The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration today recognized Kennametal Inc.'s Orwell metalworking manufacturing facility for excelling in workplace safety.

OSHA named Orwell a Merit Level Participant in its prestigious Voluntary Protection Program ("VPP"). The Orwell site, comprised of a manufacturing plant and three support buildings, is among only 20 companies in Ohio and 800 in the United States to achieve this recognition.

"Kennametal believes that our workforce is our greatest asset, and we have partnered with our 12,000 employees at more than 60 worldwide facilities to provide clean, safe and productive environments," said Philip H. Weihl, Kennametal's vice president of global manufacturing. "OSHA's recognition today is a reward to all employees at Orwell for their hard work and effort."

OSHA presented Kennametal's Orwell plant manager, Lee Charity, with a certificate at a ceremony this morning at the Penniman Road site.

The OSHA award is among several employee-related honors that Kennametal Inc., the No. 1 tooling solutions supplier in the U.S., has received in the past 15 months. 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. Its Carbidie manufacturing facility in Irwin, Pa., received a Pennsylvania Governor's Award last September for outstanding labor-management cooperation. Its Bedford, Pa., facility received a Pennsylvania Governor's Award in 1999 for environmental excellence.

"Kennametal continues to strive to improve the environment, health and safety performance at all of our operations through Kennametal Lean Enterprise activities and continuous improvement in all that we do," said Mark D. Steele, vice president and director for environment, health and safety. "Active safety committees, committed leadership and the personal contributions of our local EHS coordinators make the difference that contributes to excellent performance. Our corporate EHS support team is honored to be associated with this accomplishment."

Kennametal's Orwell site applied to OSHA last May for recognition in VPP, which recognizes excellent workplace health and safety based on five key program elements -- management leadership, employee involvement, worksite analysis, hazard prevention and control, and training. Out of more than 6 million businesses in the U.S., fewer than 800 have received VPP designation from OSHA. A team of OSHA inspectors spent four days last September at Kennametal's Orwell facility, evaluating operations, interviewing employees and inspecting records.

"We are gratified that OSHA has recognized the efforts of our more than 400 employees to make Kennametal Orwell one of the premier employers in Ohio," Charity said.

Kennametal's Orwell site, which has an annual payroll of more than $17 million, makes tungsten carbide inserts, or cutting tools, used in the metal- cutting industry. Orwell is the No. 1 producer of inserts for Kennametal.

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 approximately 12,000 employees worldwide, the company's FY01 annual sales were $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


SOURCE: Kennametal Inc.

Contact: Steve Halvonik of Kennametal, +1-724-539-4618

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