Welcome to the Kentucky Labor Cabinet’s Online Newsletter
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November 20 is the day when the Labor Cabinet, like most state properties, must go lights out for all types of tobacco products. Read more about the executive order and its impact on the employees of the Cabinet.
A court ruling means a victory for employees after years of court battles in a case involving the prevailing wage law. See how the Labor Cabinet has won in every court decision in its fight to secure the correct pay for Kentucky workers.
Working a full-time job, serving as a KECC volunteer, being a wife and a mom with five children in the family doesn’t let Missy Greenwell have a lot of free time — and that’s fine by her. See how she is able to keep moving full speed ahead.
What is the Labor Cabinet? Watch a quick slideshow on some of the reasons why the Labor Cabinet is so important to the Commonwealth. Click here to watch the video.
A business that formed in Shelbyville just after World War Two is now a global company, and safety is a big part of its success. See how Roll Forming celebrated its inclusion into an elite list.
With a workforce that has more than doubled in the past two years, one Winchester company credits its economic growth to its safety culture. Read how Univance is an international success story.
Keeping the lights on to people in six Kentucky counties isn’t an easy task, but it’s something Jackson Purchase Energy Corp. does every single day. See why union leadership is paying big dividends for a member-owned cooperative.
A Northern Kentucky business is flying high thanks to its partnership with the Kentucky Labor Cabinet. GE Aviation is one of only 12 active VPP facilities in the Commonwealth. Read why putting safety as a top priority isn’t something new for GE Aviation.
A company from Canada chose Kentucky over any place in the United States for its new 350,000-square-foot “pet food kitchen” — and a Kentucky-based construction company is working with the Labor Cabinet to build it. See why the Labor Cabinet’s latest construction partnership is good for business and good for safety.
After a quarter of a century, Firestone Industrial Products has made a name for itself in the Williamsburg community. That name is becoming synonymous with a dedication to safety, with certification under SHARP status. See how a company that was founded in Indiana is celebrating its Kentucky home.
On average, people gain about one or two pounds during the holiday season. If you want to be mindful of your health, you can say no to soda, wake up a little earlier for a home-cooked breakfast, and get out your walking shoes! Enjoy those health tips and more ahead of the holidays.
Here’s a look at the stories from the previous editions:
Click each picture for the article.
Wage theft grabbed headlines in Kentucky in connection with Labor Day. Wage theft in Kentucky is more than double all robberies combined each year in the Commonwealth. Read how the Labor Cabinet collects an average of $4.5 million each year for more than 12,200 hard-working Kentuckians.
Rep. Rocky Adkins joined members of the Labor Cabinet to stress the importance of giving to great causes such as KECC. The House Majority Floor Leader told his own story of survival.
September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, and teal is the deal when it comes to awareness. Visit www.ovarian.org for more information. This edition’s featured Labor Cabinet employee is facing her own battle with ovarian cancer.
Coming up in October, get ready for the 2014 Registered Apprenticeship Conference. The conference is at the picturesque General Butler State Park near Carrollton on Oct 15-17. Read the agenda and sign up now.
Health of all Kentuckians is a top priority for the Commonwealth. Your health isn’t just important to you, but the people who care about you. Did you know rye bread can be better for you than wheat? Read about that and more in this edition’s health tips.
Big Rivers Sebree Station, Carhartt in Edmonton, PIC Group, Algood, Concept Packaging, DuPont Louisville, AGC Automotive, Raytheon, Pennyrile Rural Electric, and West Side Wastewater all grabbed headlines for safety.
Crane Composites joined an elite group of safety-minded companies by earning SHARP status. See how the Northern Kentucky company stands out among thousands of other companies in Kentucky.
Codell Construction has signed a construction partnership agreement for Centre Meadows Apartments in Lexington, which includes 11 buildings and 206 units. Read why this is so important to a Kentucky company.
The Labor Cabinet travelled to several construction sites across Kentucky as part of the 2014 National Safety Stand-down to Prevent Falls in Construction. Click to read why this was so important — and how dangerous falls are in Kentucky.
Why buy something you can get for nothing? That’s the question the Labor Cabinet wanted to get out to all employers in Kentucky. Newspapers, radio and television stations across the state (as well as other states) covered the details of how free posters are being sold for big bucks.
A Danville manufacturing facility does more than make great furniture — it also has a tremendous dedication to safety. Read how one company is now part of an elite list in the Commonwealth.
The Kentucky Labor Cabinet looked at workplace deaths from 2011 to present. WKYT was one of several news outlets to cover the story and spread awareness about the importance of safety on the job. Click here to learn more and watch WKYT’s story.
Dedicated and determined are just two words that come to mind when describing Missy Johnson. But after 27 years with the Labor Cabinet, one word sums up her secret for success.
They look easy to drive, but forklifts account for an average of three deaths and 130 workplace injuries every year in Kentucky. See how Gov. Steve Beshear and the Labor Cabinet worked with one Kentucky company to shine a light on the subject.
$600 million is up for grabs in competitive grants for community colleges and other public, proprietary or nonprofit educational institutions. The Labor Cabinet is urging eligible agencies to take part in targeted training and apprenticeship programs to help people land good-paying jobs.
The 30th annual Governor’s Safety and Health Conference was a success, with more than 50 companies recognized for their dedication to safety. Conference participants took part in courses and workshops focusing on state of the art techniques, current issues, and trends in workplace safety and health.
It’s a project every University of Kentucky football fan should enjoy: The renovation of Commonwealth Stadium. The Kentucky Labor Cabinet kicked off the partnership with construction companies Skanska USA and Congleton-Hacker in order to help identify workplace hazards.
Read all about it! Cintas in Ashland is grabbing headlines for its dedication to safety. See how the company has earned Kentucky’s highest safety honor.
Ahead of a national safety stand-down to prevent falls in construction, the Kentucky Labor Cabinet pushed for awareness about the number one construction accident. See how falls stand out as the number one construction hazard in Kentucky and across the nation.
To earn SHARP status, Cintas Document Management in Lexington paid a lot of attention to detail. But the hard work paid off, and the employees are safer because of it.
With 33 previous Governor’s Safety and Health Awards throughout the years, Big Rivers is making a name for itself when it comes to safety. This latest honor is one the corporation hopes will continue the tradition.
Coming up: Labor Cabinet employees are invited to an employee day on July 23. There will be a free lunch and health fair from 11 am until about 2 pm. The event will count as work time, so it’s a great chance to get out of the office and enjoy the fresh air at Juniper Hills Park in Frankfort. More details will be on the way!
Exercise Safety for a Healthy Workforce — Upcoming conference puts emphasis on safety, health and wellness at work. Read how you can get signed up to attend.
Featured Employee: April Madbak – When it comes to purchasing items for the Labor Cabinet, April Madbak is always looking for the best deal. When it comes to her family, she is the real deal. See why family is so important to April.
One Million Reasons to Celebrate – The same guy who invented dynamite also created the most famous peace prize in history: The Nobel Prize. As the founder of Dyno Nobel, Alfred Nobel certainly would be proud of the safety record at the company’s facility in Graham, Kentucky. Watch news coverage about the event.
Labor Cabinet Employees save Taxpayers Thousands – The old saying is a penny saved is a penny earned, but the cost-saving ideas from a group of employees with the Labor Cabinet combined to save Kentucky taxpayers a fortune. Read how their ideas paid big dividends.
The ‘Hole’ Picture: Staying Safe at the Corvette Museum – Every worksite is different, but it’s not every day you deal with a 40-foot sinkhole. That’s just the case for workers at the National Corvette Museum. Read how the Labor Cabinet is helping with the project.
Labor’s Leading Ladies – March was Women’s History Month, and the Labor Cabinet has strong ties to groundbreaking women. Take a look at the leading ladies of the Labor Cabinet and other important women in Kentucky’s history.
Putting Energy into Safety – Serving the electricity needs of 55,000 homes and businesses in 14 counties is no small task, but one Kentucky company is keeping the lights on — and doing it safely. Read how Kenergy is being recognized for its dedication to safety.
Staying Safe While Making History — Wolf Creek Dam Contractor Treviicos-Soletanche Joint Venture earned the Governor’s Safety and Health Award by going more than 1.3 million hours without a lost-time incident. The project was the first of its kind in the history of the world. Read how Kentucky workers led an international effort.
Workplace Violence Safety Day — More than 300 participants from all over the Commonwealth learned about workplace violence prevention at a special conference in Louisville. Watch news coverage from WLKY’s Natalie Grise.
Featured Employee: Fade to Black — Brian Black is one example of the many talented people at the Kentucky Labor Cabinet. Read how Brian had a chart-climbing single in the music world.
Raising the Minimum Wage: What it means for Kentucky — A new bill would increase the minimum wage in Kentucky from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 over three years. See what people are saying and look at how it impacts the Commonwealth.
Two-year Spending Plan Means Cuts and Raises — Governor Beshear has outlined his proposal for the budget, and it includes cut to several agencies, including the Labor Cabinet, as well as raises for state workers. Read the proposed changes.
The Governor’s Mansion: A Century of History — On January 20, 1914, Kentucky’s governor held a grand reception to honor the newly-built executive residence. The governor at the time was a Civil War veteran, and the nation itself was on the brink of World War I. Despite the troubled times, the Governor’s Mansion was a symbol of pride and accomplishment for all of Kentucky. Read how the Commonwealth is celebrating the 100-year mark.
A silent, invisible killer: carbon monoxide poisoning — Wintry weather means an increased chance of cases involving carbon monoxide poisoning, which can occur in a matter of a few moments. See who is at risk and how to prevent it.
An important message for employers — Reporting new hires is the law. Read about your requirements and why it’s important.
Leggett & Platt in Winchester Earns Governor’s Safety and Health Award — Honor recognizes the bedding industry company’s more than 584,205 hours without a lost-time accident or illness. Read how Leggett & Platt’s tradition continues to grow
River Metals Recycling Earns SHARP Status for Excellence in Safety and Health — River Metals Recycling LLC (RMR) in Newport earned a plaque and a flag signifying the company’s certification under the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP). See why this is rare
Danger From Thin Air: Silicosis — The disease is nothing new, but the danger is as real as ever. In 1938, the U.S. Dept. of Labor released a video on the dangers of Silicosis. Although tremendous progress has been made since the video was produced, evidence indicates that a substantial number of workers still suffer from silica-related diseases. Watch the video.
Recordkeeping Reminder — Employers with ten or more employees are required to keep injury and illness information, except those employers that have an exempted Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code. Employers must review 2013 injury and illness information by the end of January and post the Form 300A in the workplace beginning February 1 through April 30, 2014. Click here for more information
Upcoming Events — Lunch for Labor Cabinet Employees on Feb. 20. Read more about an employee recognition day planned for the summer
Labor and Management: Working Together to Escape Troubled Times — U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez visits Ford’s Louisville Assembly Plant and sees how the company went from a time of severe struggles to thriving success. Read how Ford did it
Fran Davis Wins International Award — The Labor Cabinet’s Fran Davis was honored at the latest IAIABC President’s Award Ceremony. Read more about her international honor
High School Students Get on TRACK with Manufacturing –The TRACK program, which stands for Tech Ready Apprentices for Careers in Kentucky, is a pilot partnership between the Office of Career and Technical Education and The Kentucky Labor Cabinet. The goal is to provide pre-apprenticeship opportunities to secondary students. Read how high school technology centers in Kentucky are utilizing the program
A Shining Star for Safety: Kimberly-Clark — It’s the highest safety honor a company can receive in Kentucky: the Voluntary Protection Partnership Star. Read what the award represents and how much work goes into the process
Kentucky Labor Cabinet Announces Partnership for Ohio River Bridges in Louisville — The Kentucky Labor Cabinet is working with two construction teams to help put safety first for the Ohio River Bridges project. Read more on Kentucky’s largest current transportation infrastructure improvement
Featured Employee — Learn how Jeff Wiley started at the Cabinet, how times have changed since he began, and what he’s doing now as a challenge to himself. Read about Jeff
Big Rivers Electric Headquarters Earns Governor’s Safety and Health Award — After a half a million work hours without a lost-time incident, the member-owned cooperative adds another honor to a growing list. See how the tradition is growing
Kentucky Labor Cabinet Encourages Retailers to Follow Crowd Management Guidelines — The Labor Cabinet urges employers to identify and eliminate work-related hazards and implement crowd management planning ahead of events that are likely to draw large crowds, such as sales events during the holiday shopping season. Read more on what retailers can do to improve safety
December Deadline for GHS Training — All employees who could be exposed to chemicals are required by law to be trained on the label elements and safety data sheet format of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). See how this affects nearly every industry
“I feel the need to stay busy,” she says. “My mom would say I thrive on stress.”
Missy has been in the Kentucky Labor Cabinet for nearly nine years. She started in the Compliance Division, made a switch to Workers’ Claims, and then came back to the 127 building to be an administrative specialist for the Education and Training Division.
“Missy helps keep the branch humming along,” says Dave Stumbo, the safety program manager. “She does a first-class job and is completely dedicated to that and her role with KECC. She’s really an inspiration to us all.”
Missy is the KECC (Kentucky Employees Charitable Campaign) Coordinator for the Labor Cabinet’s 127 building. She doesn’t get paid any extra for this, but her efforts help raise money for numerous Kentucky charities that make a difference in people’s lives all over the Commonwealth.
This year, working with Lead Coordinator Candace Sacre, the goal was to raise $30,000 for KECC. This requires an exceptionally hard skill: getting people to give away money. Last year, the Cabinet was able to raise $28,000. The sights were even higher this year.
“I am goal-oriented,” she says. “There’s no reprimand or anything if I don’t meet the goal, but I put pressure on myself.” Missy organized fundraising events such as a NCAA Tournament pool, a Kentucky Derby draw, and other activities to raise money for KECC, such as chili cook-offs. “Food is a real getter,” she says.
The hard work paid off. “We exceeded our goal! I was excited and I was relieved. Now it’s over and I take a deep breath and start over.”
Taking a deep breath is about all the break Missy Greenwell ever gets. She has a household of nine. There’s her husband, five children and two dogs. Four of the children are teenagers and one is 11 years old. They all play fall sports. They all are involved in school functions. They all need to eat.
“I had my husband make a special table. It’s huge. It seats eight comfortably, but we can get about 12 people around it. It takes up our whole kitchen.”
Going to the grocery requires about two hours. Missy has to shop smart to feed that army. She uses coupons and can usually keep her grocery bill to a reasonable amount. “I can usually get out of there for less than $200.”
That’s impressive. But no matter what the challenge, Missy Greenwell tackles it and moves on. Even when she’s relaxing, she’s working.
“I like to garden. I mulch, plant flowers, fix up the house, decorate or paint.”
The clock keeps ticking and life moves by fast. But Missy Greenwell isn’t letting life or time pass her by. She’s living every day at full speed — and getting the most out of every second.
FRANKFORT, Ky. – In a legal case that started in 2005, the Kentucky Court of Appeals has ruled TECO Mechanical Contractor Inc. must pay about $54,000 in back wages and $5,250.00 in civil penalties. The court also awarded prejudgment interest from December 2004, which brings the total to about $124,000.
“The most important thing in this ruling is that the employees, who have waited for so many long years, can finally hope to get the compensation they have earned,” said Labor Cabinet Secretary Larry L. Roberts. “This is a victory for every hard-working Kentuckian who strives to earn an honest paycheck.”
TECO is a mechanical contractor that worked on several public works projects in 2000-2001 and underpaid employees. Regardless of what work they actually performed, TECO paid same employees a set number of hours each day at the skilled mechanic rate and a set number of hours at the laborer rate.
In March 2005, TECO filed suit in Franklin Circuit Court, claiming that Kentucky’s prevailing wage law violated its constitutional due process rights and that it improperly delegated legislative or judicial authority to the Labor Cabinet. The Labor Cabinet filed a counterclaim against TECO and also claims against the prime contractors to recover the monies owed to the employees. The main issue was if Kentucky’s prevailing law was constitutional. The Franklin Circuit Court ruled that the law is constitutional. It then held a trial and entered a judgment against TECO for $64,163.47 in back pay and $9,000 in civil penalties in 2008.
TECO appealed to the Court of Appeals, which found the law to be valid and constitutional. The Court of Appeals, however, found that the circuit court may have improperly admitted hearsay evidence at trial. The case went to the Kentucky Supreme Court, which in March 2012 affirmed the Court of Appeals’ decision upholding the constitutionality of the law. The case then went back to the circuit court to apply the proper legal standard and exclude the hearsay evidence.
In July 2013, after excluding certain hearsay evidence, the circuit court issued a judgment against TECO for $54,164.27 in back pay and $5,250 in civil penalties, with compound interest at 8 percent per annum from December 2004 (when the Cabinet first made a demand for back wages). In determining whether TECO had misclassified its workers as laborers rather than skilled mechanics, the Cabinet applied the well-established work-incidental to the trade method of classification. In the ruling, the circuit court found both the method and the Labor Cabinet’s application of the same to be “wholly reasonable.”
The ruling affirms that when an employee undertakes work incidental to his/her skilled labor, the incidental work must be compensated at the skilled rate as opposed to the laborer rate. The Court of Appeals held that the Cabinet had proven by a preponderance of the evidence that TECO had violated Kentucky’s prevailing wage law by arbitrarily splitting its employees’ work hours between a skilled and unskilled pay rate by using a predetermined formula.
Prevailing wage rates for each classification of construction workers are established by the Kentucky Labor Cabinet and statute KRS 337.520(1). The rates are incorporated into every public authority’s bid documents and project specifications so that contractors bidding on the project are aware of the wage rates and can properly project their labor costs.
TECO has now requested a petition for a rehearing of the Court of Appeals. If that is denied, TECO could still try to send the case to the Kentucky Supreme Court.
Company joins elite list of only 22 active SHARP facilities in Kentucky
SHELBYVILLE, Ky. (Nov. 10, 2014) – During a celebration ceremony at Claudia Sanders Dinner House in Shelbyville, Deputy Secretary Rocky Comito of the Kentucky Labor Cabinet today presented Roll Forming Aerospace a plaque and a flag signifying the company’s certification under the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP).
Secretary Larry L. Roberts praised the company’s dedication to safety and thanked them for being a valuable member of the Shelbyville community for nearly seven decades.
“What started with three employees in Shelbyville in 1947 is now a thriving company with a global network,” said Secretary Roberts. “The SHARP status only further enhances Roll Forming’s reputation as a company that is dedicated to its employees and to the community.”
Roll Forming has approximately 90 employees in its Aerospace Division in Shelbyville. The corporation also has more than 120 employees in its Custom Division in Shelbyville, which earned SHARP status in October 2011, and 320 employees nationwide, including facilities in Indiana and Pennsylvania. The Aerospace Division produces lightweight, roll-formed metal components that meet stringent specifications for performance, safety, and complex engineering applications in the aerospace industry. The Custom Division produces a broad range of roll formed products for various industries, including transportation, construction, renewable energy and more.
“Safety is the number one value embraced by all team members of our company,” said Ray Leathers, president and CEO of Roll Forming. “The professionals at the Kentucky Labor Cabinet have helped us enhance our culture through the process of applying for the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP). We are proud of our partnership with KYOSH, and look forward to working with them in the future to achieve this recognition in our other divisions.”
Founded in Shelbyville in 1947, Roll Forming is North America’s foremost provider of roll forming technology and business support services. Roll Forming has services that range from initial engineering concepts, product development, in-house tooling support and full-scale production. The company also offers full supply chain management and logistical support.
Of the approximately 2,000 eligible facilities in Kentucky, Roll Forming is one of only 22 total active facilities certified for SHARP designation. To qualify for SHARP, Roll Forming had to undergo a comprehensive evaluation and 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 its industry for the last three years.
The U.S. Department of Labor designed SHARP to encourage and recognize excellence in occupational safety and health among employers and create a proactive partnership with its Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Although companies must meet federal standards for the program, the Kentucky Labor Cabinet presents the award, as Kentucky has operated its own federally approved Occupational Safety and Health program (KYOSH) for more than 40 years.
Companies must have a safety and health program that engages all employees in finding and correcting existing or possible future hazards. SHARP’s certification is good for two years, and then the company is eligible for renewal. A company is exempted from scheduled KYOSH compliance inspections during the certification period, but works with KYOSH to continue striving to improve its safety program.
There are multiple benefits of SHARP designation, including protecting employees by removing safety and health hazards, creating a safety culture, building a reputation as a safe workplace, and saving money by lowering worker compensation insurance premiums, reduction in turnover and increased productivity due to fewer days away from work.
For more on the SHARP program, click here.
For details on Roll Forming, visit www.rfcorp.com
Nov. 20 marks the day that tobacco and e-cigarettes are banned from many state owned and leased properties. The policy affects some 33,000 state workers and another 3,000 offices across the Commonwealth, including the Labor Cabinet.
For smokers at the Labor Cabinet, this means they cannot smoke anywhere on the campus property. Smokers must exit the property, which includes the parking lot, before lighting up.
Governor Beshear announced earlier this year that the policy includes state buildings, vehicles and other designated locations. The Governor said his executive order aims to combat Kentucky’s number one ranking in cancer and smoking deaths.
“For the health and well-being of all Kentuckians, I encourage all businesses and educational institutions, public and private, as well as any other state and local governmental facilities to follow this example,” said Gov. Beshear.
There are a few exceptions, such as state parks, fairgrounds and certain residential health facilities.
To read the Governor’s executive order, click here.
For information on quitting smoking, visit www.tobacco-free.ky.gov.
Click here to watch video commentary from Gov. Beshear on the policy.
Employees work more than 726,000 hours without a lost-time incident
WINCHESTER, Ky. (Sept. 29, 2014) – Secretary Larry L. Roberts of the Kentucky Labor Cabinet today presented the Governor’s Safety and Health Award to employees of Univance Inc. in Winchester. The honor recognizes employees for working 726,244 hours without a lost-time accident or illness.
“The role of safety in a manufacturing facility cannot be understated, and the employees at Univance in Winchester understand that importance,” said Secretary Roberts. “Univance deserves this award, and as a SHARP company, this reinforces the value the management and the employees place on safety.”
Univance is a subsidiary of Univance Corp., which is headquartered in Japan and is an automotive parts manufacturer for passenger and industrial vehicles. The facility in Winchester produces forklift transmissions, differentials and component parts for all-terrain vehicles and utility task vehicles, as well as transfer assembly and automotive companion flanges.
“I’m proud of our employees and delighted to be able to recognize them for their dedication to safety,” said Univance President Masatoshi Yamamoto.
“In the past two years, our total workforce has more than doubled. Despite this unprecedented growth, we continue to maintain safety as our top priority,” said Lynsey Witt, human resources manager of Univance. “We have faced different challenges with adding new customers, new equipment and many new team members, but we had an established safety culture which prepared us well.”
In Winchester since 1997, the company doubled the facility’s size in 2012 and is now undergoing another expansion. Univance has been in the Labor Cabinet’s Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) since 2009, and is one of only 21 active facilities with such a designation. The SHARP status requires injury rates below the national average, a comprehensive evaluation and series of audits, correction of all identified hazards and effective safety and health programs.
The Kentucky Labor Cabinet presents the Governor’s Safety and Health Award in recognition of outstanding safety and health performance. An establishment may qualify for the award if its employees together achieve a required number of hours worked without experiencing a lost-time injury or illness. The required number of hours is dependent upon the number of employees. In the case of Univance, the requirement is 500,000.
Every establishment within the geographical boundaries of Kentucky is eligible, even if the establishment achieved the award the previous year. Eligibility is limited to one award during a 12-month period of time.
The award is a certificate mounted on a wooden plaque. The certificate contains the signatures of Gov. Steve Beshear, Secretary Roberts and Department of Workplace Standards Commissioner Anthony Russell.
For more on the Governor’s Safety and Health Award, and for a list of past recipients, click here.
The Governor’s Safety and Health Award program is part of Gov. Beshear’s efforts to improve the health of all Kentuckians. The Governor launched kyhealthnow in February as an aggressive and wide-ranging initiative to significantly reduce incidents and deaths from Kentucky’s dismal health rankings and habits. It builds on Kentucky’s successful implementation of health care reform and uses multiple strategies over the next several years to improve the state’s collective health.
For more on Univance, visit www.uvc.co.jp/english.