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From ‘Sufficient’ to SHARP: Neptune Research, Inc. Earns First SHARP Award for Enhancing Safety and Health Management System

Neptune Research, Inc. (NRI), a manufacturing facility that specializes in the research, development and production of moisture-curable composites for pipes, pipelines and civil structures, recently received a SHARP award from USF SafetyFlorida. This is the Lake Park-based company’s first SHARP designation.

Neptune Research, Inc. 2012 SHARP

NRI staff members stand with the SHARP flag they received in June. This is the company's first SHARP award from OSHA.

NRI employs 34 workers and has been in business for more than 30 years. The company first learned about USF SafetyFlorida while visiting OSHA’s website. “We knew we had built a rock-solid safety culture—zero accidents--and (OSHA’s) on-site consultation program seemed like the perfect opportunity to showcase our facility and also to utilize the expertise of USF SafetyFlorida’s consultants, who are provided to employers at no cost,” says Michael Ryan, controller.

USF SafetyFlorida’s Jessica Bohan consulted with the firm in November last year. During her visit, she noticed the company had no personal protective equipment (PPE) or job hazard analysis written programs. She recommended that USF SafetyFlorida industrial hygienist Dr. Luis Pieretti perform an air sampling analysis to ensure levels were below OSHA’s requirements, and also suggested that employees be trained on its site-specific hazard communication programs. These suggestions resulted in the company developing required written safety programs, formalizing safety training, and updating all forms and procedures. “We moved away from making sure our safety programs are ‘legally’ sufficient to making sure our programs are educational, timely and actionable by our employees,” says Ryan.

For NRI, the on-site consultation process has been successful on a variety of levels. “Employees realize that management values their safety and welfare above all else,” says Ryan. The factory has benefited, too. A recent re-engineering has increased its lean capabilities, and it also has the most up-to-date and proper safety features available.

Ryan adds that Bohan and Pieretti are professional and knowledgeable. “They really cared about assisting our company with our safety needs.”

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.