NC Labor Department Awards COOP ‘Carolina Star’ for its Commitment to Safety

Roanoke Electric Cooperative has received its second “Carolina Star” award and designation from the North Carolina Department of Labor for the co-op’s continued commitment to employee safety.  The co-op received its first Carolina Star designation in 2016.

The Department of Labor’s Carolina Star designation recognizes and rewards employers and employees for implementing strong safety and health programs that go above and beyond the requirements of the law.

Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry presented the award to co-op President and CEO Curtis Wynn at a July 31 ceremony held at the co-op’s headquarters.

“I am so genuinely grateful and proud of you,” Berry told those gathered. “No singular person earned this recertification, as it took every single person who works here at Roanoke Electric all working for each other. Every single person or individual is just as important as another. And by taking care of each other, you all are getting home safely to your families each day.”

The Carolina Star Program is administered through the labor department’s Education, Training and Technical Assistance Bureau of the Occupational Safety and Health Division. It is designed to recognize businesses that have implemented effective safety and health management systems and maintained injury and illness rates that meet the criteria for participation. Carolina Star Program participants are also proactive in partnering with the labor department’s Occupational Safety and Health Division, to prevent fatalities, injuries and illnesses.

The program focuses on key areas for ensuring workplace safety, including the following:

  • Management commitment and leadership
  • Employee involvement and participation
  • Hazard identification and evaluation
  • Hazard prevention and control
  • Safety and health training

The benefits of receiving the Carolina Star designation include enhanced employee motivation to work safely, leading to better quality and productivity, reduced worker's compensation costs, and improved safety programs through internal and external review.

Carolina Star designees generally experience 60 to 80 percent fewer lost workday injuries compared to an "average" site of the same size in their industry.

“It is truly gratifying that our efforts to continuously improve safety are being recognized by the state with our Carolina Star designation for the second time,” said Wynn. “Many hours of training and proper safety equipment are imperative, but what we are really proud of is the way our staff has totally embraced a safety culture. The enthusiastic participation and buy-in from everyone will continue to make all the difference in keeping our team, member-owners and local communities safe.”