FORDSVILLE, Ky. (Feb. 16, 2018) – Labor Deputy Secretary Mike Nemes joined officials from National Office Furniture to celebrate the worksite’s Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) recertification for excellence in workplace safety.
“Congratulations to National Office Furniture in Fordsville on achieving another SHARP status,” said Labor Cabinet Secretary Derrick Ramsey. “Earning this status is a coveted title for companies all across the country, and it is a great accomplishment for one of the Commonwealth’s own to be recognized for this prestigious achievement. Our top priority at the Labor Cabinet is to help ensure Kentucky’s workers stay safe on the job, and I am pleased to recognize the employees of National Office Furniture for all of their hard work in helping achieve this goal.”
Founded in 1980, National Office Furniture is a Jasper, In.-based manufacturer of office furnishings servicing government agencies, hospitality and heath care sectors. National Office Furniture operates two facilities in Kentucky in Fordsville and Danville, which together employ over 400 workers.
The SHARP designation was designed by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to encourage and recognize excellence in occupational safety and health among smaller employers. Qualified consultants at the Kentucky Labor Cabinet, who are experienced in helping employers develop safety and health management plans, provide assistance and training to employers at no cost.
During preparation for SHARP eligibility, employers have the opportunity to learn how to maintain safe and healthy workplaces through the development and implementation of proven and effective safety and health management systems. Upon achieving SHARP status, employers are exempt from programmed inspections for two years and subsequent renewal of the SHARP status may result in three-year exemptions from programmed inspections.
“At National, we strive for an injury-free working environment for our people,” said Vince Cooke, Director of Safety. “National has always had a deep commitment to the health and safety of our people, and we continue to build on that commitment. From our guiding principles, we know that ‘our people are the company’, and our most valuable asset. During the past 13-year period at our Fordsville location, injuries have been reduced by 85 percent. There are many components of our safety program that must be executed flawlessly to achieve an injury-free environment, but none are more critical than the engagement of every employee.”
“This status is a strong testimony to everyone’s commitment to working safely and keeping others safe,” said Plant Manager John Ramburger. “An achievement such as this requires total team engagement and a resolve that all injuries are preventable. Any day a person goes home injured is a bad day no matter how well everything else goes.”
Elected officials Sen. David Embry (Morgantown) and Rep. Matt Castlen (Maceo) also offered praise.
“I would like to offer my congratulations to the hardworking men and women at National Office Furniture in Fordsville for their dedication to a safe and healthy workplace environment,” Sen. Embry said. “I applaud any company who goes above and beyond to ensure the wellbeing of its employees and National Office Furniture has done an excellent job in setting and meeting such high expectations.”
“Everybody involved at National Office Furniture should be proud for receiving the SHARP certification, as it’s a testament to their commitment to workers’ safety,” said Rep. Castlen. “The dedication to an exceptional product and strong, healthy workforce should be the standard for all Kentucky businesses.”
Kentucky currently boasts 13 companies who have earned the SHARP status. For more information on SHARP and all things workplace safety in Kentucky, visit KYsafe.ky.gov.