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For Immediate Release
September 27, 2002

Contact Information:
Kevin Weeks 503-947-7428  (direct dial)

Russ Levin, Southern Oregon Goodwill Industries, 541-772-3300

Southern Oregon Goodwill Industries honored for safety record

The Medford Rehabilitation Center operated by Southern Oregon Goodwill Industries received a safety recognition award from Oregon OSHA on September 27, honoring the Center's fourth year in the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program.

Oregon OSHA's Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) recognizes employers who make a commitment to improving workplace safety, reducing their injury and illness rates and develop safe practices which become a model for safe workplaces in Oregon. Safety and health management programs in place at Southern Oregon Goodwill Industries created a lost-work injury rate in 2001 that was 65 percent below the state average for vocational rehabilitation services.

"What that means is last year three people lost a day of work to injuries instead of the almost eight we measure as an average for that industry," says Oregon OSHA administrator Peter De Luca. "You can only accomplish this level of injury reduction through careful planning, proactive management and the participation of your employees."

"Our relationship with Oregon OSHA and the SHARP program is the perfect partnership," says Steve Martin, Loss Prevention and Safety Manager for the Medford Rehabilitation Center. "Safety is of the utmost importance to our organization, and the SHARP program provides one more tool we utilize to meet our goals. We are the first vocational service organization to be recognized as an Oregon SHARP participant for outstanding employee awareness and involvement in safety programs."

Oregon OSHA particularly recognized how involved employees are with keeping operations at the Center safe. Employees participate in monthly safety committee meetings, safety and health inspections, and positive recognition programs reinforce safe work behaviors. The Medford Rehabilitation Center was able to reduce their lost-workday injury rate 58 percent between 1999 and 2000. Southern Oregon Goodwill Industries is a private non-profit organization that assists people with disabilities and other employment barriers to achieve their full potential. The organization operates thirteen stores throughout southern Oregon, and employees over 80 people at the Medford Rehabilitation Center.

For more information about the SHARP program, please contact the Oregon OSHA SHARP Program Manager, Mark Hurliman at 503-947-7437. On the Web, you can find out more about Oregon OSHA at www.orosha.org