The Westmoor Club, a private club on Nantucket Island, worked with the Massachusetts On-site Consultation Program to enhance its workplace safety and health program. Since the initial Consultation visit, the club has had no OSHA recordable workplace fatalities, injuries, or illnesses.
The Westmoor Club is a private club that opened in 2005 on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts. The club features a clubhouse (originally built in 1917 as a summer home for Alice Vanderbilt and restored in 2005), a fitness center and spa, Olympic-sized pool, 11 tennis courts, croquet court, and many other amenities on its 12-acre property.
Brent Tartamella, the club's general manager and a certified club manager (CCM), wanted the club to be proactive in addressing the safety and health of its employees, members, and visitors. As part of his efforts, he contacted the Massachusetts On-site Consultation Program to help the club improve its safety and health program.
Mr. Tartamella first learned about the OSHA On-site Consultation Program while attending the Club Managers Association of America's (CMAA's) 78th Annual World Conference on Club Management on February 27 to March 3, 2005. OSHA participated in this event through its Alliance with CMAA (signed on September 16, 2003 and renewed on February 22, 2006 and October 17, 2007; concluded September 16, 2009) to promote safe and healthful working conditions for membership club employees. Mr. Tartamella received information about the On-Site Consultation Program at the OSHA and CMAA Alliance exhibit booth and at a conference session.
The OSHA On-site Consultation Program is a free and confidential service that small and medium-sized businesses can use to improve their safety performance. The program is largely funded by OSHA and delivered by state agencies. In Massachusetts, the program is administered by the Massachusetts Department of Labor's Division of Occupational Safety.
Consultants from the Massachusetts On-site Consultation Program visited the club in October 2005 and November 2006. During the initial visit, Joel Weddig, an industrial hygiene consultant, conducted a comprehensive occupational safety and health hazard identification survey. Mr. Weddig worked with club representatives to develop a written safety and health program. He also provided club representatives with programs for complying with OSHA's hazard communication and bloodborne pathogen standards, which he downloaded from the OSHA Web site. Those two programs are now part of the club's annual staff orientation given to all club employees.
In addition, during the facility walkthrough Mr. Weddig suggested a number of other ways that the club could improve its safety and health performance, including additional handrails and first-aid measures. He pointed out other potential safety hazards, such as poorly labeled electrical boxes and locations where new outlets should be installed instead of using extension cords. Mr. Tartamella praised the thoroughness of the hazard identification survey: "It's like cleaning house before you have visitors. The On-site Consultation staff's attention to detail helped us correct potential hazards that we might have overlooked."
As part of its enhanced safety and health program, the club provides training for its employees on various workplace safety and health issues, such as hazard communication, bloodborne pathogens, and first aid, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs). The club provides this training as part of its employee orientation program. In addition, the club holds weekly staff meetings during which safety issues are discussed.
Since the initial On-site Consultation visit in October 2005, the club has had no OSHA recordable workplace fatalities, injuries, or illnesses. According to Mr. Tartamella, the club has also had one of the best workers' compensation ratings in the industry.
In addition, Mr. Tartamella has observed that club members and staff appreciate the club's proactive approach to safety. This approach goes beyond workplace safety because over 60 staff, including many college students, live on the property during the club's season. The club is responsible for ensuring their safety 24 hours a day. According to Mr. Tartamella, providing staff and members with a safe environment has translated into good morale for employees and a more positive experience for members, which in turn has led to a more successful club.
"As a result of working with the On-site Consultation Program staff, our club was able to establish a culture of safety and health excellence right from the start," said Mr. Tartamella. "With the help of the wonderful program, we have created an environment that employees and members can be proud of. We strongly recommend that other clubs and small businesses take advantage of this free service. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it is an excellent way to limit workers' compensation and accident expenses."
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