March 6, 2023

LWCC Policyholder Feature: Colt, Inc.

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As far as decades-old, industry-leading businesses go, Colt, Inc. remains rather inconspicuous. Nestled in the small town of Scott, LA since 1994 with an office headquarters that looks more homey than industrial, Colt has managed to fly well under the general public’s radar. But ask anyone in the scrap and recycling industries or within the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, and they can likely tell you just how far-reaching Colt’s impact is.

Not only is Colt, Inc. the largest tire processor in the state of Louisiana, it is one of the largest in the country. What Bill Vincent began decades ago as a small business in a brand new market has developed over its many years into a powerhouse in a multi-billion dollar industry. The work he began long ago is carried on today by his son Kip, and the company’s dedication to the environment, safety, and the protection and progress of their industry is stronger than ever.

“Kip, his wife, Sydney, and the rest of the team at Colt, Inc. always focus on what is right and have a genuine concern for their people, their customers, and our community,” says Colt’s workers’ compensation insurance agent, Andre’ Comeaux of McGriff. “They are just good people.”

The tire processing industry grew out of an overwhelming need. Scrap tires are a significant source of pollution and a burden on the environment. Worldwide, they account for about 1 billion units of waste each year. Colt, Inc. and others in the industry are working diligently to reduce that number.

At Colt, the entire tire is shredded, and the remnants are used in civil engineering projects. The tires that the company recycles go on to be used in landfill construction, road bases, levee construction, for erosion control, and much more. In turn, tires that could lead to roadside waste piles and negative environmental impact become marketable, shredded tire material with a vast array of end uses. The end result is a Louisiana Loyal endeavor that leaves our state more beautiful and healthier for us all.

“The work we do at Colt reduces unsightly tire piles,” says Colt, Inc. Safety Coordinator, Kathy Reiners. “It’s keeping tires out of landfills, waterways, and sensitive habitats. It’s reducing polluting effects such as insect and rodent infestations, blight, and greenhouse gas emissions.”

Like all industries, tire recycling comes with its fair share of safety hazards. From transportation to shredding of tires, there are many considerations for Colt when it comes to keeping their team members safe. It’s a task they take just as seriously as the reduction of tire waste. Here, safety is an unwavering priority and part of a culture that stretches across the entire organization.

Kathy explains, “Creating a culture of safety is not easy or fast. It requires dedication and repetition from the top. Everyone has to invest in order to maintain it. Colt believes that any job should be done safely or not at all.”

A quick glance at Colt’s safety initiatives and partnership with LWCC proves that safety culture is more than just talk. Managers at Colt work closely with employees, conducting weekly, monthly, or quarterly toolbox talks and safety meetings. Their trucks and facilities are all equipped with cameras that are reviewed on a regular basis and used as coaching opportunities, and employees who exhibit a dedication to safety are recognized and rewarded monetarily.

As Safety Coordinator, Kathy also relies heavily on LWCC to help her facilitate safety training and programs throughout the organization. Among her most used resources is the training center. Each year, she selects from an LWCC-provided list of training courses that encompasses general safety and job-specific safety for members of different departments, such as drivers or mechanics. LWCC’s training center then conducts these courses on-site, allowing Kathy to accomplish annual training for all her team members at once and ensuring they are provided the tools needed to perform their work safely and efficiently.  

“LWCC has helped make Colt, Inc. a safer organization by conducting driver observations, facility reviews, and on-site safety education,” says LWCC Safety Services Manager Damian Simoneaux. “We present recommendations to foster improvements, and for their part, Colt has always implemented fast and effective changes. They have been a true partner in safety with LWCC.”

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