GENTRY McKee Foods Corporation was awarded the Star Program designation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in a special ceremony on Sept. 1
The Star Program designation indicates that McKee Foods has achieved the highest level of compliance possible through OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program. Companies in the Star Program have exemplary safety and health management systems and have achieved injury and illness rates at or below the national average of their respective industries. These sites are self-sufficient in their ability to control workplace hazards.
"I am thankful for our partnership with OSHA to achieve our vision for safety excellence," said Tim Broughton, vice president of Gentry Operations. "We are blessed with wonderful people that continue to demonstrate great teamwork in achieving VPP Star Status."
As of August 24, only 2,254 U.S. work sites carry the VPP Star Program designation. Part of the benefit for reaching the Star level is the trust between McKee Foods Gentry Operations and OSHA, which exempts the facility from programmed inspections based on demonstrated commitment to employee health andsafety. Gentry Operations will be re-evaluated every three to five years, although incident rates are reviewed annually.
"McKee Foods has always placed a top priority on our people," said Rusty McKee, executive vice president of manufacturing. "Our company's Guiding Values emphasize demonstrating concern for the health, safety and well-being of employees and their families. Achieving Star status is an external validation of our existing safety and health program at McKee Foods."
The award and VPP Star flag were presented by Carlos Reynolds, OSHA Area Director during a ceremony for McKee Foods' employees at the company's facility.
Also joining the celebration were: James Salkeld, director of the Arkansas Department of Labor; Jonathan Barnett, State representative;
Wes Hogue, mayor of Gentry; Vester Cripps, Gentryfire chief; Keith Smith, Gentry police chief; Bev Saunders, executive director of the Gentry Chamber of Commerce; Wayne Mays, president and chief executive officer of the Siloam Springs Chamber of Commerce; Rebecca Bradley and Quinten Whiteside, representing U.S.
Senator Mark Pryor; Larry Dutton, complex environmental health and safety director, Cargill Turkey Products; and Chris Todd, corporate safety manager, Superior Industries International, Inc.
Founded in 1934 by O.D.
and Ruth McKee, McKee Foods Corporation has grown to become America's leading family-owned snack cake bakery. McKee Foods offers over 160 varieties of Little Debbie and 26 varieties of Sunbelt products that are sold in all 50 states, Canada, Puerto Rico and Mexico. The company is headquartered in Collegedale, Tenn., and has production facilities in Gentry and Stuarts Draft, Va. Mc-Kee Foods also owns the Collegedale-based subsidiaries Blue Planet Foods, manufacturer of high-quality granola products including Heartland cereals and pie shells, and Fieldstone Bakery, which provides institutional food service organizations with nutritious, high-quality snacks and cereals. For more company information, visit the McKee Foods Corporation Web site at www.mckeefoods.com.
News, Pages 1, 2 on 09/09/2009