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APRIL 25, 2006
(615) 741-2257
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NASHVILLE — Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development Commissioner James Neeley joined Governor Phil Bredesen in a recognition ceremony at the Bridgestone Firestone plant today in Morrison. The Warren County plant was chosen to receive the Volunteer STAR (Safety Through Accountability and Recognition) award for Workplace Safety and Health.

The Volunteer STAR award is the state’s highest honor for workplace safety and health and a nationally recognized program. The standard for participation in the STAR program is the confirmation of a company’s safety and health program which helps reduce accidents and injuries.

“I'm pleased to be here today to recognize the team members of Bridgestone Firestone's Warren County plant for demonstrating a commitment to protecting the health and safety of its workers," said Governor Bredesen. "This focus on protection is a hallmark of the company's dedication to quality, and we are certainly fortunate to have corporate citizens of this caliber in Tennessee.”

“The evaluation criteria for the Volunteer STAR are demanding," said Commissioner James Neeley who presented the award with Governor Bredesen today at the Morrison facility. "Achieving the required level of safety shows the employees at this Bridgestone Firestone plant are strongly committed to maintaining a safe and healthy workplace. It's a tribute to the company that its employees work to sustain such a notable safety record."

Bridgestone Firestone employees played a crucial role in the initial development of the Tennessee Volunteer STAR program. The Warren County facility became the third Volunteer STAR site in 1997. The facility was subsequently recertified in 2000 and now again in 2006.

For the period 2001-2004 the sites Total Case Incidence Rate is 6.47, 23 percent below the current national industry averages. Days Away from Work and Restricted Activity and/or Transfer Case (DART) incident rate was 3.22 or 40 percent below the current national industry averages.

“I am honored to be here and recognize the outstanding achievements of our Warren County teammates,” said Mark Emkes, chairman and CEO of Bridgestone Americas Holding, Inc., and Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, LLC. “ This award is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our teammates who work to build world-class products while at the same time put a strong focus on safety.

To obtain an application or additional information on the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health (TOSHA) Safety Awards Program, contact the safety grant manager in Nashville at (800) 325-9901 or (615) 741- 5281.