Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet
Model safety and health program wins recertification for Richmond meat distributor
RICHMOND, Ky. (Feb. 20, 2007) - Uncle Charlie’s Meats, which grew from a storefront sausage maker into a bustling meat processor and distributor serving customers in six states, today received an award for having taken extraordinary measures to ensure the safety and health of its employees.
A plaque signifying the company’s continuing certification under the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) was presented to company President Ray Parsons Jr. by Lynn Clem, director of education and training for the Kentucky Department of Labor, Office of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH).
Uncle Charlie’s Meats, which has 65 employees, attained SHARP certification in 2005 and was recertified today for two years. The U.S. Department of Labor designed SHARP to encourage and recognize excellence in occupational safety and health among small employers - those with 250 or fewer workers - in "high hazard" industries.
Companies must meet federal standards for the program. The Kentucky Department of Labor presents the award because Kentucky has had its own, federally approved OSH program for 20 years. Uncle Charlie’s Meats originally worked toward SHARP certification for two years.
SHARP companies first undergo a thorough assessment by Kentucky OSH consultants. Among other requirements, a company must have injury and illness rates below national averages for its industry. It also must involve employees in its safety and health management system, including implementation of its action plan.
This SHARP recertification is good for two years and can be renewed. A company is exempted from scheduled OSH inspections during the certification period.
Uncle Charlie’s Meats was founded 55 years ago as a sausage maker in Evansville, Ind. It had four employees and a single delivery truck. The company later moved to Richmond. It now has a fleet of trucks distributing an array of meat products to restaurants, schools and other establishments in Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Virginia, Tennessee and Alabama.
The Kentucky Department of Labor is an agency of the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet.
(EDITORS: Other companies currently holding SHARP certification are Buckhorn Inc., Dawson Springs, a maker of plastic containers or tote bins, and Bullard, Inc., Cynthiana, a maker of hard hats and thermal scanners.)