Cameron General Contractors Learn of OSHA'S Best Kept Secret: SHARP

Company: Cameron General Contractors

Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Employees: 3

NAICS Code: 236116, Residential Building Construction

SHARP Safety & Health Achievement Recognition Program Consultation: An OSHA Cooperative Program

Cameron General Contractors is now one of ten Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) employers in New Mexico. The company develops, designs, constructs, and manages independent living retirement projects throughout the United States. Cameron General Contractor was awarded its first SHARP certification on July 19, 2016, for their Coronado Villa construction site in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This program recognizes small business employers who have used OSHA's On-site Consultation Program services and operate an exemplary injury and illness prevention program. Acceptance into SHARP is an achievement of status that singles a company out among its business peers as a model for worksite safety and health. Vital elements of the program include management leadership and commitment, employee involvement, hazard analysis, hazard prevention and control programs, and comprehensive safety and health training. OSHA exempts worksites from programmed enforcement inspections during the period that the SHARP certification is valid.

Cameron General Contractors learned of the New Mexico Occupational Health and Safety Bureau, On-site Consultation Program, construction SHARP, and its excellent reputation through word-of-mouth. Mike Kerscher, the superintendent of the construction site, had a great experience with SHARP from a previous employer, and he shared the benefits of being SHARP certified with Cameron. He told the company that SHARP is "OSHA's best kept secret." Cameron wanted SHARP certification to improve their safety and health program, reduce hazards, and implement a positive safety culture among the sub-contractors working on the job site. During Cameron's initial safety and health consultation visit in November 2015, some basic hazards, which are commonly dealt with on construction sites, were identified. These hazards included electrical, equipment use, and scaffolding issues. After the visit, all the hazards identified were corrected immediately or shortly thereafter.

Mike worked with the New Mexico OSHA's safety and health consultants for almost seven months to improve Cameron's safety and health program and to prevent new hazards from emerging. Now, he is able to maintain a safe working environment by conducting regular walk-throughs to ensure sub-contractors maintain safe practices. According to Mike, it can be a challenge to maintain safety with the multiple sub-contractors that they supervise. Through SHARP, all seven sub-contractors were required to have an on-site consultation visit. Improvements gained through these visits make supervising the overall work environment more manageable.

OSHA's On-site Consultation Program offers free and confidential safety and occupational health advice to small and medium-sized businesses in all states across the country, with priority given to high-hazard worksites. On-site Consultation services are separate from enforcement and do not result in penalties or citations. Consultants from state agencies or universities work with employers to identify workplace hazards, provide advice on compliance with OSHA standards, and assist in establishing injury and illness prevention programs.

Additional information about OSHA's On-site Consultation Program and other small business resources is available at or 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).

Source: Mike Kerscher, Cameron General Contractor, Construction Site Superintendent