Dunmore, PA-based McGregor Industries, Inc., operates a small business that fabricates, delivers, and installs light structural and other metal products for buildings, artistic projects, and anything requiring the cutting, bending, welding, and finishing of metal.
During an inspection by the Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Area Office, McGregor officials became interested in a program to boost its safety presence.
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.
After an audit revealed some complacency cropping up in the company’s day-to-day operations, McGregor Industries, a union facility, reached out to PA Consultation for assistance. While undergoing an assessment of the various elements of their integrated safety and health management system, the company realized there were areas for improvement in their practices. During the facility walk around, the PA Consultation consultant identified hazards and items that did not conform to OSHA requirements. In one case, 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.
All of the hazards and nonconformances identified during the consultant’s visits ended up corrected. During McGregor’s period with PA Consultation, the company addressed the identified safety and health hazards and documentation areas of concern. With the financial assistance of their Worker’s Compensation Insurance Carrier, McGregor was able to provide existing employees more comprehensive training to include hazard identification and control.
After the hazard corrections and other improvements, PA OSHA Consultants recommended 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 amongst its business peers as a model for workplace safety and health.
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, which was founded in 1919, 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.