John Elway Automobile Dealerships Take Their Safety Programs to the Next Level and Earn OSHA SHARP Recognition
Company: John Elway Chevrolet | John Elway Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram
Location: Englewood, Colorado
Industry: Automobile Dealership
NAICS Code: NAICS 441110
John Elway Chevrolet, in Englewood, Colorado, and John Elway Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram in Greeley, Colorado, are comprehensive automotive dealerships with new and used car sales, parts and services, and collision repair (Chevrolet). The dealerships contacted OSHA’s On-site Consultation Program in 2014 for assistance in “taking their safety programs to the next level.” Management learned about the On-site Consultation Program during an industry seminar.
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. In Colorado, consultation services are provided through Colorado State University.
During the initial 2014 consultation visits, the dealerships did not meet the criteria to qualify for OSHA’s Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) certification. 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. Safety and health hazards identified during the initial site visits involved ventilation in the paint booths and flammable recycling, personal protective equipment, crane and jack stand inspections, machine guarding, electrical components, exit signage, and periodic inspections.
At the time, both dealerships entered into an eighteen (18) month Pre-SHARP term to address the deficiencies in their safety and health systems. During the Pre-SHARP period, the dealerships developed a “manager’s safety manual” to increase management awareness of safety and health programs and escalated their accountability within the safety and health systems at the dealerships. The safety committees learned more about hazard identification and inspections – both daily and periodic. They enhanced their required written programs and employee training. The dealerships incorporated workplace violence procedures in their emergency action plans. Employees became more involved with their safety, and managers became more responsive to employee’s input regarding safety and health. The ventilation systems in the paint booths received major upgrades. The new truck repair shop was built with a state-of-the-art exhaust ventilation system. Carbon monoxide detectors and alarms were installed in the service shops. Certain pieces of equipment were put on periodic inspections. Flammable containers were bonded and grounded. Electrical issues were addressed.
In early 2016, consultants re-visited the dealerships to proceed with SHARP certification at the conclusion of their Pre-SHARP terms, and no health hazards were identified. The only safety hazards identified were related to emergency exit door signage, clearance around two electrical panels, intended and installed use of electrical components, and guarding on head pulley. The consultants observed a significant improvement in employee involvement within the safety and health systems. Employees were able to verbally describe hazards and to explain hazard controls and hazard reporting procedures. Managers were much more engaged in the safety and health system in their respective departments.
During the process of earning SHARP certification, these dealerships experienced decreases in key safety indicators. Their experience modifier rate (EMR) dropped 11%, the number of recordable injuries decreased by 80%, total recordable case (TRC) rate dropped 80% and 43% respectively, and the dealerships experienced a 20% reduction in their workers’ compensation premium.
John Elway Chevrolet’s and John Elway Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram’s dedication to protecting workers and establishing safety cultures was rewarded in March 2016 when the dealerships were accepted into OSHA's SHARP. Acceptance into SHARP from OSHA is an achievement of status that singles out or distinguishes a company among its business peers as a model for workplace safety and health. SHARP worksites are exempt from programmed enforcement inspections while certification is valid. See OSHA's Small Business webpage for more information on SHARP and other small business resources.