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Aluma Tower Company’s Lost Work Days Plummet Thanks to Better Safety Efforts, SHARP Program

Aluma Tower Company, Inc. of Vero Beach had two manufacturing facilities recently receive OSHA’s SHARP recognition. The worksites are within blocks from one another on Old Dixie Highway and have a combined staff of 26 employees. For one of the facilities, this is the company’s third SHARP renewal. It is the first SHARP award for a newer facility that opened in 2010.

Aluma Tower Company_SHARP 2012

Aluma Tower Company's two facilities recently earned SHARP recogntions.

The manufacturer of portable, lightweight aluminum towers and mobile command centers has a worldwide customer base. Its towers are used on mountain tops and in hurricane relief areas and for everything from disaster recovery and data collection efforts, to HAM radio, military communications and meteorological purposes.

The company obtained its first SHARP award in 2003 under previous management. The award lapsed, however, when back-to-back Hurricanes Francis and Jeanne caused significant damage to the facilities in 2004. Once a new management team came to the company, it again requested USF SafetyFlorida’s on-site consultation services as a renewed effort to obtain SHARP status. Craig Davis, safety director, says the proactive process was so employees could understand the importance of safety to the company and to instill employee pride in their safety accomplishments.

Safety consultant Jessica Bohan has been working with Aluma Tower for the past six years. While some hazards were identified during its most recent renewal process, Bohan’s guidance to Davis and his team helped correct lock-out/tag-out procedures, machine guarding and electrical hazards. The company also implemented new safety procedures, such as tool box talks, weekly inspections, employee training, accident investigation, vendor demonstrations for PPE and more.

Davis says working with USF SafetyFlorida has had a positive impact. “It ignites a spark for each employee to take the initiative to resolve any small or large issue right away, so that the accomplishment of achieving the SHARP recognition does not become jeopardized,” he says.

The numbers prove the on-site consultation process and SHARP award are valuable. Prior to the company’s first visit in 2006, it had experienced both a Total Recordable Case (TRC) rate and a Days Away, Restricted or Transferred rate of 26.67. In 2011, those same figures dropped to 3.45. Today, employees are “more conscientious of their surroundings and the safety of not only themselves but others as well,” says Davis. He also adds that they fly the SHARP flag inside the shop to keep safety at the forefront of everyone’s minds and to remind employees of how proud they should be of their accomplishments.

OSHA’s SHARP award is given to small businesses with less than 500 employees that demonstrate exemplary workplace safety and health practices. USF SafetyFlorida recommends employers to OSHA that meet SHARP criteria. To qualify, the employer must request an on-site consultation, involve employees in workplace safety and health, correct any hazards identified during the consultation process, and maintain an injury and illness rate lower than its industry average. To learn more about the SHARP program or to request an on-site consultation, visit www.usfsafetyflorida.com.