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April 22, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 22, 2013
Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009
Bridge repair worksite serves as industry model
AUGUSTA—Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette has announced that the construction firm Reed & Reed has earned the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program Award (SHARP) for the Sewall’s Bridge project in York.
“This certification recognizes businesses that voluntary undertake a rigorous safety achievement program,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “I commend Reed & Reed for making this commitment to keep Maine workers safe on this state-funded project.”
The presentation of the award is scheduled for April 23 at noon. Officials from the Department of Labor will attend the presentation.
Employers earn SHARP recognition by operating their facility under exemplary safety and health management standards. Acceptance into SHARP by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recognizes each business as a model for worksite safety and health standards. Reed & Reed’s bridge repair is a construction worksite and falls under Maine’s construction pilot SHARP program. These are one-year awards that can be renewed for additional one-year periods provided appropriate safety standards are maintained.
“We congratulate Reed & Reed and our other 55 SHARP locations for becoming SHARP certified,” Paquette said.
“Companies that achieve SHARP status demonstrate that focusing on worker safety is of utmost importance,” she explained. “They understand that practicing safety is good practice for workers and the bottom line. Better safety means less lost time due to injury and illness as well as lower worker's comp costs.”
To qualify for SHARP, companies must undergo a comprehensive audit, correct all hazards identified during an onsite health and safety consultation, demonstrate that effective safety and health programs are in place and maintain injury rates below the industry average for the last year of completed data. After awarding the SHARP designation, OSHA removes the worksite from its general scheduled inspection list for two years. If the company continues to meet all conditions of the program, the SHARP designation may be renewed for another two years.
Fewer than 2,000 worksites in the United States have earned SHARP certification.
Employers interested in learning more about the SHARP designation should contact SafetyWorks! at 1-877-SAFE 345 (1-877-723-3345) or http://www.safetyworksmaine.com . SafetyWorks! provides a trained consultant with industry-specific expertise who will review the facility by appointment. The consultation may include such elements as recognizing safety hazards, sampling for air and noise exposures, recommending ways to reduce or to eliminate hazards, developing or improving a safety program, complying with federal OSHA regulations and identifying training needs.
SafetyWorks! is not OSHA and cannot issue fines or citations to private businesses. While SafetyWorks! helps businesses of any size, priority is given to small businesses. The program trains about 8,000 people and consults at nearly 1,000 worksites in Maine each year.