Vigilant Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law, HR, safety & workers' comp

May 04, 2021

Off the OSHA radar, but on target

Safety and Health 

Four years with no OSHA recordable injuries. Five years with no OSHA recordable injuries.

These are statements you don’t read often for fast-paced manufacturing production facilities in the Pacific Northwest. Why is this a rare thing and how did two Vigilant member companies do it?

Alta Forest Products’ facilities in Morton, Washington, and Naples, Idaho, decided years ago to start improving their Lockout/Tagout (hazardous energy control) program and haven’t looked back. Upper management dedicated resources to have new supervisors trained in a safety-focused leadership class through Vigilant as well as behavior-focused safety initiatives driven by supervisors and facilitated by the safety manager. On April 16, 2021, Alta Forest Products’ Morton and Naples locations reached four years without a recordable injury.

RedBuilt’s facility in Hillsboro, Oregon, decided to become certified under a leading Oregon OSHA workplace safety program: Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP). SHARP is a five-year program with specific benchmarks in safety and health management which instills procedures and work practices that exceed OSHA guidelines. RedBuilt also focuses on safe behaviors in daily, weekly, and monthly meetings where safety is always a topic of conversation. The manufacturing process across RedBuilt is labor-intensive, so the safety of their associates depends upon a strong behavioral-based safety culture. On April 6, 2021, RedBuilt’s Hillsboro location reached five years without a recordable injury.

The goal is to eliminate injuries by focusing on reducing hazards and unsafe behaviors that cause injuries. Prevention takes work and usually involves relationships, communication, observations, audits, meetings, positive and constructive feedback from supervisors to employees, accountability measures, and various other techniques that help to reduce and eliminate injuries from occurring in the first place. It’s a concerted effort that involves all hands on deck. It’s like setting the foundation for building a house by ensuring the concrete is dry before building on it. One thing in common with these two companies is that management fully supports the safety effort with their money, resources, staff, time, and most importantly, the care they show in word and deed to their employees. The difference? They go about it in different ways but end in the same place. Zero recordable injuries.

We are pleased to congratulate Alta Forest Products and RedBuilt for continually striving to focus on prevention rather than viewing injuries as an inevitable consequence of working in a manufacturing environment. These are examples of two caring cultures that dedicate their time and efforts to keep their employees safe. Well done!

This website presents general information in nontechnical language. This information is not legal advice. Before applying this information to a specific management decision, consult legal counsel.