Company honored for safety achievements

MIKE REUTHER/Sun-Gazette Scott Weiant, Bureau of Workers Compensation director, speaks to the employees of Lycoming Engines.

State officials were on hand at Lycoming Engines, Williamsport, to laud employees for their remarkable safety record.

The Governor’s Award for Safety Excellence recognizes not only the company’s efforts, but its success in providing a safe work environment for its workers.

“Your are amongst the elites,” Michael Vovakes, Deputy Secretary for Labor and Industry told employees gathered for the award ceremony at Lycoming Engines.

Each year, state officials recognize employers that maintain the highest safety standards. Of the more than 70 companies that applied for the award this year, just five were honored, he noted.

“This is a great day. This is a great award,” he said.

Lycoming Engines worked more than 1.6 million hours without a lost time injury. Vovakes said that the safety environment must continue, however. Scott Weiant, Bureau of Workers Compensation director, said safety simply must be a priority — like essential business functions.

In selecting companies for the award, state officials consider all applicants, before narrowing down the list and selecting companies for on-site visits.

“We spent three to four hours on site here,” he said. “Obviously, we were impressed.”

Since 1997, just 150 companies have been selected for the Governor’s Award. Mike Kraft, Lycoming Engines senior vice president and general manager, said the company has come a long way toward striving for improved job safety.

“We know we aren’t perfect,” he said. “We still have injuries. We need to stay ahead of the curve.”

Scott Witmer, senior manager for environmental health, safety and facilities, Lycoming Engines, said, “Any day without an injury is a good day.”

The company’s safety committee received special recognition. They are: Judy LaForme, Corina Koch, Rick Coleman, Shane Collins, John Hartsock, Joseph Szczechowski, Daphine Braggs, Ben Sandford, and Cory Davis.