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May 12, 2011

Water Heater Innovations, Inc. receives safety and health award, recognized May 17

Workplace safety and health representatives from the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) will recognize Water Heater Innovations, Inc. as a Minnesota Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (MNSHARP) worksite. The recognition event will be at 11 a.m., May 17, at 3107 Sibley Memorial Hwy., Eagan, Minn.

"Water Heater Innovations has shown great leadership to allocate both the time and the resources needed to reach this MNSHARP goal," said Ken Peterson, DLI commissioner. "Its employees and management are to be commended for their joint efforts to make the commitment that safety is the top priority."

MNSHARP is a Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MNOSHA) program that recognizes organizations where managers and employees work together to develop safety and health programs that go beyond basic compliance with all applicable OSHA standards and result in immediate and long-term prevention of job-related injuries and illnesses.

"Our team has worked diligently to make our company a safe place to work and to emphasize our safety slogan:  'never give safety a day off,'" said Jeff Scholten, general manager. "Our safety program accomplishments have led the way in lowering overhead costs and, as a result, we have maintained our leadership position in the marketplace."

"Earning MNSHARP certification required ongoing collaboration between the Minnesota OSHA Workplace Safety Consultation experts and all of our employees," said Shirley Bonawitz, Human Resources manager and safety director. "It has been a positive experience and we are proud to be recognized for our efforts and commitment to a safe and healthy work environment."

Water Heater Innovations, Inc. manufactures Marathon water heaters in its plant in Eagan, Minn. The company created the Marathon water heater to ensure the product had a limited lifetime warranty, high energy efficiency and an "installation friendly" design that is lightweight and easy to connect. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Rheem Manufacturing Company.

DLI representatives will commemorate the company's employee-employer partnership by presenting a MNSHARP flag and a certificate that exempts the worksite from MNOSHA Compliance scheduled inspections for two years.

MNSHARP began in Minnesota in 1996. Water Heater Innovations, Inc. is one of 41 active MNSHARP worksites. For more information, visit www.dli.mn.gov/Wsc/Mnsharp.asp.

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News media contact:
Jenny O'Brien
(651) 284-5261

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