Mid-States Concrete Industries' plant has been formally awarded SHARP designation by the United States Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
The Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program is awarded to only the safest companies in our nation. The program recognizes small business employers who have used OSHA’s On-site Consultation Program services and operate an exemplary injury and illness prevention program. Acceptance into SHARP is an achievement of status that singles Mid-States out as a model for work site safety and health.
The vision statement of Mid-States Concrete is: We are going to change the world by being the safest and most innovative precast building company.
“We are actually doing what our vision wants us to do,” said Mike Wolff, vice president of safety and operations. “We are a (safety) model for our nation, through SHARP.”
Mid-States began its journey towards SHARP in 2010 after experiencing a major accident on site. Since joining the On-site Consultation Program, Mid-States has undergone one-to-two OSHA audits annually. It all started with learning the OSHA rules and training, training, training. The company now has an employee safety committee, union safety officers and trainers that help with safety. Now, the employees own it when it comes to safety.
“It truly has been a journey,” Wolff said. “It wasn’t something that happened overnight… and the journey doesn’t end.”
Although Mid-States is certified for two years, Wolff still plans to invite OSHA in to conduct safety audits. The company will need to continue to improve and implement safety programs to continue its SHARP designation.
While the plant is SHARP designated, Mid-States next step is getting its field installation SHARP certified. From there, the company will be aiming for VPP (Voluntary Protection Programs) status, which recognizes employers and workers in the private industry and federal agencies who have implemented effective safety and health management systems and maintain injury and illness rates below national Bureau of Labor Statistics averages for their respective industries.
Since partnering with OSHA, OSHA recordable incidents have dropped by about 80 percent at Mid-States. Plus, the company has seen a significant reduction in its workers compensation incidents. According to Wolff, “having a safe workplace does pay.”
“We do it because we care about our employees,” Wolff said. “We want them to go home in the same condition they arrived, every day.”
Mid-States joins only 34 other companies in Illinois to achieve such designation. Additionally, only seven companies in Wisconsin and eight companies in Iowa have achieved SHARP designation.