Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

November 18, 2013

Graf Brothers recognized for safety commitment

Tim Preston
The Independent

SOUTH SHORE — Cited alongside well-known corporate names including Ale-8-One Bottling Co. and th Louisville International Airport, workers at the Graf Brothers Flooring & Lumber Co. in South Shore gathered Monday to receive the 2013 Destiny Award from Kentucky Employers Mutual Insurance.

The award is presented to companies within the commonwealth of Kentucky that have “exemplified the values and upheld the mission of KEMI by promoting safety in the workplace and the welfare of their employees.”

Graf Brothers owners David and Greg Graf noted their appreciation of the recognition during Monday’s ceremony, saying “Here at Graf Brothers we are committed to safety,” adding they “want everyone to go home to their families the same way they came into work.”

The South Shore manufacturing facility is one of 11 to receive this year’s Destiny Award. The third-generation company was formed in 2002 and is now the world’s largest manufacturer of rift and quarter-sawn oak, producing 125,000 board feet of lumber and 35,000 square feet of lumber, per day — enough flooring for approximately 23 homes. KEMI is the state’s largest provider of workers’ compensation insurance, providing coverage for more than 21,000 businesses in each of the commonwealth’s 120 counties.

“We are 12 years into it now and pushing 180 people,” said Graf Bros. Safety Coordinator Chuck Smith, who explained the award was based on past and current considerations including number of accidents, lost time and workers’ compensation claims. Smith said Graf Bros. officials and employees alike were pleased to have been among the less than a dozen recipients of this year’s KEMI Destiny Award, noting more than 22,000 businesses were considered for the recognition.

“We are very happy and very blessed to be in receipt of that,” Smith said.

The safety official noted elected officials including State Rep. Tanya Pullin and South Shore Mayor Cheryl Moore attended Monday’s award presentation, along with owners David and Greg Graf, who he personally thanked for their dedication to safety goals.

“I would like to put a hats off to the bosses in there,” he said. “It starts from the top down.”

TIM PRESTON can be reached at tpreston@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2651.