Tumwater, WA – Work Force Development Center (WFDC) in Mukilteo has received a safety and health award from the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) for its exemplary safety and health prevention efforts in its aerospace assembly training program.
The center is a nonprofit vocational training organization specializing in preparing at-risk and disadvantaged high school juniors and seniors for entering into the future work force.
WFDC is the seventh company in the state to achieve recognition through the START program, which stands for Safety through Achieving Recognition Together. It is the first nonprofit to receive the award.
START recognizes workplaces with exemplary safety records that have shown a commitment to health and safety. It’s modeled on a federal program.
“We want to showcase businesses with excellent safety and health programs as a way of encouraging other companies to improve their safety efforts,” said Lynda Stoneberg, Consultation Program manager for L&I’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health. “We hope the companies who earn START certification will share their experiences with other employers who might have safety challenges.”
To participate in the program, employers must have an injury rate below their industry’s average for at least a year. They must also allow safety and health experts to visit the worksite and review workplace hazards, examine safety and health programs, and interview workers and managers.
“The improvement in our Safety and Health Program was motivated by our Director of Student Services and Safety Coordinator, Carmela Morelli,” said David Trader, WFDC executive director. “Carmela shares my strong interest in ensuring a safe and healthy work environment for our student trainees and employees. These improvements were accomplished through the hard work of our employees and student trainees with the support of Approach Management Services and L&I’s consultants and risk managers.”
The Work Force Development Center has 46 employees and 42 high school-age student trainees at its aerospace assembly training center, where employees work one-on-one to train disabled, at-risk high school-age juniors and seniors in the aerospace industry. The trainees earn high school credit toward graduation and are paid minimum wage.
For more information on START, visit www.Lni.wa.gov/Safety/Topics/AtoZ/Start/.
Source: WA L&I