Safety is at the Core of LifeCore’s Culture

Company: Lifecore Biomedical, Inc.

Location: Chaska and Chanhassen, Minnesota

NAICS Code: 325411- Medicinal and Botanical Manufacturing

Number of employees: Onsite-341 Controlled-459

Safety Committee holding MN SHARP banner
Safety Committee holding MN SHARP banner

Lifecore Biomedical is a fully integrated contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) focused on sterile, injectable-grade pharmaceutical drugs and medical device products. Since 1982, they have manufactured hyaluronic acid, a material used by pharmaceutical companies and medical researchers in research and development, toxicology studies, clinical studies, and commercial applications. With locations in Chaska and Chanhassan, Minnesota, Lifecore employs approximately 450 employees corporate-wide.

During a Minnesota OSHA (MNOSHA) enforcement inspection, Lifecore leadership learned about the Minnesota Workplace Safety Consultation (WSC) program. Lifecore decided to invite Consultation to its facilities in 2003 as it believed that the creation of a robust safety and health management system was in the best interest of employees and business operations.

Lifecore implemented several improvements following the initial consultation visits, including routine department safety audits to increase employee ownership, a comprehensive safety on-boarding process for new hires, and team-based incident and near-miss investigations. The most significant hazards identified during the consultation visits related to fall protection and Process Safety Management (PSM). To correct these issues, Lifecore installed a new safety catwalk system on top of process tanks and developed a comprehensive PSM plan for the management of reagent-grade alcohol.

One of Lifecore’s Chaska locations received Safety and Health Recognition Program (SHARP) status in 2005. In April of 2022, Lifecore’s two other sites located in Chaska and Chanhassan received SHARP certification. The SHARP program 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.

Lifecore believes that its partnership with MNOSHA Workplace Safety Consultation has been a valuable component in its efforts to continually improve its safety and health processes. The company’s original SHARP site has seen a significant reduction in injury rates since participating as a SHARP company in 2005. The site’s Total Recordable Case (TRC) rate decreased by 66% when comparing the three years prior to SHARP entry (2002, 2003 and 2004) to the most recent three years (2019, 2020 and 2021). The Days Away, Restricted, or Transferred (DART) rate decreased by 73% over the same period.

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 1-800321-OSHA (6742) or visit