Richland cold-storage company recognized for safety standards

WASHINGTON STATE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND INDUSTRIES NEWS RELEASE -- Henningsen Cold Storage in Richland has received an award from the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) for its exemplary safety and health program.

Henningsen is one of only six companies in Washington state to receive this award as part of the “Safety Through Achieving Recognition Together” program, known as START.

START recognizes workplaces with exemplary safety records that have shown a commitment to health and safety at work. It’s modeled on a federal program.

L&I presented the START certification to company officials last month at Richland facility.

“The goal of START is to recognize and thank businesses with excellent safety and health programs and to showcase them to encourage other companies to improve their safety efforts,” said Lynda Stoneberg, consultation manager for L&I’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health. “We hope the companies that earn START certification will share their experiences with other employers who might have safety challenges.”

In addition to a strong commitment to safety and health and employee involvement, the company also participates in L&I’s Stay at Work program. The financial incentive program encourages employers to bring their injured workers quickly and safely back to work in medically approved, light-duty jobs. Participating employers get reimbursed for half the worker’s base wage for up to 66 days, plus some expenses.

“We could not have achieved this award without the help and mentoring we got from L&I staff, as well as the hard work and dedication of our employees,” said Bill Friend, Henningsen warehouse manager. “And it wouldn’t have been possible without the complete backing of Mike Henningsen and our corporate office.”

Henningsen Cold Storage has 28 employees at its Richland location, where it has nearly five million cubic feet of temperature-controlled storage. It’s one of the largest public refrigerated warehouse companies in the U.S. and has been in operation for 90 years. The company has also received START recognition in five of its locations in other states.

For more information on START, visit www.Lni.wa.gov/Safety/Topics/AtoZ/Start/ .