Home

Posted on Updated on

LaborLogo

Welcome to the Kentucky Labor Cabinet’s Online Newsletter

February 2015

What’s the Latest?

 

 

 

 

SHARP Status is reason alone to celebrate, but a company in Owensboro marked the event by crushing a car! Watch the news video from the event.

 

 

When he’s not at work in the office or out at a partnership site, there’s a good chance the Labor Cabinet’s Danny Vernon is probably at a basketball gym. But his love of the game isn’t just about winning or competing — it’s about changing lives and reaching young people for a higher purpose.

 

 

 

Thousands of dollars are up for grabs for Kentucky college and university students in the safety and health fields. See how the money is available.

 

 

 

 

The company is the largest producer of steel in the United States, and with more than 400 employees in Ghent, Nucor Steel Gallatin is hammering out headlines for safety.

 

KUGreenRiverAwardFromSURF

On the banks of the Green River near Central City since 1950, Green River Generating Station has long been a valuable member of the community. Read how the facility is adding to its reputation for safety.

 

 

 

Building and fixing large locomotives isn’t a job for the light of heart. They handle some big, tough equipment, but the workers at NRE Paducah are on the right track when it comes to safety.

 

 

Big Rivers is building quite a trophy case when it comes to safety awards in Kentucky. See how the employees at one facility have kept their focus on staying safe despite facing serious adversity.

 

The D.B. Wilson Generating Station isn’t full of hot air when it comes to safety. The facility has gone more than 1.5 million hours without a lost-time incident. Read about their latest Governor’s Safety and Health Award.

 

 

kyhealthnow LOGOWhat does sleep have to do with your “hunger” hormone? And should you reach for that hot cup of cocoa during these cold days? Those answers and more in this newsletter’s kyhealthnow health tips.

Danny Vernon: More than a Game

Posted on Updated on


DannyVernonBasketballpic
“If you build it, they will come” is a famous line from the baseball movie Field of Dreams. In a sense, that is exactly what happened to the Kentucky Labor Cabinet’s Danny Vernon. Instead of baseball, though, it is basketball that is changing lives in his story.
Danny Vernon is the partnership branch manager at the cabinet. He manages the safety consultants and administrators of the various programs that work with employers to help make Kentucky a safer place to work. He’s been in that role since February of 2008, the same time the branch itself was created. He’s been the only manager. Danny started in the Labor Cabinet in June of 1995. He was a safety consultant, and it was his first job after finishing school at Murray State.
“It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long,” he says with a smile. Danny is a tall man with short, silver hair and friendly eyes. He’s a former power forward. He played basketball in high school and for the Army when he was in the service.
“I was raised in church,” he says. “I joined the Army out of high school and later went to Murray State, and when I moved here I discovered Fox Creek.”
A huge decision
Fox Creek is an independent, non-denominational church that started in Anderson County in 1841. Fourteen members worshipped in a log cabin by the Salt River, and it has been in the county ever since.
Fox Creek Christian Church made a big decision about nine years ago. The congregation averaged about 100-150 each Sunday, and for a small county in rural Kentucky it was a good-size church. But the members saw room for growth.
“A lot of stats say that about 70 percent of the people in Anderson County don’t go to church at all,” Danny says.
In the last weekend of January 2007, the church opened a gymnasium. They called it the “Life Center” and decided they could use it for big meetings, special events, birthday parties and other large church activities. They could also use it for basketball.
“It was a huge decision,” Danny says.
The church started a youth basketball program and put Danny in charge. He organized youth teams, hired referees, bought uniforms and basketballs, made schedules with other church teams and public schools. For the first few years he paid for a lot of items out of his own pocket.
The idea was to give kids a chance to play basketball. Even if they couldn’t make their own school team or if they had been cut, they could play. There was no cost to join and no tryouts. There were no cuts. There was only one requirement: come to church at least once a week.
A special opportunity 
They came. The kids turned up to play basketball. The program now has five teams: 5-6th grade, 7th grade, 8th grade, junior varsity and varsity high school. Danny coaches them all.
“There is no recreational league in this area for students past sixth grade, so we offer an opportunity for them to play at a competitive level.”
Now, the church is bursting with activity. Fox Creek has 350-400 members. There are two services on Sunday morning with the first Sunday of each month holding a combined service which has so many people that they cannot all fit in the sanctuary. They have to hold service in the gymnasium – the Life Center. There are Sunday and Wednesday evening services and a special youth meeting on Wednesday nights called “Fishface” that allows young people to hear a message, hang out, and have fun. The church has an ongoing effort to add girls’ basketball teams, too.
“The primary goal was to get young people in church,” says Danny. “There were a lot of kids not getting to hear the Word. My effort was to get them involved.”
It worked. And it is working still. Several of the players came for basketball – and eventually decided to be baptized and dedicate their lives to the work of the church.
“A parent told me that kids in athletics were 90 percent less likely to use drugs. Just being in sports helped them stay away from bad stuff,” says Danny.
“Athletics is a microcosm for life,” he continues. “Basketball helps you in life. When you’re working hard, giving your best effort, that translates into all you do.”
With five youth teams going strong from October to March, when Danny Vernon wraps up working with companies on safety and leaves the Labor Cabinet each night after work, there’s a good chance he’s going one place: to coach basketball. But he’s doing a lot more than that: he’s helping kids build better lives. And he’s reminding us all about a good line from a movie: If you build it, they will come.

Click here to go to the newsletter’s home page.

KU’s Green River Generating Station Earns Governor’s Safety and Health Award

Posted on Updated on

KUGreenRiverAwardFromSURF
Photo courtesy: SurfKy.com
Employees work more than 270,000 hours without a lost-time incident
CENTRAL CITY, Ky. (Dec. 5, 2014) – Deputy Secretary Rocky Comito of the Kentucky Labor Cabinet today joined employees and officials in Central City to present Kentucky Utilities’ Green River Generating Station with the Governor’s Safety and Health Award. The honor recognizes the facility’s employees for working 273,391 hours without a lost-time accident or illness.
Kentucky Labor Secretary Larry L. Roberts applauded the employees and congratulated Kentucky Utilities (KU) for its commitment to safety.
“We congratulate the employees of the Green River Generating Station, and thank them for their attention to safety,” said Secretary Roberts. “This type of accomplishment doesn’t just happen by chance, it requires constant attention to detail on the part of everyone involved.”
Located on the banks of the Green River near Central City since 1950, Green River Generating Station currently has approximately 40 employees. The station uses about 400,000 tons of western Kentucky coal each year and has a total capacity of 163 megawatts.
“Needless to say, we are extremely proud of the excellent safety performance of our employees at Green River,” said Ralph Bowling, LG&E and KU vice president of Power Generation. “Despite some unique challenges at the plant and the demands placed on the workforce, they continue to stay focused and prioritize what is most important – working safely and without injury.”
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 Green River Generating Station, the requirement is 250,000.
The Governor’s Safety and Health Award program is part of Gov. Steve 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.
Every establishment within the geographical boundaries of Kentucky is eligible, even if the establishment won 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 Kentucky Gov. 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 winners, click here.
For more on the Green River Generating Station and KU, visit www.lge-ku.com.
# # #

NRE Paducah Earns Governor’s Safety and Health Award for Second Year in a Row

Posted on Updated on

NREPaducahPIC
Photo courtesy John Paul Henry, WKMS
Employees work more than a million hours without a lost-time incident
PADUCAH, Ky. (Dec. 10, 2014) – Deputy Secretary Rocky Comito of the Kentucky Labor Cabinet joined employees and officials in Paducah today to present the employees of NRE Paducah with the Governor’s Safety and Health Award. The honor recognizes approximately 205 employees for working more than a million hours without a lost-time accident or illness.
“There’s no doubt that NRE Paducah is on the right track when it comes to safety,” said Kentucky Labor Secretary Larry L. Roberts. “It’s even more impressive when you consider this is the second year in a row that the company has earned this award.”
A subsidiary of global locomotive manufacturer NRE Global Holdings since July 2002, NRE Paducah has been an active employer in Paducah since 1925. The company, which formerly used the name VMV Paducahbilt, builds and rebuilds locomotives and locomotive products at its 110-acre facility on Kentucky Avenue. In the past year, the company has expanded its operations by adding jobs, making repairs to the facility, installing new equipment and performing technological upgrades.
“NRE Paducah and its employees have been a flagship of NRE Global Holdings since we purchased it in 2002,” said NRE President and CEO Steven Beal. “We are extremely proud of this great achievement and will continue to strive to improve its operations and safety records as we move forward. Congratulations to the entire team in Paducah.”
The workers of NRE Paducah aren’t just employees, they are also owners of the company. NRE Paducah has an employee stock ownership plan, meaning its employees are 100 percent owners. The employees are also organized in the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) Local 123.
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 NRE Paducah, the requirement is 500,000.
Every establishment within the geographical boundaries of Kentucky is eligible, even if the establishment won the award the previous year. Eligibility is limited to one award during a 12-month period of time.
For more on NRE Paducah, visit www.nationalrailway.com.
# # #

Employees at Kenneth Coleman Station Earn Governor’s Safety and Health Award

Posted on Updated on

BigRiversColemanStationAWARD
Honor is 12th for Coleman Station and 37th all-time for entire Big Rivers Corporation
HAWESVILLE, Ky. (Jan. 14, 2015) – Department of Workplace Standards Commissioner Anthony Russell of the Kentucky Labor Cabinet joined employees and officials in Hawesville today to present the employees of Kenneth C. Coleman Station with the Governor’s Safety and Health Award. The honor recognizes the power plant’s approximately 100 employees for working 1,755,304 hours without a lost-time accident or illness.
Kentucky Labor Secretary Larry L. Roberts said the award shows a concerted dedication to safety.
“The people of Coleman Station and the IBEW Local 1701 deserve this award because it takes everyone working together for this to be possible,” said Secretary Roberts. “Safety is about teamwork, and it’s something that makes a whole operation more productive and a better place to work.”
Incorporated in 1961, Big Rivers has earned 36 previous Governor’s Safety and Health Awards throughout the years. The corporation is a member-owned, not-for-profit, generation and transmission cooperative headquartered in Henderson. With more than 500 employees, Big Rivers owns, operates and maintains a 1,285-mile transmission system, three generating plants and 22 substations. Due to recent contract terminations, Coleman Station is in an idled state, but has 16 employees maintaining the facility until full operations resume.
“The safety and health of our employees is a priority in everything we do at Big Rivers,” said Bob Berry, CEO of Big Rivers. “It is an honor for our organization to receive such a distinguished award, and it serves as a reminder to the hard work and dedication our employees place on safety each and every day. We recognize this is a tremendous achievement for Coleman Station, and we are very proud of the Coleman employees who contributed to this remarkable achievement. It’s a team approach when it comes to safety, and today’s achievement took the leadership of the IBEW Local 1701 in addition to the employees, management and board of directors at Big Rivers.”
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1701 represents the employees at Coleman Station. The national IBEW union traces its roots to the late 1800s, and is the oldest and largest electrical union in the world.
“This achievement represents the safety performance and commitment of each and every employee to make this meaningful accomplishment a reality,” said Vice President of Production Jim Garrett. “I am very proud to see the Coleman Station employees maintain a culture of excellence in safety.”
Big Rivers is owned by three distribution cooperative members: Jackson Purchase Energy Corp., headquartered in Paducah; Kenergy Corp., headquartered in Henderson; and Meade County Rural Electric Cooperative Corp., headquartered in Brandenburg. These member cooperatives serve approximately 114,000 residential, commercial, and industrial customers in portions of 22 western Kentucky counties.
“To achieve Kentucky’s most prestigious safety honor demonstrates the long standing tradition and continuous commitment to safety that our employees at Kenneth C. Coleman embrace,” said Coleman Station Plant Manager Keith Scott. “Our people are the number one asset at Big Rivers, and that is why safety is the top value at this company.  The Coleman Station employees embrace this culture and it shows by them earning 12 Kentucky Governor Safety Awards in its history as of today. Focusing on working safe is the goal each and every day here at Coleman and at Big Rivers in general. I’m pleased to be a part of such an outstanding accomplishment, and I thank each employee for the part they played in this significant achievement.”
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 Coleman Station, the requirement is 250,000.
The Governor’s Safety and Health Award program is part of Gov. Steve 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.
Every establishment within the geographical boundaries of Kentucky is eligible, even if the establishment won 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 Kentucky Gov. Beshear, Secretary Roberts and Commissioner Russell.
For more on Big Rivers, visit www.bigrivers.com.
# # #

Nucor Steel Gallatin Earns Governor’s Safety and Health Award

Posted on Updated on

Nucor-Corporation-logo
Employees work more than a million hours without a lost-time incident
 GHENT, Ky. (Jan. 15, 2015) – Secretary Larry L. Roberts of the Kentucky Labor Cabinet today presented employees and officials of Nucor Steel Gallatin with the Governor’s Safety and Health Award. The honor recognizes the facility’s 465 employees for working 1,067,652 hours without a lost-time accident or illness.
“This honor goes to the hundreds of employees who contribute to the success of Nucor  Steel Gallatin and make safety the top priority every day,” said Secretary Roberts. “Safety is a key factor in any company’s success, from productivity to overall morale, and it requires everyone’s involvement.”
Nucor and its affiliates are manufacturers of steel products, with approximately 200 operating facilities worldwide, primarily in the U.S. and Canada. Strategically located on the Ohio River, the Ghent facility helps make Nucor the largest producer of steel in the United States. The company is also North America’s biggest recycler.
“The excellence in productivity, quality and especially safety this year has taken the focus of every teammate every day to achieve,” said General Manager and Vice President John Farris. “Our facility continues to rank at the top and be a leader in safety among the steel manufacturers in North America. We are extremely proud of every teammate at Nucor Steel Gallatin for this accomplishment and their commitment to working safely and going home to their family each day.”
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 Nucor Steel Gallatin, the requirement is 1 million.
The Governor’s Safety and Health Award program is part of Gov. Steve Beshear’s efforts to improve the health of all Kentuckians. The Governor launched kyhealthnow in February as an aggressive and wide-ranging initiative to 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.
Every establishment within the geographical boundaries of Kentucky is eligible, even if the establishment won 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 Kentucky Gov. 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 winners, click here.
For more on Nucor Steel Gallatin, visit www.gallatinsteel.com.
# # #

Thousands Up for Grabs for Students in Occupational Safety and Health

Posted on Updated on

grad-cap-and-money-
Undergraduate and graduate university students are eligible; deadline to apply is Feb. 28 
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 13, 2015) – The Kentucky Safety and Health Network (KSHN) announced today that a total of approximately $40,000 worth in scholarship awards will be accessible to Kentucky undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in a degree program for occupational safety and health, industrial hygiene or a related field. Applications for the Scholastic Achievement for Education (SAFE) awards must be submitted by Feb. 28.
“The SAFE scholarships are designed to help students succeed in careers that improve safety and health in the workplace,” said KSHN President Mike Sutt. “The KSHN includes members from the fields of business, education, government and labor in Kentucky, and we all understand the importance of encouraging careers in these fields. Safety and health in the workplace is something that benefits us all, including workers, employers and consumers.”
The KSHN is a nonprofit organization with a mission to increase awareness of safety and health in Kentucky’s workplaces. Membership is open to all individuals with an interest in occupational safety and health.
Funding for the SAFE scholarships comes from registration and sponsorships with the Governor’s Safety and Health Conference and Exposition, an annual event the KSHN co-hosts with the Kentucky Labor Cabinet. The conference brings together safety managers and health professionals from all over Kentucky. The 31st annual conference is set for May 5-8, 2015 at the Galt House in Louisville.
Applicants for the SAFE scholarships can be students at a Kentucky college or university, or they can be Kentucky residents attending an out-of-state institution. Undergraduate students must have completed at least 60 semester hours, be carrying at least 12 semester hours and have a minimum 3.0 grade point average. Graduate students must be enrolled full-time, have at least nine semester hours and a minimum 3.5 grade point average.
Applicants must complete an application form, which can be found on www.kshn.net, include a current resume, two letters of academic recommendation relative to the degree program, a letter from the department chair or faculty advisor attesting to the applicant’s admission into one of the related degree programs, an original essay which describes the applicant’s career goals and certified transcripts for all institutions attended and coursework completed.
For full information on the scholarships and KSHN, visit www.kshn.net.
# # #