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'Everyone Wins’: Control Micro Systems Sees Improvement in Safety Culture, Earns First SHARP Award

Control Micro Systems recently received a SHARP award from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and USF SafetyFlorida. The custom laser marking manufacturer is based in Winter Park and employs 50 workers. This is the company’s first SHARP recognition.

Control Micro Systems

Control Micro Systems displays its OSHA SHARP flag in its warehouse as a reminder of the company's commitment to workplace safety.

After receiving a letter from OSHA about its above average injury and illness rates, Control Micro Systems contacted USF SafetyFlorida in April 2012. Mark Leon, a safety and health consultant with USF SafetyFlorida, worked with the company on how to enhance its existing safety and health management system. During Leon’s initial visit, he identified workplace hazards that ranged from not having a documented emergency action plan and adequate fire extinguisher inspections to lacking proper forklift training, electrical panel labeling and hazard assessments for each work area.

The company was swift in correcting deficient areas and even took additional measures, such as purchasing equipment and training all personnel. Art Almquist, mechanical engineering manager, says today’s work environment is better. “Employees have more input on safety and hazard reporting to help management eliminate danger before it can result in an industrial accident,” he says. “We have an improved culture of safety with more workers directly involved in safety discussions and training.” Mark Leon adds that company efforts have made a significant difference in reducing the number of work-related incidents since 2010.

With a once higher than average Days Away, Restricted or Transferred (DART) rate dropping from 3.0 in 2010 to zero, Almquist says the company has had no accidents in the past 12 months. “Our DART rate has been effectively reduced, and as a result we benefit from reduced insurance premiums,” he says. “The program is a great help in diffusing company management anxiety regarding OSHA compliance and boosting worker proactive awareness of safety so that everyone wins.”

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.