Employee safety at the Original Mattress Factory in Raleigh, NC, remains a top priority and it has taken its philosophy and started sharing it with other employers.
“To strive for excellence in all we do is very important and serves as the foundation for the company’s success,” said Reed Murphy, vice president at the firm that manufactures and distributes box springs and mattresses.
In addition, the company strives for continuous improvement and looks for ways to develop their safety programs and enhance the work environment.
It all started in 2009, when the company decided to take a proactive approach to safety.
That is when the Original Mattress Factory learned of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) On-site Consultation Program through North Carolina Department of Labor (NCDOL), Bureau for Consultative Services.
It didn’t start off easy as during the initial visit, a consultant identified miscellaneous electrical, training, and labeling issues. The company immediately corrected these hazards and implemented various training and safety programs.
A newly formed employee safety committee conducted weekly housekeeping and safety walks as a team and monthly safety inspections.
The company ended up accepted into the OSHA Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) in 2009 and continued to remain active in the program.
SHARP recognizes small business employers who use OSHA On-site Consultation Services and operate an exemplary injury and illness prevention program.
The Original Mattress Factory’s most recent renewal was in 2015.
“Becoming OSHA SHARP has helped the company achieve safety success that has become a part of our culture,” Murphy said.
In light of their long-term commitment to the program, the Raleigh factory now shares some of their success ideas with others.
One notable idea involves having daily morning warm-ups and stretches with the manufacturing and delivery employees as a team.
This daily morning routine helps reduce the number of repetitive motion and strain injuries typical of carrying heavy pieces of furniture, such as mattress and box springs.
This proactive approach to preventing strain injuries is a direct impact of working with NCDOL OSHA’s consultants over the years. In addition to preventing strain injuries, these warm-ups and stretches also strengthened the team spirit and improved their culture of employee safety and wellness.
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 with priority given to high-hazard worksites. On-site Consultation services are separate from enforcement and do not result in penalties or citations.