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From day one, management at Electronic Systems Inc. (ESI), a manufacturer in Sioux Falls, ND, focused on safety, but it got a little help from its friends to push them into a SHARP safety focus.

ESI and its 170 employees is a full-service contract manufacturer of electronic assemblies, providing a full range of electronics manufacturing services to leading original equipment manufacturers.

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For over 35 years, ESI has worked with its customers to improve their product quality and costs, serving companies in the industrial, commercial, medical, energy, and HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) industries.

When ESI learned of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) On-site Consultation Program, administered by South Dakota State University (SDSU), the company jumped at the opportunity to use SDSU’s health and safety consultants to assist in its continual improvement efforts.

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Over the years, SDSU conducted safety audits and evaluated ESI’s policies and procedures, providing feedback and recommendations. The company used this feedback to facilitate improvements needed to provide a workplace free of recognized hazards to all of their workers.

In 2014, after several years of collaboration between SDSU and ESI, a plan came about to fine tune the company’s health and safety program with the goal of submitting an application for OSHA Safety and Health Recognition Program (SHARP).

SDSU conducted extensive audits of ESI’s health and safety program, identifying opportunities for improvements. Air quality and noise hazard auditing was conducted as well. As a result of these audits, improvements to the personal protective equipment program ended up implemented, and they enhanced the “near miss” accident reporting procedures.

The improvement in the overall health and safety program at ESI resulted in an 80 percent reduction in the total recordable case rate and a 100 percent reduction in its days away, restriction, and job transfer rate. ESI’s dedication to its employees’ health and safety ended up rewarded in 2015 when the company was accepted into SHARP.

Acceptance into OSHA’s SHARP distinguishes a company among its business peers as an exemplary model of workplace safety and health.

“ESI is proud to receive this recognition. Nevertheless, the management team understands that there is no end to ensuring workplace safety and health,” said ESI President Gary Larson. “It is a continual process, and ESI will continue to grow and improve with the help of its dedicated workers.”

The SHARP program offers free, confidential safety and health advice to small and medium-sized businesses with priority given to high-hazard worksites.

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