Minnesota On-Site Consultation Program Helps Company Find Safety Success

Company: Ceramic Industrial Coatings

Location: Osseo, Minnesota

NAICS Code: 32551 - Paint and Related Chemical Manufacturing

Number of employees: 65

Ceramic Industrial Coatings’ management and employees at the SHARP ceremony in 2015.  The company received SHARP renewals in 2017 and 2019

Ceramic Industrial Coatings’ management and employees at the SHARP ceremony in 2015. The company received SHARP renewals in 2017 and 2019.

Ceramic Industrial Coatings, founded in 1961, manufactures coatings on a contract basis. Ceramic Industrial Coatings has two business units – wood coatings and contract manufacturing. Wood coatings develops, manufactures, and sells industrial wood coatings to cabinet and furniture manufacturing companies. Contract manufacturing makes and fills chemicals for a variety of companies, specializing in filling unique containers including one-ounce tubes, pouches, bottles, and cans. After attending an industry trade show, the company contacted Minnesota OSHA’s Workplace Safety Consultation (WSC) Program. Ceramic Industrial Coatings wanted to improve both worker safety and its safety and health programs.

In 2013, the WSC consultant performed an initial walkthrough at the contract manufacturing facility and identified several hazards including machine guarding, fall protection, and over-exposures to silica. As a result of the findings, the company installed safety rails, additional guarding, and provided hazard identification training. It changed processes and purchased new equipment to control silica exposures and developed a crystalline silica exposure control plan. Employee exposure to silica was controlled below OSHA’s Action Level. The company also implemented additional best practices such as the 6 Step Safety (6S) program for housekeeping, self-inspection checklists, daily safety talks, safety observation and incentive programs, and Job Hazard Analysis (JHA).

Ceramic Industrial Coatings received initial Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) approval in 2015, with renewals in 2017 and 2019. SHARP acknowledges small and medium-sized businesses that have used OSHA On-Site Consultation Program services and operate exemplary workplace safety and health programs. Small businesses that achieve SHARP status receive a deferral from OSHA or the State Plan programmed inspections for the period that the SHARP designation is valid. Acceptance of a worksite into SHARP is an achievement that identifies the employer as a model for occupational safety and health among its business peers.

The WSC consultants continue to provide an expert set of eyes that helped Ceramic Industrial Coatings maintain an injury and illness rate below industry averages. The Total Recordable Case Rate was reduced from a high of 6.7 in 2013, the year before the first consultation visit, to 3.3 in 2018. Workers’ compensation costs have also decreased significantly in the same time period.

“WSC consultants were helpful, knowledgeable, and positive while guiding us in the correction of hazards. It was a leap of faith to open our doors to OSHA. However, we are extremely glad we did and consider ours a much better company for having done so,” said Robert Laubscher, company president.

Companies interested in SHARP can contact their local OSHA On-Site Consultation program to discuss details and schedule an on-site safety and health evaluation. To locate the On-Site Consultation program nearest you, call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) or visit www.osha.gov/consultation.