Achieving SHARP certification (Safety and Health Recognition Program) is one of the most prestigious honors a small business can receive. SHARP recognizes small businesses that have used OSHA's consultation program and have shown they have operational excellence when it comes to safety.
Cambridge first heard of SHARP through MODOL and the Missouri On-Site Safety and Health Consultation. We are a culture that puts safety first so we became very interested in SHARP certification.
How Does a Business achieve SHARP certification?
Obtaining SHARP certification is a serious undertaking that requires dedication from internal staff and an investment of time and resources to achieve success.
To start, you can:
- Request a consultation visit that involves a complete hazard identification survey by calling 573-522-SAFE or filling out an On-Site Application
- Involve employees in the consultation process
- Correct all hazards identified by the consultant
- Implement and maintain a safety and health management system
- Agree to notify your state Consultation Project Office before making any working changes or introducing new hazards into the workplace.
Planning for success means planning for obstacles
When we decided to begin this journey, we knew it was not going to be accomplished quickly or with little effort. We needed to create new rhythms and routines, that we had previously had to some degree, but not to the precise levels of a SHARP-certified company.
This became evident in reviewing our job hazard analysis and training cadences. We had a steep learning curve when it came to creating new daily rhythms. This required consistent dedication from all employees and could not be completed by just a few individuals.
Overcoming the challenges of this journey are not an easy burden for any organization. However, we found that a continuous improvement mindset of making small, impactful changes that add up to big results does help make this goal feel achievable.
The requirement to involve employees in the consultation process is something that is well suited for the Cambridge culture. We are a culture that challenges our employees to fix what bugs them. We believe everyone is best qualified to resolve the issues within their work area. This translates over into safety. No one is better suited to identify safety hazards and find resolutions in a work area than the employee who works there daily.
Providing safe environments is above all else
Working to identify potential hazards before something dangerous happens is our responsibility as an employer of the 180 mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, sisters and brothers who go home to their families.
We are committed to achieving SHARP certification, because at the end of the day, we know that providing a safe and healthy working environment for our employees needs to be our number one focus.
Beyond intrinsic responsibility, a safe environment does impact the bottom line when each employee is able to fulfill their job duties without complication.
This journey can seem long and strenuous for an organization. We are still in the middle of our journey, but we are hopeful we will be able to achieve SHARP recognition by the end of the year.
Our last bit of advice to companies considering SHARP recognition: reach out to local labor and industrial relations teams. They will work with you and provide audits so you can become more aware of the hazards in your work environment. Furthermore, host employee-led safety meetings regularly. These meetings allow employees to voice their concerns and collaborate for resolutions.
Join us and ask us anything.
We commend any organization that wishes to start the path to SHARP certification. Join us for a tour to witness a culture that promotes continuous improvement and puts safety first. We would love to meet you.