Michigan Department of Consumer & Industry Services Presents Lacks Enterprises with MIOSHA Special Recognition Award

Contact: LARA Communications 517-373-9280
Agency: Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

JUNE 12, 2003 - The Michigan Department of Consumer & Industry Services (CIS) presented a MIOSHA Special Recognition Award today to Lacks Enterprises, Inc., which has 13 manufacturing plants in the Grand Rapids area. The CIS Bureau of Safety and Regulation (BSR) is responsible for administering the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Act (MIOSHA).

The award recognizes Lacks Enterprises for their dedication to worker safety and health and for their continuous ergonomic improvements that have been implemented to reduce worker strain. They have initiated significant ergonomic changes in all of their plants to reduce ergonomic-related injuries and illnesses.


"Lacks Enterprises is an exemplary corporate citizen that can be a role model for all Michigan businesses," said CIS Director David C. Hollister. "This outstanding corporation is protecting its workers, and at the same time increasing its competitive advantage. We applaud your success."


BSR Director Doug Kalinowski presented the award to all of Lacks Enterprises' plant managers, Corporate Medical Director Lee Pool, M.D., and Corporate Safety Manager Mark Stratton in recognition of their corporate-wide efforts to protect their workers from ergonomic injuries. Lacks President and CEO Richard Lacks, Jr. and Executive Vice President Kurt Lacks also congratulated the plant managers and other staff for their outstanding ergonomic achievements.


"Our plant managers have done an outstanding job implementing ergonomic changes throughout our 13 Grand Rapids area manufacturing facilities," stated Roger Andrzejewski, director of human resources at Lacks Enterprises. "The changes have benefited both our employees and the corporation. Since 1997, we've reduced the number of cumulative repetitive trauma disorder claims by over 93 percent. That translates to healthier employees and about $900,000 in annual savings for the corporation."


Lacks began a pilot program in ergonomics in 1996. The goal of the program was to eliminate physical stress on employees by instituting a corporate-wide program to reduce cumulative repetitive trauma disorders. The program incorporated design changes in manufacturing equipment as well as employee training in ergonomically correct work habits.


"Each year in Michigan, ergonomic injuries and illnesses make up more than half of all workers' compensation cases. This is a serious and unnecessary expense for Michigan businesses," said BSR Director Doug Kalinowski. "Lacks Enterprises is leading the way in making substantive ergonomic changes which protect their workers, and lower their work-comp costs."


Lacks Enterprises is an automotive, electronics and telecommunications industry supplier comprised of three business units: Lacks Trim Systems, Lacks Wheel Trim Systems, and Plastic Plate, Inc. Established in 1961, the corporation employs 1,950 people in 13 manufacturing facilities in and around the Grand Rapids area.