North Carolina Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry joined the Clinton-Sampson Chamber of Commerce and local businesses Tuesday night to celebrate achievements in safety.
The annual safety awards recognizes private and public firms throughout the state that achieve and maintain good safety records. According to Kaitlin Adkins, chamber director, the program is designed to stimulate interest in accident prevention and to promote safety in the workplace by providing an incentive to employers and employees to maintain a safe and healthful workplace.
“Looking at all these awards, is evidence that these employers make the safety of their employees a priority,” Adkins said. “We would like to recognize those businesses that emphasize safety.”
The program, which has been in operation since 1946, extends to more than 5,000 firms and about 3,000 awards are presented annually. There are two types of awards presented through the program — Annual Safety Awards and Million-Hour Awards.
“The chamber values the county’s workforce and it is evident that our local businesses and industries make the health and safety of their employees a priority. We are always pleased to join with the Department of Labor in congratulating our local businesses on their accomplishments and well deserved awards,” Adkins added.
During her time as labor commissioner, Berry has witnessed the illness and injury rate for North Carolina consistently plunge. Now at 2.6 reports per 100 employees, the number is down from 5.3 reports per 100 employees.
“This wouldn’t have happened without each of you doing what you do each and every day,” Berry said. “The safety programs have certainly paid off for North Carolina.”
Berry was elected to the statewide position in 2000, after serving eight years in the North Carolina House of Representatives. She has been reelected in 2004, 2008, 2012, and most recently in 2016. The Catawba County native is the state’s first female labor commissioner.
The organizations recognized and awarded included Cintas Corporation, City of Clinton, Murphy Family Ventures LLC, Pender Correctional Institution, Prestage Farms Inc., S&W Ready Mix Concrete, Smithfield Farmland – Clinton Division, Sampson Correctional Institution, Bay Valley Foods, Schindler Elevator Corporation, Star Telephone Membership Corporation, J W Transport Inc., Precision Tool & Stamping Inc. and Ecno Oil Inc.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.