National safety award ‘caps' IPEC work

Published 2:35 am Monday, August 4, 2008

By By Kerry Whipple Bean – publisher
IPEC's Brewton facility celebrated a rare honor Thursday as the company received a national safety award.
Employees at the plant, which makes different kinds of plastic bottle caps for the dairy, water and juice industries, received an award from the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program, given by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration.
IPEC quality manager William Harrelson said the company has been working to achieve the honor, which recognizes small businesses that have achieved excellence in employee safety, for some time.
The award allows IPEC an exemption from regularly scheduled OSHA inspections, but Harrelson said that's not the most important aspect of the honor.
To qualify for the SHARP award, IPEC had to be in compliance with all OSHA regulations; keep its injury rate below the national average for its industry; and have an effective safety management program to minimize injuries, said Randy Easterling, a senior health consultant for the Safe State program at the University of Alabama.
The UA program works with small companies across the state on safety issues, and Easterling was on hand Thursday to present the award to Harrelson and other IPEC employees.
IPEC was nominated for the OSHA award through the Safe State program.
Employees gathered in the breakroom at IPEC Thursday for a lunch to celebrate their achievement.
IPEC employs 39 people at its facility at the Brewton Industrial Park.
The company received a letter from University of Alabama President Robert Witt congratulating them on their achievement. The company also received a plaque, banner and flag to signify their honor.