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

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Missouri barrel maker improves safety, saves money with On-site, SHARP

Missouri barrel maker improves safety, saves money with On-site, SHARPMcGinnis Wood Products in Crawford County became one of 39 Missouri employers recognized as a member of the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) in 2014  and has improved worker safety by participating in the On-Site Safety and Health Consultation Program for more than two decades.

“There are companies that you would pay a large amount of money to do what they (On-Site consultants) do, and this is free,” McGinnis Wood Products Vice President Jack McGinnis said. “I recommend the On-Site program to my friends. It’s invaluable to us.”

The 200 employees of this family-owned Cuba, Mo. facility face hazards posed by cutting equipment typically associated with saw mills everyday in helping create wine and whiskey barrels used throughout the world. McGinnis wants to keep those workers safe.

“When you come to work you have all your fingers,” McGinnis said. “We want you to go home with all your fingers.”

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.

SHARP honors 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.
In addition to providing recognition for committing to create a safe workplace, SHARP members are excluded from routine OSHA inspections, saving the business time and money in potential fines.

“It takes a lot of pressure off of us knowing that OSHA won’t come in here unless we do a couple of things,” McGinnis said.

According to McGinnis, the recognition is also a source of pride for employees, especially those who have been with the company since management set a goal to obtain SHARP membership.

“They are very proud that we have accomplished this, and we have this claim to fame that no one else in town has,” he said.

It’s a claim that McGinnis, its management and its employees earned by working diligently toward a goal, and it didn’t come without challenges. The barrel maker’s workforce is spread between five buildings, and McGinnis noted that the standards for SHARP recognition have become more ambitious than when McGinnis first participated in the On-Site program in the early 90s. He said the key to achieving SHARP status is commitment both to the program and to the safety of its workers.

To participate in 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 employers use SIDES to better unemployment responses

Missouri employers use SIDES to better unemployment responsesEmployers looking for a better way to respond to unemployment insurance information requests may find the tools they are looking for in the State Information Data Exchange System (SIDES) E-Response.

SIDES E-Response eliminates paperwork by allowing employers to provide separation information online, attach documentation if needed and receive a date-stamped confirmation of receipt.

Using SIDES also reduces follow-up calls for additional information, saving employers valuable time because the information is collected in a standardized format.
Using SIDES E-Response is completely free for employers and third-party administrators.

To log in to SIDES E-Response and respond to a request for separation information, you need your Federal Employer Identification Number, 14-digit State Employer Identification Number and Personal Identification Number of Access Code located on the mailed Notice of Claim form.

To learn more or log in to SIDES, visit


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MCHR Diversity Spotlight - National Hispanic Heritage Month

MCHR Diversity Spotlight - National Hispanic Heritage MonthThe contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans are recognized annually during National Hispanic Heritage Month, from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. President Lyndon Johnson first declared Hispanic Heritage Week in September 1968, and, in 1988, Congress authorized President George H.W. Bush to proclaim the days between Sept. 15 and Oct. 15 as a national month of celebration of the cultures and traditions of Hispanic Americans.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are approximately 54 million people of Hispanic origin living in the United States as of 2013, making individuals of Hispanic origin the largest ethnic minority group. To be of Hispanic origin does not require one to be from Spain, Mexico, or Latin America; many Hispanic people hail from European countries, India, and Africa as well. In 2012, it was estimated that more than 38.3 million U.S. residents spoke Spanish at home, constituting 13 percent of all persons ages five and older.

Beginning with Ponce de Leon’s exploration of Florida in 1513, contributions by Hispanic and Latino residents of the United States are numerous. In 2007, there were 2.3 million Hispanic-owned businesses in America, generating revenues of nearly $350 billion. More than one million Hispanics or Latinos are veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. The first admiral of the United States Navy was David Glasgow Farragut, a Hispanic who played a vital role in the conclusion of the Civil War.

Luis Alvarez, a professor at the University of California at Berkley, won the Nobel Prize in 1968 for his work on subatomic particles, and MIT’s Mario Molina won the award in chemistry in 1995 for his research on chlorofluorocarbons and damage to the ozone layer. The first female Surgeon General of the United States was of Hispanic origin, Dr. Antonia Novello. Cesar Chavez, a Hispanic farm laborer, civil rights activist, and American labor leader, co-founded the National Farm Workers Association with Delores Huerta; this ground-breaking organization later became United Farm Workers (UFW).

Artistic and musical accomplishments over the past several decades range from the works of Marisol, a contemporary sculptor with pieces on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, to international pop sensation Jennifer Lopez, born in The Bronx, New York, to Puerto Rican parents in 1969. Other famous Hispanic contributors include actors Desi Arnaz, Rita Hayworth (born Margarita Carmen Cansino), and Andy Garcia; singers Joan Baez, Ritchie Valens, and Christina Aguilera.

Among the nine justices of the United States Supreme Court is Justice Sonia Sotomayor, a Latina.

Visit our Diversity Events page to find events around Missouri celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month.


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