After an audit at a small Pennsylvania manufacturer revealed some safety complacency cropping up in day-to-day operations, the company reached out to OSHA’s On-Site Consultation Program for assistance. The result: McGregor Industries Inc. has been free of recordable injuries since September 2015, is working to find new ways of reducing injuries and has been able to secure better insurance for individual jobsites.
Dunmore-based McGregor Industries Inc. fabricates, delivers, and installs light structural and metal products for buildings, artistic projects, and anything requiring the shaping and finishing of metal.
Areas for improvement IDd
While undergoing an assessment by the Pennsylvania OSHA On-Site Consultation Program (PA Consultation) of the various elements of their integrated safety and health management system, the company realized that there were areas for improvement in its practices. During the facility walk around, the PA Consultation consultant identified some hazards and items that did not conform to OSHA requirements. For example, lockout/tagout standard operating procedures needed to be updated to identify responsible parties, Safety data sheets needed to be updated, and training was also an area of concern.
Hazards and violations that were identified during consultation visits were corrected. Additionally, financial assistance from their Worker's Compensation Insurance Carrier helped McGregor provide employees with more comprehensive training that included hazard identification and control.
After the hazard corrections and other improvements, PA OSHA Consultants recommended that the company work toward earning acceptance into OSHA's Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP). SHARP recognizes small business employers who have used OSHA On-Site Consultation Program services and operate an exemplary injury and illness prevention program. Acceptance of worksites into SHARP from OSHA is an achievement of status that distinguishes a company among its business peers as a model for workplace safety and health.
(Pictured above, receiving SHARP recognition: L to R : Dave Maurer, Josh Schwarztrauber, John Stewart, Brian Florovito, Basil Kutch, Jim Wallo, Mike Carrotto, Mike Phillips, Dave Callis, Jacob Schwarztrauber, Jeremy Black, George Lionsky, Caitlin Chambers, Ed Kalinski, Foreman – John Wallo.)
About the consultation program
OSHA's On-Site Consultation Program offers free and confidential safety and occupational health advice to small and medium-sized businesses in all states across the country and in several territories, with priority given to high-hazard worksites. On-Site Consultation services are separate from enforcement and do not result in penalties or citations. Consultants from state agencies or universities work with employers to identify workplace hazards, provide advice on compliance with OSHA standards, and assist in establishing injury and illness prevention programs.
Management is more involved with safety
Working with PA Consultation, the company's team of committed managers and employees was able to integrate a new safety and health management system and set their shared goal toward SHARP recognition. This goal has significantly increased management and staff participation in the company's safety and health program. The staff is now better able to identify and report hazards. The company has a reporting system in place, so that corrections can be implemented.
McGregor's Total Recordable Case (TRC) rate was 0.0, 9.1, and 2.5 for 2013, 2014, and 2015 respectively. Similarly, the Days Away from Work, Job Transfer and Restriction (DART) rates were 0.0, 2.5, and 0.0 for 2013, 2014, and 2015 respectively. Contrastingly, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the industry average DART rates were 3.4, 3.0, and 2.6 for 2013, 2014, and 2015 respectively. Also, the BLS industry TRC rates were 3.0, 2.6, and 7.0 for 2013, 2014, and 2015 respectively.
McGregor initially earned SHARP recognition in September 2015. Since becoming an OSHA SHARP participant, the company has been free of OSHA recordable injuries. More importantly, the staff is working as a team to find new ways of reducing the risk of injury on jobsites. The company also began regularly investigating how various jobs could impact safety before the employees perform their work. The company has even been able to secure new insurance for individual jobsites through better options which became available after they made safety improvements and earned SHARP recognition.