Minot, ND-based Central Machining & Pump Repair, Inc. (CMP) is a small company that has operated a complete machining, welding, and fabrication facility for over 25 years.
The company specializes in manufacturing and repairing metal components for the power, sugar, refinery, oil, agriculture, food-processing, and mining industries as well as other industrial customers. That means by its nature, the company has the potential for built in safety issues.
CMP welders and machinists provide on-site portable machining, stress relieving, flame spraying, line boring, welding, and fabrication. The Minot facility provides expeditious delivery and 24-hours-per-day, year-round emergency services.
From 1993 to 1999, CMP expanded its nearly 30,000-square-foot facility by adding 17,200 square feet of production area to provide its customers with in-shop and on-site services.
With that expansion, though, the company experienced some serious safety concerns. That is when they decided to boost their safety and health programs.
In 1997, CMP invited the North Dakota Occupational Safety and Health (NDOSH) consultation project, located in Bismarck, North Dakota, to conduct a safety and health walkthrough of their facility. NDOSH’s comprehensive safety walkthrough identified several safety hazards that required abatements.
Shortly after the consultation visit, CMP hired a full-time safety manager whose job was taking on the responsibility to improve the safety, health, and well-being of its employees.
In 1998, the safety manager with the assistance of several NDOSH consultants assisted CMP in completing several safety programs, such as the following:
• Hearing Conservation
• Bloodborne Pathogens
• Confined Space
• Drug and Alcohol
• Hazard Communication
• Fall and Fire Protection
• First Aid: CPR, Electrical
• Safety, Personal Protective
• Equipment, and Respirator
• Program Safety Management
• Ground Fault
• Hazardous Metal Exposure
• Lift/Mobile Equipment
CMP’s safety programs ended up evaluated at 100 percent by the National Compliance Management Services in Hutchinson, Kansas. The evaluation enabled the company to expand its welding and machining services to the Energy Coalition of Contractor’s Safety Program and to work with North Dakota Power Plant companies.
In an effort for continued improvement of its safety, health, and training programs, CMP invited NDOSH consultation project to re-visit its facility and conduct follow-up walkthroughs in 2000, 2002, and 2004.
During each visit, CMP made significant safety and health improvements that also enabled the company to reduce its accidents, injuries, and insurance costs. From 2000 to 2007, with assistance from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), On-site Consultation Program, CMP improved its safety programs to include:
• Driving Policy
• Accident Reporting
• Aisles and Walkways
• Emergency Action Plan
• Ladder and Stairways
• Machine Guarding
• Near Miss Reporting
• Power and Hand Tools
• New Employee Safety Checklist
• Supervisor/Management Accident Investigation
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.
In 2008, NDOSH program manager suggested that CMP apply for OSHA’s Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP). SHARP recognizes small business employers who have used OSHA 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 amongst its business peers as a model for workplace safety and health.
During the SHARP application process, NDOSH consultants conducted a comprehensive safety and health survey of CMP’s facilities. The comprehensive visit included a walkthrough, air sampling, and review of OSHA Recordkeeping, Safety Training Program, Experience Modification Rates, Total Recordable Case Rates (TRC), and Days Away, Restricted, and/or Transfer Rate (DART).
The results of the full-service safety and health visit indicated no serious hazards were identified. Additionally, CMP’s 3-year average TRC rate of 3.3 and DART rate of 0.0 were well below its industry’s national average. For 2013, 2014, and 2015, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the national averages for NAICS 332999 were TRC rate of 7.1, 5.3, and 5.0; and the DART rates were 3.9, 2.4, and 2.6. The industry’s 3-year national average for this period was TRC rate of 5.8 and DART rate of 3.0.
On November 18, 2008, CMP’s hard work paid off when it became the 13th company in North Dakota to earn OSHA’s SHARP designation.
Since its inclusion in SHARP, CMP has maintained its status as a SHARP participant with renewals in 2010, 2014, and December 20, 2016.
The results of each SHARP application review demonstrated the company’s robust commitment to safety and health, as they successfully achieved renewal status, allowing them to be exempt from any OSHA programmed inspections for 8 consecutive years.
“Just because CMP has been exempt from OSHA regulatory inspections, does not mean we have slacked off on workplace safety and health,” said Dan Valdez, CMP general manager and safety director. “In fact, we have taken our safety and health program more seriously and continue to make improvements to reduce accidents and injuries. Bottom line, our machinist and welders work in a highly dangerous industry. In the beginning, our company experienced some serious challenges with accidents and injuries. We believe in the last 10 years our efforts have virtually eliminated any serious accidents and injuries. Furthermore, our Experience Modification Rate has been as high as 1.45; today, we’re at an all-time low of 0.81.