Staying SHARP: Minnesota Company Works With Workplace Safety Consultation
Company: Timber Roots
Location: Wadena, Minnesota
NAICS Code: 321214-Truss Manufacturing
Number of employees: 75
Timber Roots Building Components is a wood roof, floor, and wall panel manufacturer serving lumber yards and contractors throughout Minnesota, North Dakota, and eastern Montana. Initially, the company learned about the Minnesota OSHA Workplace Safety Consultation program (Minnesota Consultation) through the company’s corporate safety director. High incident rates and a desire to provide a safer workplace prompted the initial contact with Minnesota Consultation in 2006.
Since then, Minnesota Consultation and the company have maintained their working relationship. Consultation visits have identified hazards associated with machine guarding, personal protective equipment (PPE), lockout/tagout, and electrical safety, and deficiencies in written programs. Once the hazards were identified, the company implemented engineering and administrative controls, improved PPE programs, and conducted job hazard analysis (JHA) assessments. The company created new written programs and improved insufficient programs. Daily and weekly discussions were held with all employees and the safety committee was enhanced to provide regular employee involvement. The company investigated accidents more thoroughly and created a near miss program to start identifying hazards more effectively.
The company received Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) status in 2008 and has received five renewals since. Its latest renewal was in 2021. SHARP acknowledges small and medium-sized businesses that have used OSHA On-Site Consultation services and operate exemplary workplace safety and health programs. Small businesses that achieve SHARP status receive a deferral from OSHA or 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.
Prior to working with Minnesota Consultation, Timber Roots experienced up to 25 injuries annually. Almost immediately after it began to work with On-Site Consultation, the company reduced its total recordable case (TRC) and days away, restricted, or transferred (DART) rates. The company’s safety culture steadily improved. Management ensured that resources were made available to keep the program moving in the right direction.
Timber Roots has maintained an injury rate well below the national average for its industry for 14 years. Since being approved as a SHARP participant in 2008, it has averaged two to three recordable injuries per year.
“Working with Minnesota’s Workplace Safety Consultation program and having the oversight and open communication has been the foundation of Timber Roots’ success story. It has added a level of accountability that was missing,” said Safety Director Matt Lunde.
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.