Safety is a Core Value at North Dakota Window Manufacturer
Company: Minnkota Windows
Location: Fargo, North Dakota
NAICS Code: 326199 - All Other Plastics Product Manufacturing
Number of employees: 60
Minnkota Windows Employee and Management Team
Minnkota Windows, a family owned business located in West Fargo, North Dakota, manufacturers windows and doors for homeowners and commercial offices and buildings. Minnkota Window’s relationship with North Dakota On-Site Consultation Program began in October 2012. During the first walkthrough of the facility, the On-Site Consultation team identified electrical and chemical labeling hazards. In addition to physically correcting these hazards, the company implemented weekly training sessions and expanded their internal audits.
During the visit, the consultants told the company about the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) and asked if the company was interested in pursuing SHARP status. 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.
Minnkota Windows decided to pursue SHARP status because they wanted safety to not just be a priority, but a core value. Minnkota Windows was recognized with SHARP status in January 2013.
Since its introduction to North Dakota On-Site Consultation and becoming a SHARP participant, Minnkota Windows has continued to implement new ways of keeping employees safe and engaged in safety. Among these were annual reviews of all safety and health documentation and OSHA programs, a preventive maintenance program, documentation of how safety and health tasks are assigned, and adding accountability and authority for safety to job descriptions. The Minnkota Window’s safety team conducts daily walkthroughs, weekly safety meetings, and monthly safety inspections to check for hazards and at-risk behavior. The company added new equipment to help with ergonomic issues. The company also uses the TPPP (Tools, PPE, Position, and Procedure) acronym to help remind employees to perform a job hazard analysis before using a machine or performing a task.
Over the last five years, Minnkota Windows maintained its Total Recordable Case (TRC) and Days Away, Restricted, and Transferred (DART) rates below the industry average. During its time in SHARP, the company also had its longest stretch of zero recordable injuries, 416 days. Working with the Consultation program has been received well by Minnkota Window’s management and employees. In addition to fewer injuries, the company’s stronger emphasis on safety has greatly improved morale and participation in SHARP has reduced the company’s worker’s compensation costs. Minnkota Windows received SHARP renewals in 2015, 2017, and most recently in 2019.
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.