Lincoln County companies were recognized Thursday night for their efforts in providing safe workplaces for their employees.
The 2012 Safety Awards Banquet, co-hosted by the Lincolnton-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce and the N.C. Department of Labor, honored local businesses for their on-the-job safety achievements during an event conducted at the Lincoln County Senior Center.
NCDOL Commissioner Cherie Berry was in attendance and spoke to the crowd before handing out the awards.
“I love coming down here,” she said of the annual event, the first of 30 such banquets across the state.
She noted that the injury and illness rate for North Carolina workers is currently 3.1 per 100 full-time employees, which is a historic low.
“It keeps getting lower,” she added.
She said it was an honor to recognize the efforts of those trying to improve their workplace safety records.
“Itâ€™s your employees who make that business strong,” she said.
She also praised the various county government departments that received awards at the event.
“Iâ€™m so, so impressed by Lincoln County government,” she noted.
To be eligible for the awards, companies must have been free of fatal accidents at the site for which the award is given, in addition to meeting various other requirements. Recipients may qualify for “gold” or “silver” awards.
The gold award criteria are based on a DART rate that is at least 50 percent below the statewide rate for its industry. The rate includes cases of days away from work, restricted activity or job transfer.
Meanwhile, the silver award is based only on cases with days away from work.Â They are recorded when the worker misses at least one full day of work, not including the day of the injury. The applicant must attain an incidence rate for cases with days away from work that is at least 50 percent below the rate for its industry.
Local recipients of the Silver Award were:
First Year: Lincoln County Government, Library and Planning & Inspections; McMurray Fabrics Inc., Flint Street Plant; VT LeeBoy Inc.
Second Consecutive Year: Cataler-North America
Third Consecutive Year: City of Lincolnton, Fire Department; Steele Rubber Products Inc.
Local recipients of the Gold Award were:
First Year: Active Concepts LLC; City of Lincolnton, Parks and Recreation; Gaston College, Lincoln Campus; Lincoln County Government, Airport, Board of Elections, Communications Center, Cooperative Extension, County Jail, County Managerâ€™s Office, Department of Social Services, Finance, Grounds, Health Department, Human Resources, Information Technology, Maintenance, Public Works, Register of Deeds, Senior Services, Sheriffâ€™s Department, Soil & Water Conservation District, Tax, Veterans Services; McMurray Fabrics Inc., CCR Plant; Packaging Unlimited of N.C. Inc., Legionaire Drive; Textile Piece Dyeing Inc.; The M. Conley Co.
Second Consecutive Year: City of Lincolnton, Administrative Offices; Concrete Supply Company, Lincolnton Plant; Packaging Unlimited of N.C. Inc., Riverview Road; The Timken Co., Lincolnton Bearing Plant
Third Consecutive Year: Leonard Automatics Inc.; Salem Industries, A Division of Gaston Skills
Fourth Consecutive Year: Mohican Mills Inc., Circular Knit Plant
Fifth Consecutive Year: Hedrick Industries, Lake Norman Quarry, Lincoln County
Seventh Consecutive Year: Robert Bosch Tool Corp., Lincolnton Distribution Center
10th Consecutive Year: Mohican Mills Inc., Warping Department; N.C. Department of Commerce, Division of Workforce Solutions, Lincolnton Local Office
16th Consecutive Year: Duke Energy, Lincoln Combustion Turbine Station
23rd Consecutive Year: Mohican Mills Inc., Tricot Knitting Plant
RSI Home Products earned the Million-Hour Award for “one million hours, or multiples thereof, with no lost-time accidents” between April 25 and Dec. 12, 2011.