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On-site Consultation and SHARP Program Make Accuform Manufacturing, Inc. ‘A Safer Place to Work’

Accuform Manufacturing, Inc. of Brooksville recently received a SHARP award from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and USF SafetyFlorida. This is the stock and custom safety identification products manufacturer’s first SHARP recognition, which is given to small to medium-sized employers with exemplary safety and health management practices. The company employs 300 workers. Its products are found worldwide, from an oil well on Alaska’s North Slope to a research facility in Antarctica.

Accuform Manufacturing, Inc.

Accuform Manufacturing staff members hold their SHARP flag during a presentation ceremony.

Accuform Manufacturing, Inc. requested its first on-site safety and health consultation from USF SafetyFlorida in October 2012. Chris Kingsley, safety director, was researching OSHA’s VPP program when he learned about USF SafetyFlorida, what it offers and the SHARP program. “I looked at the requirements for SHARP recognition and matched those up to the efforts we wanted to make to improve our safety and health programs,” said Kingsley. “I saw this as a perfect opportunity for us to improve our programs with the assistance and guidance of a recognized program with recognized professionals.” He also was attracted to how USF SafetyFlorida is a cost-effective, non-punitive, local service that nominates employers for OSHA recognition and inspection deferral status.

USF SafetyFlorida’s David Ashman performed an assessment of the company’s safety and health management system. Although hazards were discovered--an electrical panel box not being attached to a wall or having proper identification and missing safety data sheets--they were quickly corrected. Moreover, the hazards became an opportunity for employees to involve themselves in the correction process. As a result, the company developed a multi-faceted approach that now includes new procedures for insufficient safety practices and operations, an expanded hazard awareness program, increased safety training, and a decentralized the inspection and prevention process.

Today, safety training is a core component. “Since the first consultation, we now have a more extensive new employee orientation,” said Kingsley. “Before a prospective employee is able to assume their duties, they are fully indoctrinated in all aspects of our safety and health program, including hazard communication, evacuation, emergency response methods, first aid practices, fire extinguisher, eyewash station locations and procedures, use of their tools if applicable, and their role and responsibility in personal and peer safety.” He also said it is now easier for employees to be involved with its safety efforts: its safety committee has broader representation, and the safety director works directly with each manager.

Working with USF SafetyFlorida has “made us more aware of our safety and health practices and how they impact the worker,” said Kingsley. “It has made us a safer place to work and has given us some real direction in how to improve in that area every day.”

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.