addition, Compco believes that communication is fundamental for a successful culture and has implemented a three-tier communications system between shop members and management to further ensure success; convenes weekly meetings with all shop team members to address key areas of focus; and has electronic communications posted in the lunchroom via a screen cloud,” Kovach noted.

Compco documents and reviews any near misses, working to identify the causes. The Heads-up Program raises awareness of any incident that creates the need for rapid improvement and has the potential to cause injury, illness or property damage. Team members are encouraged to offer 20 opportunities for improvement each month.

Compco has introduced new robotic safety equipment to facilitate the movement of heavy lifts, implemented laser light technology for guarding purposes and made metal guards more visible for team members.

Compco manufactures pressure vessel tank heads and provides a number of services, including stamping, cutting, welding, assembly and fabrication services. Founded by Clarence Smith Sr. in 1954, the business is currently under the leadership of a third generation, with a fourth generation training for the future.

Pictured at top: From left are Brian Zachetti, Karen Wright and Claudia Kovach.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.