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Cable USA, LLC Earns First SHARP Award, Credits Teamwork as the Catalyst

Teamwork can make all the difference when it comes to implementing a successful safety and health management system. And for Cable USA, LLC of Naples, teamwork was a driving force for it to earn OSHA’s Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Award or SHARP.

The design and manufacturing company of high-temperature, custom-engineered wire and cable was struggling with its safety and health efforts in 2007. With incident rates increasing in frequency and severity, coupled with high workers’ compensation claims, the company decided to take action. It discovered the USF SafetyFlorida OSHA consultation program while researching voluntary consultation programs on the web. Furthermore, it hired a part-time safety manager in 2008 who used the SHARP self-assessment checklist to create a set of safety objectives. After two years of in-house proactive safety efforts, the company felt it was ready for its initial on-site consultation.

Cable USA OSHA SHARP Award_September 2011

USF SafetyFlorida’s Jim Ulseth and Dr. Luis Pieretti performed the initial visit and offered guidance as to how the company could correct hazardous areas, including a missing guard rail, proper labeling of electrical panels, monitoring air quality in the chemical storage and hazardous waste area, and providing a readily available MSDS of hazardous chemicals in the same storage area. Furthermore, employees who were not wearing proper hearing protection were re-trained so they would wear the protective devices.

After the initial consultation and report review by management and departmental group leaders, a key decision was made to place more safety empowerment in the hands of employees. Devin Brock, CableUSA’s, vice president of operations, says increased employee involvement was the business practice that changed the most after its consultation. While at first it took some convincing by management, the company’s employees quickly realized the positive benefits that can come from workplace safety. “The on-site consultation program has had a broad impact on Cable USA,” says Brock. “It has changed the culture of our organization to that of a team. The SHARP award could not have been achieved without a team effort, and when teamwork improves, productivity and quality improve as well.”

Productivity and quality weren’t the only improvements for the company. Since initiating a safety and health management system and working with USF SafetyFlorida, the team at Cable USA has reduced its TRC rate from 8.7 in 2007 to 2.8 in 2010. Its DART rate improved from 4.4 to zero during that same period. They also succeeded in dramatically reducing workers’ compensation claims by 89 percent, a significant savings that has helped the company’s bottom line during a difficult economy.