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