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Nucor earns Star Site recognition

COFIELD – The North Carolina Department of Labor (NCDOL) recognized the Nucor Steel plant in Hertford County as a Star site on Monday.

The Star site designation is the most prestigious award given by NCDOL and describes Star sites as &uot;workplaces with comprehensive and successful safety and health programs, making them leaders in employee protection.&uot;

The Nucor Steel mill is only the second steel producing facility in America to be awarded this type of honor.

Cherie Berry, Commissioner of the NC Department of Labor, spoke at the ceremony and presented Nucor with a NC Star site flag to fly.

&uot;The state owes you a debt of gratitude,&uot; Berry said. &uot;The Department of Labor reports fatalities and injuries, but we can’t measure how many lives are saved.&uot;

&uot;We are in a very competitive world and our businesses have to be profitable, but it’s our moral responsibility to be our brother’s keeper,&uot; Berry continued. &uot;North Carolina wasn’t in the top 10 in safety five years ago, but now we are in the top three.&uot;

&uot;I would proudly take my children and give them to you as employees,&uot; Berry said.

North Carolina Star program director Lamont Smith also spoke and presented Nucor with several awards.

&uot;You are part of the North Carolina Star family now,&uot; Smith said. &uot;I knew this was a world class organization when they said their number one job was protecting their people.&uot;

&uot;We never set out to be a Star site; we started out to be as safe as possible,&uot; Vice President/General Manager of Nucor Hertford County Giff Daughtridge said.

&uot;Everyone wants a better future, but not everyone is willing to take responsibility to create a better future,&uot; Daughtridge said. &uot;People here are taking responsibility to create a better future. We are proud of the Star rating.&uot;

&uot;We are very flexible and this helps stay ahead of the competition,&uot; Daughtridge added.

&uot;I talked to my co-workers and asked them what does the safety program mean to them and everyone agreed we are a group of people working together as a team,&uot; Nucor EAF Technician Joe Pierce said.

&uot;Nucor changed the lives of many people in this county,&uot; Pierce said.

&uot;This plant is one of our most successful and it took a lot of hard work,&uot; Nucor CEO Dan DiMicco said.

&uot;Safety is our top priority,&uot; DiMicco said. &uot;We work safely to create a quality product and we focus on the communities we work in.&uot;

&uot;North Carolina Star is tough to accomplish, but the Nucor President’s award is even tougher and this plant has gotten it every year since its opening,&uot; Dimicco continued. &uot;People from this plant have taken the successful culture to other plants.&uot;

&uot;Safety makes sense no matter how you look at it,&uot; DiMicco added.

The Nucor Steel plant in Hertford County employs 398 people and the mill produces 1.3 million tons of steel a year. The furnace at the Hertford County plant is the fastest in North America.

Local elected leaders, Hertford County government officials and community leaders attended the ceremony and tours of the facility were given following the ceremony.