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Pioneer Balloon – Taking Safety to New Heights

With the help of: TMAC


Since 1917, Pioneer Balloon Company has grown into an international company with a passion for sharing the magic and wonder of balloons across the globe. Pioneer Balloon’s Dallas facility manufactures Qualatex latex balloons.

The Challenge

The City of Dallas and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) have strict environmental requirements to ensure that water discharge into the sanitary sewage system and into the storm water drainage is compliant with state regulations through semi-annual assessment and auditing. If Pioneer Balloon cannot meet the compliance obligations, the company could face substantive fines or be shut down until corrective action is taken. Pioneer also needed additional OSHA safety training to educate their employees on proper safety procedures and to reduce incidents in the facility.

Due to COVID the Dallas facility shut down for 2 months in 2020. During this time, there was a management change and many experienced personnel left for other jobs or retired. This loss of continuity and knowledge left a void in the safety program. TMAC was instrumental in restarting our safety program and providing safety training to our employees. TMAC has continued to assist with our environmental and wastewater controls and has begun to help us with emergency plans and lean programs.
— Brad Drum, Director of Operations - Dallas

MEP's Role

TMAC, part of the MEP National Network™, has worked with Pioneer Balloon Company for over 18 years. TMAC Business Advisor and OSHA Trainer John Havens, P.E., met with Pioneer Balloon’s management team to discuss their compliance and safety needs. John assisted Pioneer in delivery of the required compliance reports, verifying that the wastewater conforms to the city’s requirements. Also, TMAC performs storm water audits required by the TCEQ, observing the drainage channels to make sure no contaminants are draining into the storm water system.

TMAC also supports Job Hazard Analysis (JHA), also known as a Job Safety Analysis (JSA). The JSA should be assessed every year for new hazards on all of Pioneer Balloon’s manufacturing lines. The analysis involves inspecting every process and area in the facility for potential hazards, including slips/falls, electrical issues, machine guarding, and more. The JSAs allow TMAC and Pioneer to develop the proper procedures on how to perform a job safely.

To meet the goal of a change in the safety culture at Pioneer, TMAC performs annual safety training for the 100+ employees, based on the 29 CFR 1910 OSHA 10 Hour General Industry requirements. TMAC customized this training for Pioneer and provided the training in both English and Spanish. TMAC also provides auditing of the LOTO and Respiratory program. TMAC trains personnel on respirator use and verifies by means of a “fit” test.

John has been also advising on the updating of Pioneer’s Emergency Action Plan, a living document that provides management and employees with all the necessary procedures, actions, steps in case of an emergency. In the future, TMAC will provide training to develop a strong lean program, which will include 5S training to enhance Pioneer’s strong safety culture.

Created February 1, 2024