Trans-Matic Receives SHARP Recognition for Safety and Health Excellence

Company: Trans-Matic Manufacturing Company, Inc.

Location: Holland, Michigan

Employees: 247

Industry: NAICS 332116, Metal Stamping
Success Brief:

With assistance from Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (MIOSHA) Onsite Consultation Program, Trans-Matic developed and maintained a safety and health program that enabled it to experience injury and illnesses rates considerably below their industry averages. Because of their exemplary safety and health system, Trans-Matic received Michigan's Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) award on April 19, 2013.

SHARP recognizes small business employers who operate an exemplary injury and illness prevention program, and acceptance of a worksite into SHARP is an achievement that singles out a worksite among its business peers as a model for worksite safety and health.

Company Description:

Trans-Matic develops and produces precision-engineered, deep drawn metal stampings and assemblies used for a wide variety of products and markets including builders' hardware, appliance manufacturing, plumbing materials, and HVAC components. Other products manufactured by Trans-Matic include commercial and residential lock hardware components, automotive ABS braking components, fuel rail and powertrain components, and containers for high performance ultra-capacitors, lithium ion batteries, and electronic actuators.

Trans-Matic was founded in 1968 with the opening of the Holland, Michigan, site. In 1992, the company expanded with the establishment of a satellite location in Tempe, Arizona, to establish a marketing presence in the Southwest United States and Mexico. In 2002, the Tempe, Arizona, facility relocated to Mesa, Arizona.

The Situation:

The North America Industry Classification System's (NAICS) classification for Trans-Matic is Metal Stamping, which is a high-hazard industry. Working in a high-hazardous environment, Trans-Matic recognized its need to protect its workers and decided to take the next step and develop a strong safety and health management system.

The Solution:

Prior to its SHARP certification by the MIOSHA SHARP Program in April 2013, Trans-Matic, on several occasions, requested consultative services provided by the MIOSHA Onsite Consultation Program within the Consultation Education and Training Division. The OSHA On-site Consultation Program offers free and confidential services to small and medium-sized businesses and is available to employers in all U.S. states and several territories. Consultants from state agencies or universities work with employers to identify workplace hazards, advise on compliance with OSHA standards, and assist in establishing injury and illness prevention programs. The MIOSHA program is part of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA).

To improve and strengthen its safety and health program, Trans-Matic worked with MIOSHA and through this effort, a strong relationship was developed between the company and MIOSHA. Many phone calls were made to MIOSHA for advice and standard interpretation, and Trans-Matic participated in the "Take-a-Stand Day" with a visit from MIOSHA Health.

"Take-a-Stand Day" is an annual event in which MIOSHA's over 125 professional staff - compliance, consultation, managers and supervisors, visit Michigan high-hazard industries targeted by the MIOSHA Strategic Plan to provide one-on-one consultations with no citations or fines for participating worksites. During the consultation visits, MIOSHA staff work with the companies cooperatively to recognize hazardous conditions and to effectively address safety and health issues.

The Impact:

As a result of its efforts to improve its safety and health system, Trans-Matic started to have success in reducing its injuries through its proactive approach to worker safety. In 2010, Trans-Matic had its Total Recordable Cases (TRC) and Days Away from Work and Restricted/Transfer Cases (DART) rates 44% and 77% below its respective Bureau of Labor Statistics industry averages. Also, using OSHA's "Safety Pays" tool, it is estimated that Trans-Matic is saving approximately $172,000 a year in workers' compensation costs.

During the comprehensive consultation visit required for SHARP approval, MIOSHA recognized that "Trans-Matic has developed a safety and health system that provides outstanding protection for their workers," said MIOSHA Director Martha Yoder. All seven required SHARP elements were in place: Hazard Anticipation and Detection; Hazard Prevention and Control; Planning and Evaluation; Administration and Supervision, Safety and Health Training; Management Leadership; and Employee Participation.

Testimonials from employees at Trans-Matic underscore the importance the company places on employee safety.

I am glad to work at a company that cares about employees' long-term health and safety. Trans-Matic is willing to train its employees and engineer solutions to reduce the likelihood of injury. Trans-Matic encourages a culture of safety first, which has permeated the procedures followed by all employees to ensure all employees go home safe to their families.

Tyler Dickinson, Eyelet Apprentice Toolmaker

For Trans-Matic, safety has been a very important part of what we do here. We always try to implement safety in everything we do.

Angel Rodriguez, Eyelet Apprentice Toolmaker

We are taught early in our careers that Safety is a key part of craftsmanship. At Trans-Matic, craftsmanship is vital to what we do. Emphasizing safety is the most important thing we can do.

Our MIOSHA associates have proved themselves to be valuable aides to us. Trans-Matic is a better company today from this.

PJ Thompson, President and Chief Operating Officer

Trans-Matic Receives SHARP Award for Workplace Safety and Health Excellence. MIOSHA Press Release, (2013, April 19).