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Dedication, Commitment Help Portside Maintenance and Repair Earn First SHARP Recognition

Portside Maintenance and Repair of Jacksonville, a division of ICS Logistics' Coastal Maritime, earned its first SHARP award this year. The container, chassis and equipment repair company serves the maritime industry and employs seven workers on-site.

Portside Maintenance and Repair

Injuries from power tools, welding and forklifts are common in this line of work. Just three years ago, Portside had a TRC and DART rate of 34.1 and 8.5, respectively. The alarming rates caused the company to evaluate its internal processes, from housekeeping to work methods, and to see where improvements could be made. Senior management supported and encouraged the safety culture enhancements and, today, the company has maintained a zero DART rate for the last two years.

Portside's new Safety Coordinator Gustavo (Gus) Cagigas said their request to use OSHA's consultation services was a natural progression. Its "let's see if we can make it better" mindset led the company to working with USF SafetyFlorida's Keith Brown. While safety management representatives were a bit nervous during the initial walkthrough, they also looked forward to the consultation. "It's another set of eyes, a freshness, to take a look at what we've done," says Cagigas of the experience. In addition to reviewing the company's written safety policies, Brown made recommendations on issues that needed correcting, such as using permanently installed wiring instead of flexible electrical cords. Management hired an electrician for the job and Cagigas says, overall, the issues that needed attention "weren't as bad as we thought."

The SHARP award is a tangible reward that demonstrates the "fruits of our labor when it comes to safety," says Cagigas. Adds Robert Davis, foreman, "We're proud of this achievement; seeing where we were and where we are now." And what's next? Cagigas will work with USF SafetyFlorida again when Brown visits Coastal Maritime's other two divisions, Coastal Maritime Services and Coastal Maritime Stevedoring. As Cagigas states, it's important to get an outsider's perspective. "It can help you and even save one of your employee's lives."

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