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Hopkinsville manufacturer recognized for model safety, health program

Receives SHARP certification from state labor cabinet

Riken Elastomers Corp. in Hopkinsville recently was honored for its health and safety program.

HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. (Oct. 23, 2012) – The Kentucky Labor Cabinet has awarded Riken Elastomers Corp. with certification under the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP). Riken, a manufacturer of high-performance plastics compounds for use in the automotive industry, earned the award for its Hopkinsville facility by taking extraordinary measures to ensure the safety and health of its employees.

“SHARP recognizes employers who operate exemplary safety and health management systems and are committed to making safety for employees a priority,” said Mark Brown, Labor Cabinet Secretary. “I am delighted to recognize Riken Elastomers for their significant achievements in safety.”

The Hopkinsville facility is implementing injury prevention, safety and health awareness programs to become the 17th company in Kentucky to attain SHARP certification. The Riken Elastomers facility had only one accident in 2011and zero accidents in 2010.

The U.S. Department of Labor designed SHARP to encourage and recognize excellence in occupational safety and health among employers and to create a proactive partnership with its Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Although companies must meet federal standards for the program, the Kentucky Labor Cabinet presents the award since Kentucky has operated its own federally approved occupational safety and health program for over 35 years.

To qualify for SHARP, companies must undergo a comprehensive evaluation and a series of audits; correct any identified hazards; demonstrate that effective safety and health programs are in place; and maintain injury rates below the national average for their industry for the last three years.

Companies must have a safety and health program that involves all employees in finding and correcting existing or possible future hazards as they develop. SHARP’s certification is good for two years and then can be renewed. A company is exempted from scheduled compliance inspections during the certification period but partners with the state to improve their safety program.

Additional information on SHARP and Kentucky’s health and safety standards and programs can be found here.