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This newsletter highlights events and programs offered through the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

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Anova creates better work enviornment, saves money with SHARP

Anova creates better work enviornment, saves money with SHARPSt. Louis-based site furniture manufacturer Anova found membership in Missouri’s Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) not only created a better work environment, but also saved the company money.

“With no accidents, your insurance premiums are better,” Anova Plant Manager Mike Carter said. “People are here working instead of being out sick. It definitely helps the bottom line.”

SHARP is designed to honor small businesses that operate effective safety and health management programs. Businesses seeking membership in the program begin by working with the Missouri On-Site Safety and Health Consultation Program.

The On-Site Safety and Health Consultation Program is designed for businesses in high hazard industries. During the consultation, there is a mock OSHA-type inspection. The results of this inspection are confidential and are not shared with OSHA. The findings are meant to help identify and correct hazards without imposing costly fines, resulting in safer workplaces for employees and better bottom lines for the company.

According to Carter, participation in the On-Site Program with a goal of achieving SHARP status helped take Anova’s safety practices “to the next level.”

“If there are hazards out there that you didn’t see or someone else didn’t see, they (On-Site inspectors) generally catch those, and they are fixed,” Carter explained. “Then, they are put into your inspection so things don’t go back to the way they were.”

Anova had its first On-Site inspection in May 2013, and quickly gained SHARP status just four months later. In that short time, Carter noted a shift in employee morale.

“People are happier to come to work,” he said. “People like coming to a nice, clean, safe place to work.”

In addition to the uplifted mood, Carter said the recognition also gives Anova employees a source of pride because without their dedication to safety, membership in SHARP would not be possible.

The program has been so beneficial to Anova, the company established maintenance of its SHARP membership in its official manufacturing goals.

“You can’t beat it,” Carter said. “It can save you a lot of money and make your workplace safer.”

To qualify for SHARP, a business must have 250 employees or less at one location and less than 500 employees corporation wide.

If you are interested in taking the first steps toward becoming a SHARP company or would like assistance making your company a safer place to work, call 573-522-SAFE or complete the online application to schedule an On-Site Safety and Health consultation.

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Missouri Workers Feel the Heat

Missouri Workers Feel the HeatFor most Missourians, summer means backyard barbecues, time on the lake and baseball, but for the thousands of workers who spend their days outdoors, the summer sun and humidity are not all fun and games.

“Heat-related illnesses can be fatal, and employers are responsible for keeping workers safe,” said Marcia Drumm, OSHA’s regional administrator in Kansas City, Mo. “Employers can take a few easy steps to save lives, including scheduling frequent water breaks, providing shade and allowing ample time to rest.”

Two Missouri workers have died in the past five years because of heat-related illnesses.

Heat-related illnesses may be less serious like heat fatigue and heat rash as well as serious medical conditions like heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Always seek emergency medical care if a co-worker shows signs of heat stroke. This includes confusion, fainting, seizures, high body temperature and hot, dry skin or profuse sweating.

Signs of heat exhaustion include headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, thirst and heavy sweating. If you suspect a co-worker is experiencing heat exhaustion or another heat-related illness, alert your supervisor immediately. First aid procedures should include moving this person to a shaded or cooler area, loosening clothing, drinking water a little at a time and cooling with ice packs or cool water.

The good news about heat-related illnesses is they are preventable. To keep yourself, your co-workers and your employees safe from the heat this summer:

  • Drink water every 15 minutes, even if you are not thirsty.
  • Rest in the shade to cool down.
  • Wear a hat and light-colored clothing.
  • Learn the signs of heat-related illness and what to do in an emergency.
  • Keep an eye on fellow workers.

It is also important to note that employees on their first days of work in the heat will be especially susceptible to heat-related illnesses. Workers must have time to acclimate to the heat and build up a tolerance. Many people seriously injured or who lost their lives due to heat stress were either new to working in the heat or just returning from a break. If a worker has not worked in hot weather for a week or more, their body needs time to adjust.

For employers and workers looking for additional information, OSHA launched a new, free smartphone app called the Heat Safety Tool. The app sends reminders when it’s too hot to work and when it’s time to take a break and is available on iTunes or Google Play.

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MCHR Diversity Spotlight - All People/Freedom (July 4th)

MCHR Diversity Spotlight - All People/Freedom (July 4th)The month of July marks the birthday of our Nation, and is a time to celebrate the rights and liberties enjoyed by all people of this great land.

In June 1776, following persistent conflict between the thirteen colonies and Great Britain, the Second Continental Congress convened with the laudable objective of exerting colonial sovereignty. This conference would eventually produce the Declaration of Independence, officially adopted July 4, 1776 and first established as a holiday in 1870.

The document specifically notes individual rights and freedoms, declaring, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Although not all individuals were effectively included in the application and protection of the rights outlined in the document, subsequent legislation would afford civil rights protection to previously non-covered individuals. As our Nation and the world evolves, so too does our understanding of the needs of Americans and world citizens to maintain and preserve the hard-fought freedoms for all.

In Missouri, civil rights are afforded protection through the Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA), which precludes adverse treatment based on a protected category in employment, places of public accommodation, or housing. The Missouri Commission on Human Rights is the state agency responsible for the enforcement of the MHRA, primarily through complaints filed by aggrieved parties and through education and outreach designed to prevent discrimination and foster mutual understanding.

If you believe you have been discriminated against because of any category protected under the MHRA, contact MCHR toll-free at (877) 781-4236 or take the quick assessment to determine if the MHRA applies to your situation.

Celebrate freedom with your fellow Missourians at events held throughout the state this July:

Western Missouri

  • Visit Lee’s Summit’s Missouri Town 1855, a historic antebellum Missouri village where 19th century lifestyle is brought to life through period-clad interpreters and original buildings, furnishings, and farm implements. Hours of operation are 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Call (816) 503-4860 or e-mail missouritown@jacksongov.org for more information.

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