Cherie Berry, Commissioner of Labor, gives the second consecutive year gold award to Wayne Goodson, a representative of Mohican Mills, Inc. at Tuesday nightâ€™s Safety Awards ceremony. Jenny Walling / LTN Photo
Employees from local businesses flocked to Gaston College Senior Center Tuesday night to receive safety awards for the year 2003.
There were 20 awards of gold and silver given out to businesses in the Lincoln area at the annual ceremony.
The gold award is based on a lost workday case rate that is at least 50 percent below the statewide rate for its industry. Lost workday cases are cases of work-related injury or illness which involve days away from work and/or days of restricted work activity.
The silver award includes lost workday cases but does not include restricted work activity.
Companies must have been free of fatal accidents in order to qualify for both awards.
Cherie Berry, Commissioner of Labor handed out the awards to the businesses who qualified.
â€œBeing with all of you tonight is why I like my job,â€ she said.
Berry is the first woman labor commissioner and also a mother.
â€œMy kids are all grown and working,â€ she said. â€œI always think how I wouldnâ€™t want anything to happen to them in the workplace.â€
Berry said she is always pleasantly surprised with those companies who receive safety awards.
â€œI can truly say I would trust you with my most precious possessions-my children,â€ she said. â€œI would be honored to let my children come work for your company.â€
Berry thanked the companies for their generosity of spirit to go above and beyond.
Mohican Mills, Inc. Dyeing & Finishing and Tricot Knitting Plants were awarded with the gold award for the 15th consecutive year.
â€œWe work hard on safety everyday,â€ said Jim Barnes, a representative of Mohican Mills. â€œWe have corporate safety committees who patrol the plant and we have monthly safety meetings.â€
Cochrane Furniture for the first year received a silver award in the upholstery division and for the ninth consecutive year received a gold award in the warehouse division.
â€œIt is not an easy award to earn,â€ said LaFonda Mauldin, Safety Awards Coordinator with the N.C. Department of Labor. â€œIt takes a lot of doing for whatever level you are receiving.â€ by Amy Wadsworth