Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet
Model safety and health program wins special certification for Richmond meat distributor
RICHMOND, Ky. (June 24, 2005) – 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 certification under the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) was presented to company President Ray Parsons Jr. by Commissioner Philip Anderson of the Kentucky Department of Labor, an agency of the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet (EPPC).
Uncle Charlie’s Meats, which has 65 employees, became the fourth Kentucky company to attain SHARP certification. 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. But the Kentucky Department of Labor presents the award because Kentucky has had its own, federally approved Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) program for 20 years. Uncle Charlie’s Meats 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. The injury and illness rate at Uncle Charlie’s Meats is a fraction of that for the industry. The company once went 416 days without a lost-time accident.
SHARP certification is good for one year and can be renewed. A company is exempted from scheduled OSH inspections during the certification period.
Uncle Charlie’s Meats was founded 53 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.
(EDITORS: Companies previously attaining SHARP certification were Chempac Inc., Paducah, a chemical packaging company; Buckhorn Inc., Dawson Springs, maker of plastic containers or tote bins, and Maker’s Mark distillery, Loretto.)