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Rudolph Brothers and Company Earns Perfect Safety Scores

Rudolph Brothers and Company
Rudolph Brothers and Company
Several years ago, after two unannounced inspection visits by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) within a two-week period, the Rudolph Brothers and Company of Canal Winchester, Ohio, seized the opportunity to make some company culture altering changes. Although this specialty formulated chemical products distributor was not cited in either OSHA visit, these visits led to the decision to make some changes.

Bill Coontz, Operations Manager for the family-owned, small business with nearly 30 employees, reported while Rudolph Brothers tries to set the standard and be a trend setter in the specialty adhesive and chemicals industry, our largest motivation was to make sure our employees are safe and able to return home to their families. The results of their changes were astonishing.

With the assistance of Keith Bullock, a Safety Consultant with the Ohio On-site Consultation Program, a free, confidential and voluntary occupational safety and health assistance program available to small businesses, Rudolph Brothers decided to apply for the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP). On March 17, 2006 Rudolph Brothers and Company became the fifth business in Ohio to earn the SHARP Award. This distinction is more than a title; Ohio’s SHARP provides incentives that include deletion from routine programmed inspections for a period of time. And on August 9, 2007, Rudolph Brothers and Company’s SHARP status was renewed for a period of two years.

Bill Coontz reported that the company took the input, suggestions and recommendations provided by the Ohio On-Site Consultation Program and changed every aspect of the company: the culture, the people, the process and the structure. Safety committees were formed for both managers and non-managers. Classes and seminars empowered every single employee to become responsible for their own and others’ safety. Safety awareness became everyone’s business.

Rick Rudolph, co-owner of Rudolph Brothers and Company along with his brother, Kevin, said, "It’s amazing to see how all our employees came together as a team to address our safety issues."

Employees returning home safely to their families was the motivation, and Rudolph Brothers and Company’s safety statistics are proof they met their goal. In 2006, when the industry standard for Days Away, Released and Transfer (DART) was 3.7, Rudolph Brothers’ score was 0.0. And while the industry’s Total Recordable Case (TRC) rate in 2006 was 5.6, Rudolph Brothers and Company again had a perfect score ― 0 recordables for 2006 and 2007.

Rudolph Brothers and Company’s results make a classic, text-book business case for improving health and safety management systems. In 2005, $161,402 was spent in worker’s compensation claims; however in 2006 and 2007, not a single dollar was spent in worker’s compensation claims. The money not spent in worker’s compensation claims in 2006 and 2007 contributed significantly to Rudolph Brothers and Company’s profit margin.

At the SHARP recognition ceremony, Tina Kielmeyer, Interim Administrator for the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation said, "Safety is an investment into the community. Workers compensation is a complicated business, but Rudolph Brothers and Company has made it look easy."

Change is rarely easy. Rudolph Brothers and Company has shown it is worth the hard work for the investments and rewards are great.