TOPEKA — The Kansas Department of Labor Industrial Safety and Health division and Secretary Lana Gordon recognized Flame Engineering Inc. of LaCrosse for reaching 16 years with no lost-time accidents. Lost-time accidents implies a non-fatal accident that causes any loss of time from work. Secretary Gordon presented company officials a certificate during a special ceremony attended by management and staff members.
In the mid 1950s, Ralph C. Pivonka and his son Mike designed a propane torch for burning weeds and brush on their Kansas family farm. As word spread about their flaming equipment, Ralph and Mike found themselves building more and more torches to satisfy a growing local demand. The Pivonkas soon outgrew their farm workshop and went into full production establishing the company known as Flame Engineering Inc., which now has expanded into national and international markets with the popular Red Dragon product line.
A safe work environment helps Flame Engineering operate more efficiently and retain dedicated employees. Mike Pivonka, his son Jason and his grandson Tyson are all working and active in the business. Tyson makes the fourth generation to be involved in the daily operation of Flame Engineering Inc.
Flame Engineering has also been part of the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) since October 2000, a designation which remains in effect today.
SHARP provides incentives and support to small, high-hazard employers to work with their employees to develop, implement and continuously improve the effectiveness of their workplace safety and health programs. Companies that have qualified for SHARP can participate in the SHARP Association, a self-governing group that serves members by networking about workplace safety and monitoring one another through idea sharing.