Kennametal Inc. Orwell, Ohio, Jan. 23, 2003 -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration today awarded its highest designation for excellence in workplace safety to Kennametal Inc.'s metalworking manufacturing facility here.
OSHA gave Orwell "Star" status in its prestigious Voluntary Protection Program. Kennametal's Orwell facility is the first company in Ashtabula County and one of only six basic manufacturing plants of its type to receive this designation in 12-county northeastern Ohio, according to OSHA.
It's the second time in less than a year that OSHA has honored Kennametal Orwell; the facility received "Merit" designation, the second-highest level of distinction in the VPP program, in March 2002.
"Kennametal has always believed that our workforce is our greatest asset," said H. Patrick Mahanes, Kennametal's senior vice president and chief operating officer for the business unit of which Orwell is a part. "Today's recognition is a reward for the hard work and effort over the past two years that management and employees at Orwell have invested to receive this special honor."
Kennametal's Orwell facility is among only 27 companies in Ohio that have received VPP recognition from OSHA. Representatives from the U.S. agency presented Kennametal's Orwell plant manager, Gary L. Martineck, with a certificate at a ceremony today at the company's Penniman Road site.
The OSHA award is among several honors Kennametal Inc. has received. The Latrobe, Pa., company was named one of the 50 Best Places to Work in Pennsylvania by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development in December 2000; and its Bedford, Pa., plant received a Pennsylvania Governor's award for environmental excellence in November 1999.
OSHA established the Voluntary Protection Program two decades ago to encourage companies to exceed their legal obligations in protecting workers' safety and health. Only 849 companies nationwide held VPP designation as of July 2002.
"This is a great achievement for this company, its employees and the community," said Rob Medlock, OSHA's Cleveland area director. "Kennametal is the first company in Ashtabula County to attain Star status in OSHA's elite VPP program. The hard work and dedication put forth by management and employees, working together, is a shining example of what can be accomplished in the area of safety and health."
Kennametal Orwell, which has an annual payroll of more than $17 million, makes tungsten carbide inserts, or cutting tools, used in the metal-cutting industry. It is one of Kennametal's largest makers of inserts.
Today's ceremony caps a nearly two-year effort by Orwell management and employees to achieve OSHA's highest safety ranking. It began in June 2001 with an application to OSHA for participation in the VPP program.
To achieve Star designation, Orwell and its employees had to achieve outstanding marks in four categories: Job hazard analysis program; formalized spill responder program; hazard awareness and recognition training; and electrical safety training and safe work practices. OSHA inspectors conducted a two-day audit of the Orwell plant last summer.
"We are pleased that OSHA has recognized the efforts of our team of more than 400 employees to make Kennametal Orwell one of the premier employers in Ohio," Martineck said.
Kennametal Inc. aspires to be the premier tooling solutions supplier in the world with operational excellence throughout the value chain and best-in-class manufacturing and technology. Kennametal strives to deliver superior shareowner value through top-tier financial performance. The company provides customers a broad range of technologically advanced tools, tooling systems and engineering services aimed at improving customers' manufacturing competitiveness. With about 14,500 employees worldwide, the company's annual sales approximate $1.8 billion, with a third coming from sales outside the United States. Kennametal is a five-time winner of the GM "Supplier of the Year" award and is represented in more than 60 countries. Kennametal operations in Europe are headquartered in Furth, Germany. Kennametal Asia Pacific operations are headquartered in Singapore. For more information, visit the company's web site at www.kennametal.com
SOURCE: Kennametal Inc.
CONTACT: Investor Relations, Beth A. Riley, +1-724-539-6141, or Media
Relations, Steve Halvonik, +1-724-539-4618, both of Kennametal
Web site: http://www.kennametal.com/