Quality Associates Inc., a consumer product packaging company contacted the North Carolina Department of Labor (NCDOL) On-site Consultation Program in 2008 for assistance in reducing injuries and illnesses at their worksite. NCDOL administers the OSHA On-site Consultation Program in North Carolina through grant funds largely provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA's On-site Consultation Program offers free and confidential safety and health advice to small and medium-sized businesses in all states across the country and several territories, with priority given to high-hazard worksites. The Program's primary goal is to identify workplace hazards, provide advice on complying with OSHA standards and assist in establishing a comprehensive safety and health management system. An effective safety and health management system has proven to be a decisive factor in reducing the extent, severity, and costs of work-related injuries and illnesses.
During the initial On-site Consultation visit in August 2008, the NCDOL Consultant identified hazards involving electrical wiring, storage of flammable equipment, inadequate maintenance of equipment and missing protective equipment. The NCDOL Consultant also provided guidance on critical elements of an effective safety and health management system, which includes management commitment and employee involvement; worksite analysis; hazard prevention and control; and training for employees, supervisors and managers.
Management at Quality Associates corrected each of the identified hazards and established daily safety audits to enhance their hazard identification efforts. Additionally, Quality Associates replaced outdated equipment, completed hazard evaluations on all equipment and job activities, and began holding daily company-wide conference calls where safety issues are addressed. As a result of these changes to their safety and health management system, Quality Associates was able to reduce workplace injury and illness rates by 80% from 2008 through 2012, resulting to a 22% reduction in their Workers Compensation Premium over the same time frame. In addition to these successes, Quality Associates was accepted into OSHA's Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) in February 2010. SHARP recognizes small businesses who operate an exemplary injury and illness prevention program. This SHARP approval was renewed in August 2012. Safety manager Nadine Case noted, "Thanks to the NC Department of Labor Consultative Services Program, we are sending our employees home every day the same way they reported to work... INJURY FREE."Back to Top
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