May 1, 2014
For Immediate Release: May 1, 2014
Media Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009
Penobscot County businesses recognized for workplace safety
AUGUSTA—Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette announced that Somic America of Brewer and Howard Tool Company of Bangor have each earned the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program Award (SHARP) in recognition of each business’ rigorous safety achievement program.
Acceptance into SHARP by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recognizes each business as a model for worksite safety and health standards.
“Employers earn SHARP recognition by operating their facility under strict safety and health management standards,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “We congratulate these two businesses for earning SHARP certification. They demonstrate to their industry peers that making safety a priority pays off for everyone.”
On May 1, 2014, Pamela Taylor, director of the Bureau of Labor Standards of the Maine Department of Labor, presented a certificate and banner to the employees at each business.
Commissioner Paquette stated, “SHARP companies know that a safer facility is not only good for Maine workers, but also good for their businesses. Better safety means less lost time due to injury and illness as well as lower workers’ comp costs.”
Fewer than 2,000 worksites in the United States have earned SHARP certification. These awards bring Maine’s total to 68 SHARP worksites.
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.
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.