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SHARP Award Creates ‘Pride in the Workforce’ for Eastern Metal Supply, Inc.

Eastern Metal Supply, Inc. (EMS) received a SHARP award in May from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and USF SafetyFlorida. This is the first time the Lakeland location has earned the SHARP recognition, which is given to small to medium-sized employers with exemplary safety and health management practices. The company, which distributes aluminum extrusions and sheet products throughout the U.S, is based in Lake Worth, Florida.

Eastern Metal Supply

Eastern Metal Supply, Inc. celebrates the SHARP award it received in May, 2013.

The Lakeland facility employs 31 workers. Other facilities are located in Alabama, Delaware, Missouri, North Carolina and Texas.

EMS requested an on-site consultation from USF SafetyFlorida in March 2013, after learning about the consultation program from its website. Mary Zawadecki, the company’s safety officer, said it had been working hard to keep its existing injury rates low.

USF SafetyFlorida advised EMS during its initial and follow-up visits. It was noted, that an exit sign and time-keeping plug needed replacing. Both items were quickly handled and corrected.

Since participating with USF SafetyFlorida, the Lakeland facility has shared its safety success with other EMS locations so they, too, can strive to reduce injuries. The facility reduced its days away, restricted or transferred rate (DART) from 7.7 in 2010 to 2.4 in 2012. The staff at the Lakeland facility now has an accident-free record of 431 work days without an injury.

Zawadecki says developing a SHARP-qualifying safety and health management system doesn’t happen without challenges. “It involves patience, management cooperation, and understanding and enforcing appropriate safety practices.” Working with USF SafetyFlorida has reinforced that safety is everyone’s job, she added. “We have pride in the workforce.”

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.