Media Statement Regarding: March 6 Incident in Tulsa, OK
CINCINNATI, OH, March 22, 2007 - On March 6, Cintas was saddened to learn that a dedicated employee-partner was involved in a fatal accident in the company’s commercial laundry facility in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Since that time, company representatives have been working closely with teams from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to investigate the cause of the accident, which involved a conveyor system that moves clothes between washers and dryers in the facility.
Cintas – as many other commercial laundries, hotels, hospitals and other facilities – has been using standard conveyor systems for many years, which are purchased from and installed by a variety of commercial suppliers. Cintas is not aware of any other accident causing serious injury, and certainly no accident involving a fatality, involving the use of these conveyor systems in its facilities. Cintas maintains an extensive safety training program across all of its operations, demonstrated by a safety record that is 30 percent better than similar-sized facilities in its industry.
In a letter to company employee-partners following the incident, Cintas CEO Scott Farmer stressed continued attention to following established training and procedures for safe operations. Excerpts of Farmer’s letter to employee-partners follow:
"We have always said that employee safety is our top concern," said Cintas CEO Scott Farmer. "That's why we are personally saddened by the death of a fellow Cintas partner in a wash-alley accident in Tulsa on March 6. But I'm saddened even more by the circumstances surrounding our partner's death."
"Although the investigation is still ongoing, it is clear that our partner did not follow established safety rules which would have prevented this tragic accident. Unfortunately, the partner climbed on top of a moving conveyor to dislodge a jam, contrary to all safety training and procedures, and fell into a dryer. I'm grief-stricken at the loss of a fellow partner and deeply saddened for his family, and for his fellow partners in the facility. It hurts us all."
While the company already has a strong safety program in place - and while OSHA's technical investigation of the Tulsa incident continues - the company has added even more signage on the conveyor systems to remind employee-partners of safe procedures, and continues to work with the agency to investigate further steps to prevent such incidents in the future.
"We must never allow this to happen again," Farmer said in his letter to employee-partners. "We have carefully developed our safety programs, and in the spirit of positive discontent, continue to review and improve these important safety initiatives. Given that our safety record continues to be significantly better than the rest of our industry, I have full confidence in our programs and the work of our safety team. As a company with deep family roots, this is a tragic loss for us all."
Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, Cintas
Corporation provides highly specialized services
to businesses of all types throughout North America.
Cintas designs, manufactures and implements corporate
identity uniform programs, and provides entrance
mats, restroom supplies, promotional products,
first aid and safety products, fire protection
services and document management services to approximately
700,000 businesses. Cintas is a publicly held company
traded over the Nasdaq Global Select Market under
the symbol CTAS, and is a Nasdaq-100 company and
component of the Standard & Poor's 500 Index.
The Company has achieved 37 consecutive years of
growth in sales and earnings, to date.
Vice President Corporate Communications