Alaska Laser Wash Earns SHARP Recognition
Company: Alaska Laser Wash
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
NAICS Code: 811192 - Car Washes
Richard Jenkins – Attendant, standing with the SHARP certificate and flag
Alaska Laser Wash was the first car wash company to bring touchless and 24-hour car washing to Alaska in 1997. The company has seven Anchorage locations, each featuring three wash options, free vacuuming, and a vending machine. As part of the company’s commitment to provide excellent customer service and a safe work environment for its employees, the company learned of OSHA On-Site Consultation. This prompted the company to start improving its safety and health program and to have a comprehensive assessment performed at each of its facilities. At the company’s request, the Alaska Occupational Safety and Health (AKOSH) On-Site Consultation program made their initial visits in July of 2018.
During the visits, hazards were identified such as a damaged lighting system and incorrect usage of portable pneumatic tools. Additional training needed to be implemented. The company informed the employees of the hazards and took immediate steps to abate. The items were locked-out from use according to company policy and were replaced as soon as possible. Once the hazards were corrected, all employees were informed and educated on the hazard identification process.
Though their work with On-Site Consultation, the company developed comprehensive safety procedures that are implemented and practiced on a daily basis. These procedures include:
- reviewing all safety programs at least annually or whenever needed;
- providing new hire and annual refresher training to all employees, regardless of status; and
- providing supervisory training on communication skills, accident investigation procedures, and company disciplinary policies.
In addition, the company performs its own internal safety inspections, documenting hazards for correction. Job hazard analysis (JHAs) are performed and findings conveyed to the employees to bring attention to hazards not normally associated with daily tasks. Employees are trained in accordance with these finding and any additional personal protective equipment (PPE) needed to correctly perform tasks is purchased. An accident reporting and investigation process is in place and championed by management. Management of change (MOC) and process hazard analysis (PHA) assessments are performed when new equipment or chemicals are purchased and the corresponding training is supplied to all employees. The leadership team has shown its commitment to provide continual training to help ensure a safe work environment.
On August 29, 2019, five Alaska Laser Wash facilities were accepted into the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP). 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.
This prestigious recognition earned them a congratulatory letter from the Alaska Department of Labor Commissioner, Dr. Tamika Ledbetter, who stated, “Your SHARP approval shows the strength of your commitment to having a safe and healthy workplace. Your ongoing work to continually improve your safety and health program demonstrates this commitment. You are a role model for others.”
Joseph Knowles, Director of Labor Standards and Safety, presided at an on-site recognition ceremony culminating in the presentation of the SHARP certificate and flag to Alaska Laser Wash’s managers and staff on August 28, 2020.
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.