STATE: Labor Department urges businesses to apply for safety awards

Published 11:44 am Monday, February 7, 2022

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The N.C. Department of Labor (NCDOL) is now accepting applications from businesses that qualify for a workplace safety award. This program has operated since 1946 and has become a valued tradition in workplaces throughout the state.

Safety awards are given to companies that achieve above-average worker safety and health programs. Last year, NCDOL presented a total of 2,468 safety awards. Of those, 2,046 were gold awards and 382 were silver awards. In addition to safety awards, the department also presented 40 million-hour awards.

“I am looking forward to kicking off the 2022 safety awards banquet season,” Labor Commissioner Josh Dobson said. “After one year of entirely virtual banquets in 2020, and another year of a mixture of virtual and in-person banquets in 2021, I look forward to returning to a normal awards season this year.”

Businesses that qualify for a safety award must meet two requirements: They must be free of fatalities during the calendar year at the site for which they are applying, and the site’s injury and illness rate must be at least 50 percent below that of their industry’s average rate during the same period.

A million-hour award is presented to businesses that accumulate one million employee work hours with no injuries or illnesses resulting in days away from work. Gold awards are given to those businesses achieving a below-average incident rate based on days away, restricted activity or job transfer (DART). Silver awards are based solely on days employees spent away from work.

Award recipients will be honored in their communities throughout the state at safety awards banquets co-sponsored by the N.C. Department of Labor and local chambers of commerce and other organizations.

For more information on the Safety Awards Program or to download an application, go to the NCDOL website. The deadline for submissions is Feb. 15.