Owensboro’s UniFirst distribution center earns award for more than 1M hours without lost-time incident

March 16, 2023 | 12:09 am

Updated March 15, 2023 | 10:44 pm

Lynn Whitehouse, acting director of Kentucky Education and Labor Cabinet's KYSafe program, presented the Governor’s Safety and Health Award to UniFirst Safety Team Leader Robert Carlile on Wednesday. | Photo by Ryan Richardson

UniFirst Corporation on Wednesday received the Governor’s Safety and Health Award for completing more than one million man-hours worked without a lost-time incident from June 2021 through September 2022 at the company’s Owensboro distribution center.

This is the third time the Owensboro team earned the award, which is presented by the Kentucky Education and Labor Cabinet. Lynn Whitehouse, acting director of cabinet’s KYSafe program, said only about 30 awards are given out annually.

“It is a huge accomplishment,” said Whitehouse, who presented a plaque to the UniFirst team during a ceremony at the distribution center Wednesday afternoon. “It does take true effort for each and every one of you to earn this awesome achievement of over a million man hours worked without a lost time incident. I just want to commend you all for all of your hard work.”

UniFirst Safety Team Leader Robert Carlile accepted the plaque on behalf of the team.

“It is always a good thing to be recognized,” he said. “This is truly a team effort. Our number one priority as a company is the safety of every single employee. So that means this award is a big deal to us. It means that we are doing things right.”

UniFirst Manager of Safety Operations Dan Getter addressed all of the employees on site, who were allowed to stop their work and attend the ceremony. 

“It is an honor to be here to help celebrate this milestone with each and every one of you,” he said. “This is not a small thing. It’s not just something that is going to hang on the wall, because there’s over a million hours that have gone into achieving this. There’s not one of you that hasn’t contributed in some way. This is an extreme accomplishment that you all should be very, very proud of.”

Company officials said UniFirst-Owensboro has been at the forefront of safety initiatives, including the creation of an on-site wellness center; mandatory safety training for employee team partners; monthly safety audits; an Emergency Response Team; daily safety topics at shift kickoffs that includes stretching; and participation in OSHA’s Voluntary Partnership Program (VPP). 

UniFirst Corporation is a North American leader in providing customized business uniform programs, facility service products and first aid and safety services.

March 16, 2023 | 12:09 am

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