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.

 

 

There is likely a “Safety First” reference in every employee handbook in the United States. Every company wants to mitigate the chance that one of their own could get hurt or worse. While the work has been done to establish safe practices, the ability to translate a protocol into real-time, real-life risk reduction is often disconnected.

For us at Cambridge, while establishing safe practices by identifying and reducing risks have always been components of our training and day-to-day work, it is fair to say that we have not always effectively communicated the expectations to the entire organization – especially for those outside of operations. We are just now taking the steps to ensure that our protocols are communicatedunderstood and being practiced to truly make for a safe environment for the fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, husbands and wives that create our work community.

Identifying safety goals & our 2022 strategy

Our first step for improvement was to evaluate what we had in place and find opportunities for improvement in terms of the protocols themselves. 

In 2022, we are focusing on increased proactivity though job hazard analysis, identifying hazards as a metric and are working towards getting SHARP (Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program) certified. 

In terms of moving these strategies from paper to execution – it comes down to expectations. “Setting clear expectations from management about our priorities will help our employees understand what’s important and what our goals are. Employees who know that our organization values their health and safety are more productive. They can participate in the process to ensure we have a safe and efficient work environment” says Connor Lalonde, our Safety Coordinator at Cambridge. 

Educating through a six week internal communication campaign

As mentioned earlier, creating the safe procedures was generally the easy part for us. However, we had low recall and implementation among our employees. We needed to break it down to expected specific behaviors and translate the training to actionable items across departments.

Rather than a single intensive seminar, we decided to drip communication over half of a quarter could help with implementing and practicing learnings, and still leave room for mid-campaign questions and improvements.

Week One: Why safety is our highest priority at Cambridge

Week Two: Identifying the safe behaviors in our work areas

Week Three: Responding to safety incidents

Week Four: Our 2022 strategies for safety incident prevention

Week Five: Review of all the key concepts

Week Six: Close with a review and celebration of our safety culture

The design of the companywide communication was simple: each member of the organization tackled a weekly exercise with their team. To ensure proper guidance, people leaders were first introduced to the exercises with their own leaders and then would use that learning to help the team they manage through the same exercise.

To share learnings across teams, insight was shared via signage and in our daily morning meetings. The meeting emcees were also encouraged to share stories of incidents or “near misses” that help remind them why we are putting this work into being proactively safe.

What’s next?

Following the safety campaign Cambridge will celebrate with another key component of our culture: celebration. We will review the successes of the organization and ackowledge the advances we have made in workplace safety. 

This first companywide campaign kicks off the first of many internal campaigns Cambridge will work toward in this year, with later topics covering continuous improvement, quality, and leadership development. 

Join us for a morning meeting if you’d like more ideas on the daily habits of a safety and continuous improvement culture!

We applaud any leader's commitment to an improved work environment for their employees, and recognize the huge investment that this commitment can take. Since the heating, cooling and air quality of a building can play such a major factor in a happy and productive environment, we wanted to provide you with some simple mid-year maintenance tips to make sure your commercial and industrial HVAC systems are in check.  Below you can find some recommendations from Mike Bess, member of the Cambridge customer service team.

  1. Check the air filters.  Clean these filters if necessary because dirty filters will reduce CFM and could damage the discharge air sensor. 
  2. Grease the bearings.  The grease should be evenly distributed around the race; however, do not use the standard bearing grease in the Baldor motor.  This motor takes special grease that can be referred to in the technical manual.
  3. Check the belt tension and inspect for wear.  If the belt is too tight, it can  prematurely wear out the bearings and the belt.  If the belt is too loose it can slip or squeal.  
  4. Cycle the unit on and off in all modes of operation.  This ensures things are working per specifications.
  5. Check the discharge temperature.  Use a wired thermistor at the mixing box and calibrate the system if necessary.
  6. Inspect the control panels.  Look for any loose or frayed wire connections and make sure all connections are tight.  
  7. Check and clean the evaporator and condenser coils.  Dirty coils will drastically reduce cooling equipment efficiency and strain the compressor. 
  8. Perform a gas valve leak test.  This verifies the integrity of the valves.
  9. Verify that the manifold differential gas pressure matches the nameplate.  It is extremely important that this is set up properly.  If the manifold pressure is incorrect, the heater temp rises and its efficiency will be affected.  
  10. Inspect direct evaporative media (CELdek).  Ensure that there is proper water flow across the media. 
  11. Check the calibration of digital thermostats.  Press the up arrow and hold it; the display should show 0F.  If not, the calibration may have been adjusted to show a warmer or cooler temperature than desired.

We know you’re busy, and sometimes the easiest way to get direction on a service question or instructions on how to install can best be obtained by a quick “How-To” video. For that reason, we’ve compiled some service videos that you can view at your convenience that may help you with a Start Up or troubleshoot a problem you may be experiencing.

As always, our service team is happy to assist you with any questions you may have. Please call us at (888) 976-4451or email: cei_service@cambridgeair.com.

 

Temperatures are on the rise, and it's time to review safety protocols when it comes to overheating. Thanks to our Safety Coordinator, Conner LaLonde, for sharing these watch signs from the National Safety Council with our team this week!

HEAT RASH 

Look for: red inflammation of the skin. 

What to do: Remove unnecessary clothing. Do not apply creams or lotions as these could trap heat.

HEAT CRAMPS

Look for: painful muscle cramping or spasms. 

What to do: Remove worker from heat, provide water to sip, gently stretch muscle.

HEAT EXHAUSTION 

Look for: weakness, dizziness, nausea, headache, heavy sweating, clammy skin. 

What to do: Remove worker from heat, give up to one liter of water (unless they are vomiting). Cool worker with cold, wet cloths and fan.

HEAT STROKE 

Look for: Rapid pulse, no sweating, confusion or unconsciousness. 

What to do: Call for medical help immediately. Do not administer any liquids if unconscious.

This blog was guest-written by Conner LaLonde, M-Series Electrician. It is adapted from his intro given as the Morning Meeting Emcee.

Imagine you are running the length of a football field while a game of professional football players are playing. That’s a pretty intense and frightening scenario, right? Players who are two or three times your size, running and charging as fast and as hard as they can, all around you. They nearly collide into you and you can hardly dodge in time. You do your best to stay out of the way in order to make it to your destination. Now imagine doing the same thing, but this time you are blindfolded. Insane, right? We know that would be dangerous and crazy to attempt, in fear of almost certain serious bodily injury. So why are people still driving their cars while blinded by distractions like eating, doing make-up, or most commonly, their phones?

The results of a survey from The American Automobile Association (AAA) says that 84% of drivers recognize that distracted driving is dangerous, however, 36% of those people surveyed admit to using their phones while driving within the month prior to the survey.

A studies have shown that drivers distracted by a phone are as cognitively impaired as a driver with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08%. In other words, driving while your mind is on your device and not on the task of driving is similar to driving while intoxicated.

Composing, reading, or sending a text message or email takes your mind and eyes off the road for about five seconds. While traveling 55 miles per hour, a vehicle and its occupants cover an entire football field in about five seconds. You wouldn’t run through that football game blind, so why would you drive on the streets with your head and hands focused on anything else?

Be safe and don’t drive distracted.

Cambridge is on Day 2 of OSHA training, so safety practices and risks are top of mind. We’d like to believe that safety is always the top of everyone’s mind, but the reality is that there is definite room for improvement.

Ergonomics (er·go·nom·ics) according to OSHA:

Adapting tasks, work stations, tools, and equipment to fit the worker can help reduce physical stress on a worker’s body and eliminate many potentially serious, disabling work- related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). An often overlooked aspect of safety is the practice of stretching to enhance Ergonomics. This can involve the arrangement of equipment, which we address with continuous lean improvements, but also extends to the practice of how the work is done. Our shop workers are always bending over, lifting heavy equipment and pushing items into place. Our office workers generally experience the opposite- where they have minimal change of position. In both instances, our employees are at risk of injury and health problems.

Stretching at the Morning Meeting

To help us minimize this risk, we asked the help of the SSM Physical Therapy department to assess our risks and create a stretching program that we can implement at the beginning of every morning meeting. And we mean every morning. Though stretching may seem unnecessary as a way to start the work day, the practice has already shown not only to get our bodies adjusted to what they will be up for during the day, but also to break the ice for the day. There’s something about seeing the CFO  do the “lunge stretch” to remind us that we’re all in this together. People who come to visit Cambridge and experience the morning meeting often provide the feedback that they were surprised that everyone participated in the stretching exercises and that they wish their company could do something similar. We are including a quick video below of the program that we utilize (modeled by some limber Cambridge employees) so that you may realize that it’s not a huge undertaking, and that encouraging your employees to incorporate safe health habits within their workday is not only fun, but necessary for their safety. 

A few months ago - we realized that we were missing out on an instrumental LEAN Principle: continuously improving the safety of our best problem solvers (our employees). That said, we had been tracking safety issues and conducting Root Cause Analyses when needed, along with reporting at our morning meeting what had happened and what solution was being applied. But something was missing. Our employees identify LEAN opportunities and make videos to show to the company every day. Their ideas are so creative and effective, which, in turn, inspire others to think about how they could apply these and other ideas to their work station and processes. Naturally, some videos started to turn toward LEAN applications that were to help with SAFETY along with productivity - and a light bulb clicked. Once we realized that we had room for improvement, we started to encourage workers to consider what could make their work station and our community areas have a lesser chance of hazard for themselves and others. Some improvements are as simple as cleaning off an overhead shelf so that they couldn't possibly fall on somebody and some as complex as creating new processes with additional checkpoints. Below is a playlist of our LEAN SAFETY videos that we share in hopes that you might find something applicable at your company - whether that be the initiative in general or a specific idea. We are seeing new ideas every day, meaning Cambridge is becoming a safer work environment, and that is a win for everybody.