Western Aircraft, Inc. Flies into SHARP

Company: Western Aircraft

Location: Boise, Idaho

NAICS Code: 4881 – Support Activities for Air Transportation

Number of employees: 242 Onsite; 298 Corporate-Wide

 Representatives from Western Aircraft and Boise State University Office of Safety and Health Consultation with the SHARP flag during the recognition presentation.
 Representatives from Western Aircraft and Boise State University Office of Safety and Health Consultation with the SHARP flag during the recognition presentation.

Western Aircraft, Inc. began as the corporate flight department for the Morrison Knudsen Corporation (MK), headquartered in Boise, Idaho, over 60 years ago. In response to an overwhelming need for aircraft repair services, in 1957 the company applied for and received its first FAA Certified Repair Station Certificate. Over the years, Western Aircraft has become one of the West's largest aircraft services companies, offering maintenance, aircraft sales, avionics sales and installation, aircraft parts sales, Fixed Base Operator (FBO) services, airline fueling, aircraft charters, and aircraft management. Western Aircraft learned of Idaho On-Site Consultation services about 16 years ago and has had an amazing relationship with the program ever since.

During Idaho Consultation’s latest visit, the safety and health consultants found electrical cord hazards as well as hygiene issues. Western Aircraft took steps to correct all hazards by replacing and removing equipment, conducting lockout/tagout refresher training sessions, and performing general cleaning. The company created a safety and health program under which hazards are identified and corrected, and information regarding this process is shared with all employees. Processes are being continuously improved with regular self-inspections, and quality systems changes to integrate safety and health practices. Incident investigations now place more emphasis on identifying root causes with effective corrective actions.

The company received the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) designation in May of 2022. 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.

Western Aircraft has experienced many changes over the past five years. During this period, they have seen an approximate 15% labor force increase, added a $17 million 93,000 square foot hangar, and implemented a mobile response maintenance program supporting regional, private, and corporate aviation needs. With these changes, they had to adapt their programs to meet OSHA guidelines and requirements specific to their programs and operations. During this recent growth period, the company worked closely with the Idaho Consultation to reduce both the Total Recordable Case (TRC) and Days Away Restricted or Transferred (DART) rates by over one percentage point.

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.